One service all dealers should be worried about – or at least thinking about – is reputation management. There are a ton of reasons why reviews matter. Most of us are so busy with the day-to-day, it’s difficult to make time to really develop or address a strategy to deal with reviews dealership-wide.
We know car dealers because our teams are staffed by them, and our CEO spent years as a car dealer before starting ADS. As with all industries, there are going to be Those Clients. You know the ones. They’re insufferable, painful to deal with and aren’t going to be happy no matter what you do for them. They walked into your dealership trying to get all the free perks. If they could complain enough and show enough attitude to drive off your lot in a free vehicle, they’d do it.
There’s always going to be that customer who wants something for nothing. But not every disgruntled customer is that customer. Some have legitimate complaints about the service they received, and those complaints trickle down directly into reviews. Worse yet, they trickle into information relayed to friends and family members who are in the market for a car. Before you know it? You’re losing years of deals that could have made the difference between those few car sales that could get you to your goal in any given quarter.
Don’t get us wrong – we know there are nightmare customers out there. But instead of embracing “the customer is always right,” as an industry we should consider embracing, “The customer deserves a good experience.”
This is where we go wrong – as service industry professionals we forget that a deal gone awry can still result in a good experience for the customer. We also convince ourselves that some customers through their actions, words and attitudes actually don’t deserve a good experience.
If you think customer experience isn’t everything, take a look at Zappos or Amazon. How do huge companies like these make reputation matter? Weren’t shoe salesmen once essentially the car salesmen of the fashion industry?
it’s something to think about.
Being right isn’t everything, but to the customer, a positive experience is. What can we do to change ourselves, change our service and get our industry to a place where customers get excited about coming to see us – and not just because they might walk away with a car?