It all starts with respect

Treat customers with respect, and they will come back

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Respect is the backbone of customer service. Respecting your customer is really just about treating them the way you would like to be treated. It’s a known fact that before we can expect to be respected, we first have to show by example that we will reciprocate.

Treating customers with respect and dignity must be a core commitment of your business mission statement.

Respect starts with you

You can’t expect your customers to experience excellence if it doesn’t exist at the dealership. Respect starts from the top down, and management should treat their employees with the same respect and behaviour they would like to see their customers treated with.

Common courtesy goes a long way with people, and I often find myself thinking that as a society we seem to have lost sight of this very simple gesture of behaviour.

Sometimes a customer is legitimately upset. For example, he or she may have brought their car in more than once to have the car serviced for the same problem. So, you should ask yourself, “What will make them happy?”

Maybe the customer wants a refund for the repairs or a credit for a future repair, or maybe the customer doesn’t want any financial compensation. Perhaps they just want their car fixed and taken care of by a service advisor who truly cares, shows empathy, respect (this one’s important) and apologizes for the inconvenience.

In all cases, caring about customer’s patronage is vital, as your customers have selected your products and services instead of those of the competition.

You should feel great about that choice and let the customer know of your appreciation. It can be a simple but heartfelt thank you to customers for choosing your dealership for products and services, even though they have other choices.

The rude and unreasonable customer is the one you are most likely to fail to treat with respect.

There are many techniques to deal with those situations, but keeping your cool, and focusing on respecting that person, will bring you satisfaction, impress any other customers who happen to overhear — along with your colleagues — and may resolve your customer’s issue and turn them into a terrific customer.

Respecting privacy

Customers are increasingly cautious when sharing their personal information, so dealerships must clearly obtain their consent and outline how they intend to use their information without compromising security or privacy.

By respecting customer preferences and appeasing their primary concerns, dealerships can consistently boost loyalty and reinforce trust to sustain engagement and satisfaction.

Respecting time

Most complaints I hear from customers have to do with time delays.

Customers love to have their vehicles serviced quickly and they are more conscious of their time while waiting for their car.

As such, when customers realize that a dealership they do business with is wasting their time by providing poor service or forcing them to wait on the phone for customer support, they will consider finding another dealership to do business with who will give better service and quickly fix problems.

As a result, we should respect the customer’s time.

If you are interrupted from a task by a customer, try to address that customer’s needs as quickly as possible. Delay your task to take care of that customer.

If it’s a phone call and you have to put the customer on hold, then be sure you don’t take too long before getting back on the phone to give an update on what you are doing for them, or ask if you can call them back.

Long wait times on the phone are a common source of frustration. When you call a company for help or support, don’t you just hate hearing, “We’re sorry, due to unexpected call volume you may experience longer than normal wait times?”

Situations like these are enough to make you feel as if some companies don’t respect your time.

Exceptional customer service starts and ends with respect. If you respect the customer as a human being, and truly honor their right to be treated fairly and honestly, everything else will be much easier. Respect your prospects and turn them into a raving fan.

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Canadian auto dealer