There is much talk at present about how the retail car sales business can improve the service it delivers to its customers. As a result a greater emphasis than perhaps ever before is being put on training and coaching staff to be better equipped to offer an enhanced experience whilst at the same time draw satisfaction from the process.
The buzz words are about “engagement” and “communication” but really, as the profile of car sales staff continues to change, it is about ensuring that all customers receive the “gold standard” of service every time they visit the showroom not just occasionally. It is being drummed into sales personnel that it is this process which will eventually lead to enhanced profitability for the business.
The investment in the product that a car buyer makes cannot be underestimated and the tendency amongst sales staff in recent years is to assume it’s just another car for just another customer; however this attitude, no matter that it may not be meant, leads to customers feeling neglected and unhappy. These car buyers are far more likely to approach the process of buying a car in future with much more negativity as a result.
As car sales professionals over the years we have witnessed many customers who come into the showroom in full “attack mode” often being aggressive and non-responsive from the start, but why is this?
Well clearly something has sparked this kind of reaction and it can probably be traced back to a previous encounter where this customer has been mislead or ripped off and is therefore suspicious of all car sales people.
This attitude is definitely improving although all the surveys continue to tell us that a large percentage of car buyers are disappointed with the service they receive in showrooms especially with used cars.
But I sometimes wonder if a lot of that is maybe down to the fact that they may have been unhappy with the deal they were getting or the price on their trade-in.
If progress is to made we have to be realistic and accept that the modern car sales person is a different animal today, they are more likely to be better educated and probably much younger, they will be happy to go through a strict process and will be able to complete many different forms in order to satisfy the demands of the management and the manufacturer. But (and it’s a rather big but) they may not necessarily possess the personality or skills required to match a car with a customer and it takes time and training to combine both.
Customers are far more switched on about the product today and have detailed information on almost everything connected with buying a car at their fingertips. As a result they demand a good experience when choosing what, where and when to buy their new car.
By identifying that sales personnel need up to date training and selling skills companies are taking this very seriously and by acknowledging that happy motivated staff equal happy customers.
If you want a real world example of what a big difference quality, well trained personnel can give compare the service you receive in Tesco’s with Waitrose. You will be surprised if you have never shopped at Waitrose and always done the shopping at Tesco because you may have thought the service in Tesco was fine, which it probably is, it is just that the Waitrose experience is far better.
It is important for the success of car dealerships everywhere that sales people are switched on to the vision statement and ideals of the company and feel sufficiently part of something great in order to deliver that experience to their customers. This will ultimately create more customers, drive volume and profitability and have content, motivated professional sales people who are happy to create unique buying experiences for all their customers and in turn get a real buzz out it the process at the same time.