As consumers increasingly shift their shopping online, choosing to skip visits to traditional retailers, it’s become difficult for businesses to get that all important relationship-building face-to-face time.
In the automotive industry, a similar shift is happening. Industry disrupters are taking the whole purchasing process online, forcing major automotive companies to develop technology that allows consumers to do the same thing, but directly through the dealership.
However, the one thing that many fail to realize is that – without physical interaction – it’s hard to establish trust. A key differentiator franchised dealers still have going for them right now is their service departments. But, even there, customers want convenience, fast transactions and, most of all, good communication.
So, the most forward-thinking dealers take advantage of technology that updates customers via text message and allows approval of service recommendations online or via a smartphone.
And, some dealers are really personalizing the customer experience with this technology.
A friend of a friend, Blake, shared a wonderful interaction he had with a repair facility after his new Jeep, just two weeks old, was stolen. When the Jeep was recovered, it was in poor condition. As Blake waited for his vehicle to be repaired, he occasionally received text messages from the repair facility, updating him on the status of his vehicle. Blake is well known for his sense of humor and he sent a funny reply to one of those updates. Surprisingly, the repair shop played along and this resulted in a truly wonderful customer interaction, one that Blake will not soon forget. As a result, he has widely shared it with his family, friends and associates.
You can read the conversation for yourself.
Yes, believe it or not, this is a real conversation!
Blake got such a kick out of it that he shared it on social media, where many of his friends also found the humor in it. The repair shop brilliantly injected personality into its communications and engaged the consumer. Blake was certainly frustrated that his 2-week old car needed to be in for repairs and the clever banter back and forth with the car repair shop injected a little light-hearted humor into the conversation and accomplished its goal – to keep Blake informed on the status of his vehicle.
As a result, the experience with this car repair shop is certainly memorable for Blake – and in a very good way. The communication had a very personal touch and is obviously not automated. This personal interaction has already led to exposure via word-of-mouth on his social network.
And, there is a very strong chance that, should Blake need repair services in the future, he will return.
Today, customer experience is King. It’s more important than ever to stand out, provide memorable experiences and personalized interactions in order to differentiate your dealership.
This car repair shop figured out a way to personalize the experience by interjecting humor, while keeping the customer informed. By so doing, it will definitely stand out to its customers, and, these unique experiences and interactions should lead to increased retention, word-of-mouth customer acquisition, exposure and, ultimately, more customer loyalty.
Author: Michael Gorun
Michael Gorun is founder of Performance Loyalty Group, a technology-based owner retention and loyalty company. He has more than 25 years in operational service management positions for Ford, Nissan and General Motors. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.