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Customer retention starts at….hello….

23 Aug

When you begin to speak about customer retention…..when does it all begin???

Customer retention…. starts….. at hello……

From the very first time we greet a customer… whether it is in the service drive…..on the lot…..or on the showroom floor……customer retention starts at….hello…

You have to first put yourself in the customer’s shoes….

When the customer walks into your store for the first time……they are most likely a bit confused and have a bit of uncertainty about what is going to take place….

In simple terms…..the customer walks into the store…. a little scared…..

If they walk into the service drive….they are not sure… exactly what is wrong with their vehicle…..and….they certainly want to pay a fair price for the service…

They don’t want to be sold services they really don’t need…..and…. they are unsure if they actually need them….

If they walk into the showroom…..they are scared that they might not get what they want for their trade….

They might be scared of paying too much for the vehicle they are going to purchase…

They might be scared they are making too high a payment or have too high an interest rate…..

Our first task….is to make them feel comfortable…..this is where customer retention starts…..with the initial greeting and handling of the customers wants and needs….

If the customer feels comfortable from the onset of the visit….sees that we are genuinely concerned about them…….and listen to what they are saying…we have laid the groundwork into not only making a sale….but retaining this customer for life…..

Let’s face it….the automobile industry doesn’t have the best public perception out there….

Some customers come in with a bit of a chip on their shoulders….

Some come in and are scared to death to listen to any presentation we give them…..fearing that they will be misguided or even worse…taken advantage of…

How do we break this perception???

It all starts with…..hello……

It starts with asking the customer questions about their visit to the store….and what they hope to accomplish….

Asking the questions with a concerned and sincere tone……

And after we ask the question….and the customer gives us an answer….we clarify what that means to the customer…

Let me give you a quick example….

Let’s say a customer comes into the showroom looking for a vehicle…

One of the questions we ask is this….

What is the one feature… you are looking for… in purchasing a vehicle???

The customer replies…..I am looking for a “SAFE” vehicle….

Thinking that we know what the customer means by “SAFE” vehicle…we go into a fantastic walk around on the safety features of the vehicle…

Safety belts….air bags…crumple zones….crash test statistics…..just an unbelievable great job on showing the safety features of the vehicle….

But…the customer isn’t listening…

The customer seems inattentive and bored…

Why???

Maybe we didn’t ask…when you say you want a “SAFE” vehicle….what do you mean??

Then the customer answers…..I want a vehicle that retains its value more than my last vehicle…

In other words…the customer wants a “SAFE” investment…

We can never assume what a customer means….we always need to clarify what the customers answer is to better serve them…

THIS….is the beginning of customer retention….

Customer retention??

It starts….with hello…..

To see a video of this blog, please go to the following link:

Jim Kristoff video – Customer retention starts with “hello”

About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website: www.JimKristoff.com  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

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DealerElite.net: http://www.dealerelite.net/profile/JimKristoff

Automotive Digital Marketing.com: http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profile/JimKristoff

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/jimkristoff  

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/jimkristoff


 


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1 Comment

Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Archive of all blogs

 

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One response to “Customer retention starts at….hello….

  1. Andrew Compton

    August 23, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Jim, well said.

     

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