Good customer communication is a must for any dealership. Since employees interact with customers on a day-to-day basis, good customer service is one of the most important tasks of a Service Manager.
If your customers don’t trust you or feel that you’re on their side, then they’ll move on to another dealership. No one wants that! Unfortunately, this is common, as 33% of customers who abandoned a business relationship last year did so due to lacking personalization. Not only that, but consumers also list excellent customer service as the primary factor in their level of trust with companies.
It should go without stating, but you have to have good customer service and communication. If you don’t, you can lose money, reputation, and future business. As you know, a happy customer would tell about their good experience to only a handful of friends, while a dissatisfied customer may share their displeasure with 8 to 10 people. Add in social media, and that could go even higher – to 20 or even 30 people!
Even if you think your customer communication is stellar, you can always find ways to improve it. You may fall into the trap of thinking that your customer service skills are fine, and as a result, neglect to regularly audit your process, which can cause problems down the line. Or worse, fall into the lazy habit of applying a one-size-fits-all approach to customer service.
Great customer communication is good for your bottom line, since 86% of customers will actually pay more for better customer experience. There may be several agricultural and groundcare equipment dealerships, but if customers are happy with you, they’ll stick with you.
Here are 5 ways to improve customer communication.
Don’t know it? Find it out. Uninformed service managers and employees are a problem for any customer looking for information. If customers can’t find out what they need to know, they’ll go somewhere else, and you don’t want them approaching a competitor.
You should be able to answer reasonable questions for anything in your dealership. The same goes for your employees. The Service Manager may take the information from the customer, but then they need to make sure the employees are aware of the details. Capturing customer details will make sure your employees can do a good job when servicing a piece of equipment or machinery.
What happens if a question comes along and you don’t know the answer? If you don’t know, don’t lie! Be honest. Just let them know you’ll follow up and get the answer to their question. After all, lying erodes consumer trust.
The key thing is to make sure you’re informed on the latest news in your industry and the equipment you sell. Then if you’re missing information, find the answer, and report back to your customer.
Practice active listening. Are your customers telling you something that you’re missing? Customers are your guides, and their comments inform you about how you can improve your service and process. Listening to your customers is crucial at any time. However, when you’re dealing with appointments or repair requests, listening is even more vital. Your Service Manager needs to listen to the customers’ concerns, questions, and comments.
Don’t neglect the other listening channels. The days where comments came in from phone calls or snail mail are long gone. Now customers can give you feedback everywhere, and you need to be ready to listen. If customers interact with you on social media, like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, be sure to respond, even if it’s just with a like or a retweet. Customers will also share their feedback on your online listings, such as Google or Yelp. The best businesses respond to feedback, whether it is good or bad.
Don’t neglect the power of customer feedback. It’s not enough to just listen to your customers when they communicate with you. You should actively solicit their feedback to see what they like or don’t like about your company. Surveys can also help identify patterns in customer service issues.
When you use a survey to measure customer satisfaction, take action based on the responses. For example, if you have several customers that complain about your hold times, see how you can improve, then let them know you added a new line or addressed their concern in some other way.
Don’t let the customer relationship end after a repair or transaction is complete. Follow up. This will let them know that you’re invested in their happiness with your equipment. Following up invites good customer communication and also helps with consumer retention.
As a dealership, you want to ensure your next sale or repair request is from a former customer. It’s easier to sell to your existing customers. According to Gartner Group, 80% of your company’s future profits will come from 20% of your existing customers. Treat your customers like the valuable resource they are.
How do you speak to your customer? Good customer communication isn’t just about how you do it, it’s what you say. Does your Service Managers speak in a way your customers can understand? Not every customer will know the ins and outs of your business, especially if they’re a first-time buyer or user.
Customers don’t want to feel like they’re foolish. Listen to what they’re saying. If they use certain terms, mention those terms and explain your answer.
If a new buyer asks about the difference between two types of agricultural equipment, try not to use jargon. See if you can explain it with analogies, or in simpler terms. Your customers are able to read brochures, but they approach you for real-time discussions. Speak so they understand.
Your customer communication goes hand-in-hand with every part of customer service. Make sure it’s the best it can be, and your customers will have a favourable impression.
Discover the basic service processes for delivering the best customer service with our informative guide on How to Deliver the Top-Notch Customer Experience.
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