Working in the automotive industry can feel like a fast-paced environment that is focused purely on sell, sell sell, but what happens when your customers want more, more, more?
Customer Service At It’s Best
As we come to the tail end of the global health pandemic, it’s likely we’ll see a surge in customers to the automotive industry as they look to upgrade their cars and improve their rides.
It’s time to bring good customer service back to the auto industry, and here are eight ways you can help.
Convenience Is Key
These days everyone is running out of time. Moms and Dads are busy with the kids’ school and sports activities, people are working longer hours, and there is a lot more pressure on time than there ever has been.
This is where making things as convenient for your customers as possible comes in.
There are many ways of doing it, from offering a courtesy car while theirs is in for repair or servicing to adding value by offering vehicle home delivery on new car purchases.
If you approach a customer by always assuming they have no time to waste, your customers will appreciate the effort a little more and will usually be more receptive to your suggestions because you have respected them.
Make The Experience As Easy As Possible
Along with convenience outside the showroom, trying to make the experience inside the showroom as easy as possible will definitely win you brownie points with your customers.
Consider things such as games to keep kids amused, wifi to keep teens amused, and refreshments on hand if there is going to be a wait of more than five minutes.
Simply adding a vending machine to your waiting area can make a big difference to a stressed-out mom who needs to feed her kids while she waits for a tire puncture to be completed.
It’s the little things that really count here, and your customers will thank you for them and will be more likely to come back next time or recommend you to a friend.
Show Off The Product
Have you ever been into a car showroom to look around the cars available, only to be hauled off to a desk with a snotty sales guy who is thrusting brochures your way? Not a great buying experience, is it?
Most people prefer to be really well informed when they buy something like a car, which is a really big investment for most families, but they also like to test things out too.
When speaking about the particular features of the model, invite them to sit in the vehicle and get a feel for things, show them the trunk space in person (bonus points if you have a suitcase to hand for easy visuals), and if the seats fold down, demonstrate how easy it is to do with them there.
There’s nothing like a bit of show and tell to help a sale move along.
Ask Personal Questions
Getting personal with your customers is a must, especially when they’re making a big purchase like a car.
It’s essential that you speak to all customers with respect and understanding too. Don’t assume that the woman knows nothing about cars and the man is a petrol head, and equally don’t scoff at any of their desires when they do come in looking.
If a single girl is looking for a car with a trunk space big enough for a stroller, she could be planning ahead, or she might have to take her nephews and nieces around places.
Treat all customers equally and only suggest products or services they will actually need with the information they have given you.
Don’t Over Sell
Going straight on from the personal questions is learning not to over-sell something. Customers can spot a commotion creepo from a mile off, and they will immediately get defensive if you start trying to do the hard sell at them.
It’s far better to ask leading questions and use phrases like “have you considered…” or “would you like to take a look at…” rather than phrases like “you need to buy…”.
Recommend Helpful Items
Does your customer like to do a lot of trail hiking with her three huskies? Maybe an extra set of mats or a set of seat covers would be a good option for her.
How about the customer who has a trailer at home and wants to be able to tow it with his new car? He’ll need the right size car as well as a tow bar fitted with the right electrics.
Recommended products to your customers that they actually need is a really good idea to show them that you’re thinking about their life and what they need their car for, and it’s much more likely to get you extra sales, rather than just bombarding them with a long list of things that they don’t need and risk overwhelming them completely.
This is where asking those personal questions and having some examples to hand really is important.
Recommend Helpful Services
Just like recommending helpful products, recommending helpful services to your customers is also a great way to curry favor.
Depending on what your businesses is in the automotive industry, this is likely to look quite different, but a few simple options may include:
- Offering a free winter check to garage customers
- Sending out yearly reminders for servicing
- Having an online booking system for all customers
- Recommending the model that has a satnav for customers who like to travel
Support Local Social Endeavours
This tip is less about being specifically customer-focused and more about raising your community kudos level.
The automotive industry gets a bit of a bad reputation for being untrustworthy with some customers, but by supporting local events and endeavours, such as kids soccer teams, for example, you can get your name out there with new and existing customers and be seen to ‘give back’ to the community while you’re doing it.
It’s a little gesture, but it’s a very powerful one.
By James Daniels
Bio: James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.