The Four Buckets of Customers, from AutoPoint.
We all have a myriad of contacts that we consciously (or subconsciously) place into separate categories in our relationships. These categories include family, close friends, business associates, colleagues and acquaintances. Most people tend to act differently depending on which group they are surrounded by at any particular moment. People may relax a little, be more vulnerable around family. While perhaps act with more formality when networking with people they are not as familiar with.
The same is true with our customers. In the automotive industry it’s fairly simple to identify which category your customers fit into, if you’re paying attention. The key is to be cognizant of these customer categories so as to interact with them in the most effective manner.
- Freshman – These are the customers that haven’t taken a whiff of coffee brewing in your service lounge. They have just made their first vehicle purchase from your dealership and are in for their initial maintenance. Or, it could be the person that got fed up with the service department across town and decided to give yours a try. The sky is the limit and you can make or break the relationship quickly at this stage. At this point there is every opportunity to wow them with outstanding service. And, if you hit it off right, they’re going to be back for more. But if things don’t go well, you’ll have to go above and beyond the next time you see them – if you see them at all.