Meet and greet your customers with flair

As with any good date, it starts at the front door. The great customer service you’ve been giving them by phone, email and online has to go a notch higher in person.

Today’s in-command customers know all there is to know.

A whopping 89% of people would go online to read reviews about a potential car purchase (Cone Study, 2011). This means that long before entering the showroom; many of your customers will have been clicking obsessively through online reviews and rating sites, watching videos and reading consumer articles — both about their new car and your dealership.

They know most of what there is to know, and now they’re ready to evaluate their short list of car choices in person, with test drives. Succeeding in being the dealership that gets a test drive is a bit like competing for a date with a beautiful woman. How can you be the suitor that wins this supermodel’s heart?

As with any good date, it starts at the front door. The great customer service you’ve been giving them by phone, email and online has to go a notch higher in person.

Picture this:

A young couple walks through the doors or your dealership. You’re in your element at this moment, building rapport and trust quickly is critical to making the sale. Don’t nod and grunt from behind a desk; greet these potential clients warmly as they walk through the door (Fireworks are optional).

And what’s that in your hand as you greet them? Not champagne and roses, but something more useful: your tablet or mobile device, the one that connects you to all your CRM data.

Perhaps this couple called in earlier, or maybe they’ve bought from you before. If this is the case, it’s time to level the playing field. You’ll know as much about your customers as they do about you.

In fact, customers today expect you to have their data.

Whatever you know about them, you now pull it up on your screen in a simple and friendly way as you chat. If they called earlier about the EX model in dark blue, they want you to be ready to help, not have to explain it all again. Show them how much you value them: have that information right to hand. No scribbling, no confusion, and no shouting across the sales floor.

Don’t be surprised when the customers pull out their own tablets and smartphones to re-check their facts as they look at your stock. (A recent study showed that 34% of customers use either a smartphone or tablet while shopping at dealerships.*). Be sure to have your guest Wi-Fi password at hand along with your tea and soft drinks.

Treat them right at this stage and they’ll be ready to move onto the next. Treat them badly and they’ll leave your dealership, never to return. You won’t get a chance for that second date and they’ll go a competitor.

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*JD Power McGraw Hill Financial The 2014 New Autoshopper Study

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