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The drive to continuously grow and improve is at the heart of the MRAA, our members and our staff. That’s why we’re launching this blog: to share what we’re learning in our work and in our lives with you – and in hopes you’ll share what you’re learning too.

 

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Follow-up is Critical to Building Loyalty

Posted By Liz Keener, Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Updated: Friday, October 12, 2018

Earning one sale from a customer is great, but building upon that relationship is key to earning service business and the subsequent sales. That’s why follow-up is so important.

Last month I explained why I bought the motorcycle I bought and how the salesperson understood me and my wants. However, since that purchase, my experience with that dealership has gone cold.

It seems that after I bought my bike, that dealership stopped caring. They earned my money and moved on to the next person. Does that make me feel welcome? No. Does that build my loyalty? Definitely not.

As great as the sales experience was, everything from the delivery on has been disappointing. At delivery, I was sent back to the service department to pick up my bike. There was little excitement, little instruction, and my bike was dusty. I was so thrown from the experience that I forgot to ask important questions, like where the manual is, so I can get to know my bike. I had to go back to get that instruction a few minutes later.

Since picking up the bike almost two months ago, I haven’t received one phone call or email asking me about how I’m enjoying my bike or if I need any further assistance.

In fact, just this week the dealership missed a key follow-up opportunity. My license plate finally arrived from the DMV, and the call to tell me about that was purely informational – again no questions about my motorcycling experience or if I need anything else to enjoy riding more. Later in the day, I stopped into the dealership, and my plate was simply handed to me with no other interaction.

Three people were on the floor of the dealership – one customer was being helped by two employees at the parts counter. I had to stop a third to be helped, and again no one asked me about my bike or if I was interested in any parts or accessories now that I’ve spent some time on it. In fact, I could use a tank bag and am interested in other accessories as well. But no one asked.

As any customer experience education has taught us, loyalty is built on the entire experience at your dealership, not one sale. Be mindful that you’re not leaving customers hanging after they make a purchase from you.

Tags:  customer experience  expectations  Experiences  follow-up  loyalty  motorcycle dealerships  relationships  Sales 

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Communication Is Key, Right?

Posted By Allison Gruhn, Monday, September 24, 2018

How many times have we heard the cliché that “communication is key”? Or, that it’s better to over-communicate to avoid misunderstandings?

In customer relationships, it is not enough to merely communicate.  Here’s a recent experience of mine that I believe proves that how often you are communicating with your customers and what you are actually saying, is even more important. Is your message sincere? Or is it just lip service?   

Last summer, a storm rolled through Minneapolis and caused damage to our siding and roof. After many “storm chasers” knocked on our door to offer services, my husband and I decided to go with a contractor who was recommended from a friend, and who lived in our area. We had an initial meeting to discuss the work that was needed, and decided to add-on some additional home improvement items. Our contract was signed and we were excited to have the work begin.

And then we waited. And waited. And waited.

Just waiting for the work to begin was agonizing. We signed our contract in August, with the promise that the work would be completed in time for Thanksgiving. But we waited. Waited for materials to be delivered, for a dumpster to be delivered, for any communication of a timeline. Anything.

We finally reached out to our contractor, who instead of taking a proactive approach and communicating with us a plan about the work schedule, left us hanging with multiple excuses of “I haven’t heard from the siders yet” or “I’m waiting for the shingles to be delivered” or “the materials were delayed from the factory” or “I ordered the wrong garage door,” or … or … or. At one point, we actually received a message that said: “We haven’t forgotten about you. Sorry about my crummy communication skills. I’ll let you know as soon as I know a better timeline.”

After every excuse, we waited days to weeks with no communication or updates, which caused us to become upset and frustrated. It seemed as if we were always the ones to be reaching out to him, instead of him contacting us first. But more importantly, when he did finally respond to us, he’d make promises he wouldn’t deliver on. So we lost faith in his words.

So the question here is, how do you stay in touch with your customers? When their boat is in for service, do you wait hours, days, a week or even a month before providing an update? When that part finally shows up, do you let the customer know, or do you just let the technician know? When your customer’s new boat is on order, are you diligent about communicating updates from the factory with them?

It is not enough to just communicate. That is the basic expectation. What you say and how you say it is just the first step. If you wait until the customer asks, you’re not meeting expectations. You need to be proactive with your communication. Think through what it’s like to be the customer and how you can exceed expectations and deliver an incredible buying and ownership experience. And never forget that your follow-through -- what you do after you make the promises – is what truly defines the quality of the customer experience.

Tags:  communication  continuous improvement  customer experience  expectations  experience  Experiences  misunderstandings  relationships 

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