Buying a car often sits near the top of the dreaded tasks list for most Americans. I felt the exact same way, despite buying three cars in the past.
Car dealerships and specifically salespeople are typically rated very poorly on follow-ups once they’ve completed the initial sale. But as DFW Car Dealer Carl Sewell writes in his book Customers For Life, one customer is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The first chapter of Carl’s book outlines the Ten Commandments of Customer service:
- Bring ‘em back alive: Ask customers what they want and give it to them again and again.
- Systems not smiles: Saying please and thank you doesn’t ensure you’ll do the job right first time, every time. Only systems guarantee you that.
- Underpromise, overdeliver: Customers expect you to keep your word. Exceed it.
- When the customer asks the answer is always “yes.” Period.
- Fire your inspectors and consumer relations’ department: Every employee who deals with clients must have the authority to handle complaints.
- No complaints? Something’s wrong: Encourage your customers to tell you what you’re doing wrong.
- Measure everything: Baseball teams do it. Football teams do it. Basketball teams do it. You should too.
- Salaries are unfair: Pay people like partners.
- Your mother was right: Show people respect. Be polite. It works.
- Japanese them: Learn how the best really do it; make their systems your own. Then improve them.
Additionally, he writes if you treat your customers right, they’ll want to come back.
“Instead of buying one car from us, and then disappearing forever, the customer returns whenever he needs a new one,” Sewell writes. “Over the course of his lifetime he’ll end up spending a lot of money with us –$517,000 to be exact.”
Cameron Tigg at Joe Machens Toyota in Columbia very much understands this concept. …
To read the rest, you’ll have to go check out the Miles & Co. blog, where I wrote this as a guest piece.