Decoding your customers

Knowing your customers can help keep them satisfied

Your customers are important sources of information. The more you know about them, the easier it can be to enhance their satisfaction.

That’s why it’s important, especially from a customer relations perspective, to know how to create an accurate customer profile that helps define customer behaviour and rating during the resolution process.

By interacting with your customers during the resolution process, you’ll be able to tap into how your team collectively views your customer.
Once these aspects of your profile are mapped out, you’ll be ready to develop a strategy to consistently satisfy these customers.

Customer profiling, segmentation and mapping  

Solving almost any customer challenge starts with knowing your customer’s profile. Unfortunately, there are many types of customers. You can’t predict, pick and choose your customers. You have to deal with anyone, regardless of their personality, attitude, behavioural, lifestyle, demographic and other factors.

Listening to what customers need and accurately responding is the secret of a successful resolution process. The better you serve your customers, the more successful you will be.

Know your customers

Before profiling your customers, you need to know who they are and what they want. Successfully managing your customer relationships involves finding out about their behaviour and habits based on psychographic factors such as personality, attitude, interest and lifestyles.

Record this data and create profiles of individual customers.

Prepare a report of a customer’s current and anticipated future needs from one-on-one discussions. The objective is to understand customer requirements and fulfill them in an efficient and cost effective manner to retain them.

It’s just like selecting a menu according to the tastes of your invited guests so that they can enjoy a delicious dinner. Similarly, in the business world, it’s important to understand in advance the profile (or taste) of our customers to achieve effective resolution.

Customer profile by complexity

At Brimell, our customers are categorized into five groups and each group is identified with a critical code (C) and a description to match the customer profile based on demographic, geographic, and psychographic characteristics, as well as the purchase and service experiences with our dealership.

I have designed a comparative template/chart (see graphic) to ensure customer profiles consistency across our dealership.

These classifications are useful for our customer satisfaction team members, especially for those who are dealing with customer issues for the first time. This guide also supports and enhances our satisfactory resolution process to regain customer trust, retention and loyalty.

Rating customer profile codes

Here’s an example of how I would rate a customer according to our chart:

decoding

Courtesy: The Brimell Group

Mr. Jones came to see me for pending issues related to his vehicle. I checked and road tested his vehicle for brake noise. All brakes are working within Toyota specifications. All concerns related with the brake noise have been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. Case is updated in system and closed. I rate this a C4-SR.

In the above example, C4-SR is rated as C4 for difficult customer (per our chart) and SR means this customer came with a service department issue. If the same customer comes back with new issues, the CM and ERA file will be updated accordingly.

If a customer comes with a sales issue this could be rated as C4-SL, or C4-PT (parts) and C4-PC ( Paint & Collision).

Consistency is an integral part of customer relationship management and is important for the long-term success of your customer growth. But each member of your team needs to be working towards customer satisfaction, otherwise your efforts could be fragmented and counterproductive.

By requiring the customer profile be documented, easily accessible and agreed upon by all members of your customer satisfaction team, you’re ensuring consistency across the dealership.

Once you’ve established a customer profile, everyone must agree to participate and practice to achieve customer satisfaction. In order for it to be effective, it must be continually updated based on every interaction with the customer.

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Canadian auto dealer