In the auto world, the customer is king. How do you strike a balance between good customer service policies and coming on too strong? If you’re not sure what it means to put the customer first at your tire shop, or making your shop customer centric, these dos and don’ts are for you:
The Dos and Dont's of Customer Centric Strategy for Tire Dealers
Do: Focus on the customer
The saying “the customer is always right” is more than just lip service. It’s been a key to the service industry for decades because it’s the truth. Your customers deserve (and expect) to be treated with care and attention by your staff.
In the tire business, it can be easy for team members to fall into a routine or a customer service rut. Although you may see the same issue present itself multiple times throughout the workday, it is crucial that you approach each new exchange with the same can-do attitude and enthusiasm as the first. Train your staff to be sympathetic to your customers’ problems and needs, and to effectively form relationships with customers (and keep them coming back to you for years to come).
Do: Operate fairly and selflessly
For better or worse, the auto industry has a reputation. Some of your customers may come in to your tire shop with their guard up, and it will be up to your team to combat whatever negative stereotypes and connotations that might come through the door.
How do you do this? By training your team to have a customer centric approach to business, and to operate fairly and selflessly. What does that look like?
A customer centric approach to service means:
- Considering the needs of the customer before your own
- Respecting the customer’s needs, desires, and concerns
- Supporting the customer by offering them a fair deal and timely service
Do: Offer rewards and loyalty programs
One of the best things you can do for your customers is offer them a reward program. As we’ve discussed previously, a good loyalty program will make your customers feel like they are a part of your community and like you share their values. If you don’t already have a quality loyalty program in place, it’s time to start building one into your customer centric strategy now.
Don’t: Overwhelm your customers
Automobiles - and especially tires - are a nuanced area of expertise. To the untrained eye (i.e., most of your customers) it can be difficult to understand why a certain brand of tires may be a better choice than another.
When it comes to explaining your recommendations to your customers, it’s important to provide them with all of the relevant information, but not to overwhelm them. This is a delicate balancing act, and one that should be approached with care. Make sure that your customer is aware of their options, but be careful not to bog them down with details that only a tire expert would understand.
Don’t: Compete for commission
If your employees are operating on commission, it’s important to set a standard for how they interact with customers. While commission-based positions can be incredibly motivating for the right team, they also open the door to unhealthy infighting and extreme competition. Set a policy now that keeps the customer in focus.
When one member of the team is handling a sale, there should be no attempts at “poaching” customers. This is a tricky balance to strike, since you also want to make sure that your customers are getting the quality care that they deserve. Trust us - you’ll be glad that you put this policy in place from the beginning, rather than struggling to reign in overly-competitive salespeople in the future.
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