I had to drop my car off at my local dealer this past weekend due to a highly annoying squeal in the brakes. I gave very little notice but fortunately they squeezed me in. When I arrived to pick the car up they had take the wheels off, done a few things (that I would likely explain incorrectly) and said everything should be good now. I went to pay and the service technician said, “oh don’t worry about that, this one’s on the house.”
Having purchased four cars from this dealer in the past five years you might think that they owe me this favor, but having received this kind of “on the house” treatment nearly a dozen times, I can tell you that it’s how they operate.
This type of behavior is the very reason that this dealership is the fastest growing dealer in our area, despite only being around for less than six years. You see it’s not about the quality of parts, or how well they fix the car, it’s about the experience.
[Tweet “Customers today are all about the experience.”]
Don’t believe me? Have you ever hung up the phone on a telemarketer; left a restaurant without eating, or left groceries in the cart and marched out of the grocery store because of a bad experience with someone working there? I have, and I’ll bet you have as well.
You might think that with consumers spending more time purchasing products online that price and availability are more important than experience, but if this is the case, you’d be wrong. I know dozens of people who’ve had one bad experience with an online retailer, never to frequent their website again. This is why companies like Amazon and Zappos focus so intently on creating a responsive and positive customer experience.
What we need to be cognizant of is the experience our employees are creating (or not creating) for our customers. This moves beyond providing some simple customer service training and extends to ensuring that each and every employee understands what customers demand, how their role impacts these demands, and what they can do to maximize the value of each and every interaction, whether direct or indirect.
Back in 2009, United Airlines broke Dave Carrolls’ guitar, something he witnessed as his precious instrument was being tossed around. After speaking to several customer service agents, and following the retrieval of his broken guitar, Dave decided to write a song. You can find it on YouTube titled “United Breaks Guitars.” It’s really no big deal though, it’s only at 15 million views as I write this…
You see, a bad experience is personal, and in today’s day and age people take to venting their frustrations publicly through social media.
If you are losing customers today it’s not your price, it’s not your products, it’s the experience the customer is receiving… or not receiving.
How can you improve your customer’s experience?
© Shawn Casemore 2016. All rights reserved.
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