This past weekend, I was in Vegas for the NADA Convention. I ate some pretty delicious food – a carb-overload to say the least. There was one restaurant I particularly enjoyed, not because the food was so great (side note: it was), but because the customer service was fantastic. Several times, before our table even realized we wanted more chips or water refills, a waiter was right there refilling our glasses or chips. This is one of the keys to great customer service: Meeting a need, sometimes before the customer even realizes it.
Great customer service translates into higher customer responsiveness for your business. These days, the right technology is crucial when it comes to customer responsiveness. The use of technology can either make or break your dealership. Effective technology makes all the difference when communicating with your customers.
So how can you harness the technology within your dealership to improve your customer service?
1) Make all channels of communication readily available to the customer.
As a customer, can I reach your dealership in a way that’s convenient for me? Do I have to hunt for an email address on your website? When I call, does it take several minutes to speak with the right employee? Is there a way that I can communicate with your dealership if I have a quick question? Does your dealership have a successful texting platform? “A 2012 study found that text was the highest rated contact method for customer satisfaction out of all other customer communication channels. Text earned 90 out of 100 points, while phone earned 77 out of 100 and Facebook earned 66” (CFI Group).
2) Make sure your technology is easy to use for your customers.
Is your technology easy to use? Does it have the information that your customers need? Websites that are slow, outdated, or difficult to navigate can be frustrating to your customers. Complex automated phone lines that require callers to listed to several menus before speaking with a real person will annoy just about anyone who is calling to ask a simple question or two. Does an incoming text get lost in the system, or is it responded to in a timely fashion? Marking a customer as VIP within your texting platform is a great way to prioritize texts and guarantee that one of your employees handles the concerns or needs of this customer’s quickly.
3) Train your employees.
Do your employees understand the needs of your customers? Is your dealership synchronized in its goals? Try reevaluating the technological processes in place in your dealership when a customer makes a request or places an order. Putting yourself in the shoes of customers is crucial in understanding their needs. Employees should be properly trained to use your dealership’s technology. This includes explaining to employees the WHYs behind your technology practices. For example, why do I request a customer’s permission to text them before I do? Because even though texting is an efficient, effective form of communication, it can also be personal. There are a few people who just won’t want to receive your texts.
If you’re going to increase customer responsiveness through technology, make it simple and convenient for the customer, and make sure your employees are using the technology successfully. Your potential and current customers will thank you for it.