If you think of your business as an apple, there are three distinct parts: the peel, the flesh and the seeds. The peel is the outward appearance of the apple. The peel is like advertising. A shiny, bright, beautiful peel may attract customers to the fruit.
But what if you took a bite of that beautiful apple only to find that the inside was mealy and bland? What a disappointment that would be! Well, the flesh of the apple is like the experience that lies beyond the advertising. Customers generally expect for the experience to match what was promised in advertising, but they’re frequently disappointed.
Most car dealerships look like, well, a car dealership inside. It’s hard to escape it. There are desks, cars, little offices with glass windows, maybe a tower, a waiting area. Problem is…SAME IS LAME. It would be very cool if you could knock down the place and start from scratch, but that’s not realistic. Here are some ideas to “kick up” the customer experience a notch without knocking down any walls.
Deliver Confidence And Value
What message does your showroom send to your prospects? Does your experience make your customers excited to buy from you? If you haven’t thought about how your environment affects your customers’ behavior, then you’re missing a huge opportunity to excite people and close more. Your environment should position you as a trusted advisor and someone they feel good buying from even if they end up paying more.
When your showroom is decked out, your customers will know they are at the right place to buy a car. They will believe you are different than all the other dealer and be excited to buy from you.
“Thank you for calling , how may I direct your call?” That’s the way 99% of receptionists answer the phone. “Sales. May I help ya?” That’s how 99% of salespeople answer the phone. Both are bad options.
You can change your customers’ perception of your dealership by changing that way you greet them. Instead of the typical, ordinary, default greeting try tying into the conversation that’s happening in your community. For example, “Thanks for calling _____, it might be cold outside but we’ve got deals hot enough to keep you warm. How can I help you today?” Try changing the way customers are greeted and you’ll notice an immediate difference.
Gourmet Coffee Bar
Every dealership has a pot of coffee. You can (and should) do something much different. Try ordering private label coffee. Then dress up the coffee area with some specialty syrups and other nice coffee accouterments. This now becomes a gourmet coffee bar, which is much more appealing than a pot of coffee.
Make it even better…bake cookies in the showroom every day. It’s hard to feel pressured and nervous in a place that smells like cookies.
We all already know that we in the auto industry have a language all our own. And while it may be okay to use common dealership lingo in the break room without any customers around, it isn’t a great idea to use this jargon in front of them. The regular customer isn’t familiar with some of the usual dealership lingo and can become confused or put-off when they hear it. Stick to layman’s terms when talking with customers.
Want to learn more about how you can revolutionize the selling process for the customer? Learn how in our book The Last Up. Claim your free copy here today.