We can all agree that customer service is our top priority in business. High-quality care and consideration for customers are the driving forces behind customer loyalty. When you provide an exceptional buying experience for your customers, you’re likely to see an excellent ROI in the form of repeat business, glowing online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.

How can you ensure that your customers consistently receive the very best service that your dealership has to offer? Your commitment to customer service should drive every factor of your business, from your dealership’s values and company goals to the daily tasks and responsibilities of your team members, and it should accompany your customers from beginning to end of their buying journey一and beyond!

Train Your Team
Customer service starts at the top. It’s up to business owners to ensure that their team knows and upholds the importance of providing customers with a great experience. Invest in proper training for your team members so that they have the confidence to engage with customers online and offline in any given situation. A key situation to prepare your team for is following proper procedure when faced with a customer complaint about a part, unit or service, especially when it comes to offering specialty discounts for customer retention. Communicate regularly with your team to understand their biggest roadblocks for customer service and then create your solutions accordingly.

Like all people, employees put their best foot forward when their efforts are recognized and rewarded. Hosting a weekly spotlight or “Employee of the Month” program can help your team stay motivated and can raise the morale of your company as a whole.

Listen with Intent to Learn
When it comes to turning the situation around for a dissatisfied customer or ensuring that a customer who needs help receives the proper assistance, it’s crucial to hear them out with the intent to learn, rather than the intent to respond. We know this may seem like a basic and age-old bit of advice, but we are all guilty of only half-listening while crafting our own response. In other words, we aren’t truly listening to what the other person has to say, and sometimes it shows. When dealing with a customerㅡwhether they are unhappy or notㅡit’s important to focus on what they are saying and see the situation from their perspective. Even if you don’t agree with them, this will help you tailor your response and achieve a positive outcome.

Half the battle is communicating to customers that you hear what they’re saying and you understand their situation. Even if you can’t deliver the desired outcome, customers see that you are concerned about their needs and that you’ve done the best that you can.

Ask for Feedback
Don’t be afraid to ask customers directly for feedback on their experience at your dealership, either on the floor after they engage with an employee, in your post-sale follow-up phone call or in an email campaign to your customer network. Customers who had a negative experience will let you know, giving you the opportunity to remedy the situation and retain their business or adjust your customer service approach if needed, while happy customers can submit a positive review for you to feature on your website and social media.

No company experiences smooth sailing in the customer service department every single day, and there will always be customers who cannot be mollified. As a dealership owner, the best thing you can do is invest in your customer service to create an outstanding buying experience for as many of your sales leads as possible. We want your customers to be happy with their experience at your dealership so that your business can thrive, which is why you’re always welcome to contact ARI with a business concern.