Trick or Treat…Which Are You? How Do You Know?

Trick or Treat?

Last Sunday night our neighborhood echoed with the sounds of children clamoring that famous Halloween question. Most of the little princesses, ninja turtles, space creatures, muscle men, rock stars and of course, hobo’s were very courteous and appreciative. However, hidden behind a very few of the costumed little creatures were evil little pranksters. As always, there is a minority that try to take the fun out of anything. Whatever the devilish behavior, stealing the smaller children’s candy, smashing pumpkins (not the musical group) and the mild acts of vandalism… it all comes from hidden behind those masked revelers.

Ask yourself this question: When it comes to dealing with our Dealership, is it a trick or a treat?

Do you and your organization hide behind the mask of good advertising and PR work, then give poor customer service once the deal is consummated? Is there a disconnect between what you say you are as a dealership and what you really are? Do the people on your team truly live by the brand or mission statement that is proudly displayed and emphsized in your advertising?

If there is a major incongruence between what the marketing and PR says about your dealership and what your customers see, hear and feel about your store, customers will quite likely feel they are being…tricked. When what you say matches your behaviors, in other words, when you walk the talk, customers are much more likely to become ambassadors and help build relationships for you and your sales and service team.

A great way to see if you are treating your customers the way you say you want to, periodically take a diagonal slice of your organization, including a few loyal customers, and perform a SWOT analysis of your dealership from the consumers point of view. Encourage open, honest input and stress the importance of accurate feedback. You might want to enlist an outside facilitator to help with this initiative. Build on your stores strengths, work on the weaknesses, leverage opportunities, and concentrate on the threats your deaerlship may be facing.

Discover what your customers think…is it a treat to buy from you or do they often feel tricked? Performing a SWOT analysis will help you find out what your customers are clamoring about.

Are you a trick or a treat?

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Customer Service Starts with Hello!

Here in the wintry white (and very cold) north, walking in the mall is what we do at this time of the year.
As a sales and customer service geek, I’m always in observation mode to recognize outstanding customer service behaviors. This morning however, I was reminded of how important an simple smile and hello is to  providing good customer service.
At about the three mile mark, Janet, the sales person in the Flint, MI.  Kay Jewelers, was the first associate to smile and say hello to me. Now keep in mind, I walk around with a smile on my face and a pleasant greeting to all that make eye contact with me. After I passed the store I realized my early morning trail had taken me past well over a hundred sales associates, store managers and owners, and Janet was the first to say hello and offer a smile.
I turned around, entered Janet’s store and complimented and congratulated her for being the first to give me any indication that she was there to offer great customer service. Janet, thanks for reminding me how important a simple hello and a smile are to providing great customer service.

Remember, great customer service and living life are very important, so “Don’t Just Do It!”