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Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary

Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary

Clint Burns

What is happening with today’s customer experience is clearly an evolution, not a drastic revolution designed to overthrow the best practices of the industry. Customers that visit your showroom expect to be assisted timely and efficiently.

Evolution is nothing more than “the gradual development of something.” The key is “gradual.” Experiencing gradual change should be normal in your business if you’re growing, so unless you stop growing you should never find yourself “behind the times.” This is especially true in context of the evolving customer experience at dealerships today.

The real change for most dealers with the evolution of the modern customer experience is time. Time, has become increasingly more valuable as it becomes less available, and it is certainly less available for most consumers today. If the customer has spent 15-18 hours researching online prior to arriving and is “Transaction Ready”, then why aren’t you?  How many times have you been approached on the showroom by a customer looking for help?  Or how many times have you seen a customer on your lot without a sales person in sight?

I am sure you answered “Daily.” Right away you have showed your customer that you do not respect their time.  With customers having more time constraints than ever, respecting their time is the one thing you must do to succeed..

So how do you learn to show customers that you care about their time? Focus on Customer Experience Management (CEM). Companies are using this approach to anticipate a customers need and adopt the mindset of the customer. It is the future of sales, and is the key to the evolving customer experience in our industry.

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Forbes says that customer experience is the “cumulative impact of multiple touch points” over the course of a customer’s interaction with an organization. Most people understand that part, but let’s take it a step further. Customer Experience Management is nothing more than the process used to oversee and track all interactions between the customer and the dealership. Companies have started using this management process in response to the realization that building customer experiences is a complex ordeal that involves a great deal of strategy. Due to the complexity of this process 80% of businesses claim to offer “great customer service,” while only 8% of customers are satisfied with their experience.

Instead of falling into the category of businesses that fail to realize their customers are dissatisfied, manage your customer experience and improve where needed. If you control your showroom then you can control your customer experience. However, to control your showroom you need to focus your team on delivering the experience that you market to your customers. Once everyone is organized and focused, you will be able to ensure that every customer is handled with care. At that point you will have a top notch customer experience and it begins with management taking the lead to organize their showroom.

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