“We all want to believe that the world has been tailored for us.” — Unknown
What builds retention?
Relationships build retention, and if you want to build relationships, you need to start practicing C-level service. The future of our service business is not paved with gravy services, easy repairs and lay down customers. It’s paved with retention built on the ability of the personnel in your dealership to build long-term relationships with your customers.
Listed below are six steps to create C-level service and build retention.
1. Caring (ker-ing)…to provide for, to look after, as in, “I’ll take care of that for you,” or “Let me take care of that for you.” It is a demonstration of one’s willingness to go beyond the definition of the word. To care, one simply needs to ask the question, “What else might this customer need?” then provide a solution and take action.
2. Concern (ken surn)…to take an interest in or regard for a person or thing. To feel concern about one’s feelings or look after one’s wishes, as in, “I can understand how you feel,” or “I will make sure that this gets done for you.” You can demonstrate concern by accurately writing repair orders and asking the customer for confirmation.
3. Create (kre at’)…to bring about, give rise to as in “creating memories and exceeding expectations.” Every encounter with your customer is an opportunity to create a memory. The type of memory is up to you, how they remember it is up to your customer. What do you want them to remember about you?
4. Courtesy (kurt e se)…a polite or considerate act or remark, such as saying “please” and “thank you.” Providing C-level service means being courteous at every opportunity. Notice that the definition also says “act.” That means opening a door, picking up a dropped item, holding something while they look for something else, putting the phone down when they are standing in front of you, and the most critical piece of courtesy, listening to understand. Listening is the key to courtesy.
5. Considerate, ion (ken sid ‘er at)…having regard for others and their feelings, as in taking the extra step and spending a few extra minutes getting to know your customer. Don’t forget to ask how they are “feeling” or “doing.” Remind them that you are human too, and that you want to get to know them and their wants and needs. Consideration is the first step to building a relationship. Nobody wants to be around someone who is not considerate and does not care, and they certainly do not want to do business with them.
6. Customize (kus’tem iz’)…to make according to individual specifications as in customizing a C-level experience for your customers. Customize comes in many forms, from simple gestures like remembering their name or saying, “thank you,” to leaving a small gift (like a chocolate or a mint) on their dashboard, to even writing a handmade thank-you card with your name and contact information in case they need something else. You are only limited by your imagination.
Pro Tip: Put your hands on a book titled, “The Simple Truths of Service” (inspired by Johnny the Bagger) and you can’t go wrong. Buy a copy for everyone in your store and make it required reading.
Here is the secret to retention and one that everyone on your team needs to understand:
Providing C-level service and building retention is not any harder than providing regrettable and forgettable service. All it takes is a little awareness, a little commitment and a little desire to do things differently. Once you start with the six C’s and see the results, you won’t want to go back.