After being in the Automotive Industry for almost 30 years - I have time and time again been disappointed about the treatment of customers in this market and the lack of listening to customers needs and concerns. I took a break from this industry to work with Walt Disney World as a Canadian Representative back in the 80’s , not only was I proud to represent my Country and constantly defend how we do not live in igloos – that we do have modern facilities and communities, it was the experience and it felt good to share how great our way of living is. – what I was actually doing is selling Canada and how easy is that ? We have great people, great lands, great waters, great views, great food and so on. What I did learn most with Walt Disney World is the customer experience – smile when you don’t want to and others will smile back, if someone looks unhappy – help, if a child has gone missing explain we are all family and find that child as if they are own, your job is an experience that everyone coming thru sees how proud you are in that position – everyone is a “guest” in the house, very rare you hear about a negative experience at the “Happiest Place On Earth” . What I do find discouraging is it seems as though less and less are taking on these views – its about profit but if you make your “guest” comfortable in the house they will be back – SIMPLE. Its not about how much money you make, how you try to form your own opinions on to your customers, how it takes all your energy to greet them make the customer feel welcomed as soon as they come thru that door, be there to fix an issue – how dare the customer have an issue – you may be surprised how little it takes to fix, follow-up is almost non existent even though there is so many aspects out there to do so , facebook, twitter, email, text and call – when I first started we had the phone - that s it and it got done because that is all we had.
I hear constantly from customers out there – who protects us? Why do I feel like a need to defend if I am paying cash? Why do I feel guilty about saying no to a product? Why did I not get offered that product but they pushed another product on me that I did not want? Why do I hate buying a car? Why are they not listening to me? What is the difference of these products and programs – and if its better why do I not get that option and let me decide?
We need to realize that the customer has already done their homework and if they are in your store they are there to buy – how easy is that – all you need to do is treat them with respect and listen. Offer them the best experience and products that are available and they will be back. Disney is the master of repeat business and they keep it simple – make the “guest” happy and they will want to visit again. As much as social media helps us it can turn around and bite hard and kill the deal.