AutoWeek spotlighted the ’53 Mercury on their website, and it got me thinking how sad it is that such a storied brand has fallen by the wayside, and that dealerships that aren’t careful can also end up like the dodo bird or Mercury brand.
CSI is critical to SURVIVAL
One of the intangible benefits for our Live Chat products is that it can help guard your CSI. Not just the CSI the factory measures, but the one that has your customers posting great things on social media and telling their friends how great it is doing business with your dealership. The one that ensures you are still in business two years, five years, ten years down the road – or just the next recession or manufacturer dealer chop.
Years back when I was part of the management team of one of the top luxury dealerships in the world in both sales and CSI, our general manager continuously harped on the fact that from a business longevity point of view, the “WOULD YOU RECOMMEND US” question was more important than the TOP BOX / COMPLETELY SATISFIED question.
Relationships are the key
That same GM stressed that the RELATIONSHIP that every staff member had with every customer was critical to help ensure future business. I’ll never forget him sharing how his father’s insurance agent knew everything about their family so they could be an effective advisor, from “buffy the dog” to “uncle Harry’s liver operation”.
We were obsessively committed to a CULTURE that would help ensure this result and create customers who are AMBASSADORS in the community. I shared this with my brother, who lives in a rural area in the eastern U.S., when we were discussing how one of his small local dealers didn’t seem to care about customer service – but that it didn’t matter because they would always be in business. I told him to mark my words when the economy slipped and that dealership would fall by the wayside. Sure enough, it was an unfortunate casualty of the recession.
Three keys to stronger CSI
Is your dealership TRULY committed to the satisfaction of your customers? Here are three keys to help you achieve this holy grail:
- Have every staff member commit to it – ensure they understand the critical importance in the long and short term
- Make sure every employee can recognize a problem, and empower them to help begin the resolution
- Measure – measure – measure, by every means you have to
Whether your relationship begins through live chat, walking on the lot, or as a phone up, a commitment to true satisfaction can help ensure your dealership doesn’t go the way of the dodo bird – or Mercury.
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Tom has an MBA in Marketing and is an automotive writer and author with more than 15 years experience in virtually every aspect of the retail auto industry. He has been a performance leader in everything from sales and service, to web development and viral marketing.