I’ve been working with Dealers since 1993; one of the things I’ve seen in common amongst the most successful businesses is their ability to generate positive word of mouth. Referrals propel a Dealership into another level of both growth and profitability. The question I’ve discussed with Dealers on numerous occasions is, “how do I generate positive word of mouth?” Over the years, here are some of the key takeaways I’ve heard.
Doing great work generates positive word of mouth but isn’t strictly a function of the work you do. Setting realistic expectations with the customer is a part of this equation that is often forgotten. Customers will sometimes have notions about a product that simply aren’t true, it’s the responsibility of the Dealer to educate the customer and insure they know what to expect from the products. Questions as simple as “do I need to clean it once it’s installed?” come up often and need to be answered in a way where the customer’s long lasting enjoyment of the product is enhanced.
People will talk positively about your business when they’re treated and communicated with respectfully. As business owners, Dealers have a busy day. Appointments with customers can sometimes sneak up on a schedule and cause a time management plan to go awry. A simple call letting the customer know you’re running late is the most respectful way of handling this situation and the one that will lead to long lasting satisfaction from the customer. The same thing can be said when you schedule the project or any other appointments set during the transaction.
Every time your business interacts with a customer, it’s a chance to build a relationship. How a phone is answered by using “Good afternoon, CTi, can I help you?” vs. “Hello” can go a long way towards a customer feeling good about sharing a Dealer’s information with one of their neighbors. The same is true in each interaction your business has with a customer.
Getting a customer to not only share your information with people who ask but start to spread the word of your business is the goal, creating evangelists will propel your business to new levels.