customer service

Selling Cars Online or Offline: The “Traditional” Up






  The buyer we’re most familiar with is often called the “Traditional” Up. I put “Traditional” in quotes because today’s Up is anything but traditional. As we see in the data, today’s Up (unlike the Up from just a few years ago) absolutely knows what they and they have a really good idea what they’re(…)






Selling Cars Online or Offline: Not Everyone Wants to Buy Their Next Car Online






  Be prepared to be shocked, but not everyone wants to buy their next car online. Not even close. While there are certainly consumers who will fully buy new and used vehicles online today, they likely represent no more than five to seven percent of total buyers. This means they’re still an important group to(…)






Selling Cars Online or Offline: It’s All About A Great Experience!






  (This is the first article in a multi-post series.) Throughout this series we’re going to explore how top dealers are successfully selling cars today: the way their customers want to buy. In the process, they’re creating great buying experiences that lead to higher grosses and real market share growth. Moreover, they’re leveraging these great(…)






Messenger: Not Just For Facebook Anymore!






  For car dealers interested in connecting with potential buyers, Facebook Messenger has a clear advantage over every other form of communication: When a prospect connects with you or asks you a question via Messenger, you can immediately gather all of the public information they’ve included in their Facebook profile.  For all Facebook users, this(…)






United Breaks Humans






Lots of you, whether you are a frequent flier or involved somehow in digital marketing and reputation management, are aware that United Breaks Guitars. That is, you’ve viewed the nearly 8-year old music video written, performed and produced by a band that claims they watched as United Airlines’ employees carelessly flung their guitars around the(…)






Why Carvana Will Fail (and How They Might Succeed)






  (This is an updated and edited version of my two-part series originally posted on the 3 Birds Marketing blog.) Before we dive into why Carvana will fail (and how it might succeed), I want to make sure we’re all up to speed on the used car market, in general. Unless you just don’t pay(…)






Chatbots are Here, They’re Necessary, and They’re Surprisingly Inexpensive






  …oh, and for car dealers, chatbots are moving metal! Time for some quick level-setting with the car dealer readers out there: Facebook is not going away; Most of your customers are already there; Your kitten pictures and inventory vomits aren’t being read; and Facebook Ads work, but you need to start communicating with these(…)






Hey Car Dealer: Stop Letting Carvana (and Everyone Else) Define You!






Hey Car Dealer: Stop Letting Carvana (and Everyone Else) Define You!  If you believe the corporate manifestos and marketing pitches of every automotive retail-related startup for the last twenty years, then you’d think America’s car dealerships are staffed by a bunch of puppy-kicking thieves providing zero value as they work overtime to deliver the absolute(…)






The Customer Experience Series: The 7 Traits of a Great CSR






  Wait, what’s a CSR again? CSR stands for Customer Service Representative. For some of you this might mean anyone who answers your phones. It might also mean everyone on your sales team. You see, any employee or manager on your frontlines should be solving customer service issues; and anyone who should be solving customer(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Ditch the Antiquated Call-Center Metrics!






  Okay, you’ve got an empowered customer service team, but their average call times are still too high! What the heck? Average call times? You’re measuring average call times for a customer service team that’s supposed to be solving issues? Is this 2017 or 1967? If you’re like a lot of the call centers that(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Empower the Frontlines Dammit!






  It’s time to stop escalating the customer service issues in your business. While good leaders allow their subordinates to escalate customer issues, great leaders don’t see many escalated issues at all. This is because great leaders not only allow those on the frontline to solve issues; they expect it. Would you like to solve(…)






Car Dealerships and Culture in a Flattening Market






  If you examine the average dealership’s sales from 2010 through 2016, you’ll notice that they steadily grew year-over-year. Of course, the average dealer grew because the market grew; and while everyone saw sales increases over that period, only a small percentage of dealers experienced an actual increase in their market share.   Interestingly, during this same period, most dealers(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Kill ‘em with Kindness






  In the last post from this series, we learned to picture the customer with the issue as someone’s slightly confused, 95-year-old great grandmother. We do this primarily so that we’re always on our best behavior; but this exercise will also help us handle the nastiest of irate customers by teaching us to kill them(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Reactive Customer Service






  Resolving customer issues is not actual customer service, it’s reactive customer service. Businesses that assume this is actual customer service completely miss the point of managing the customer experience. The goal, of course, is to eliminate issues before they occur. When you’re faced with resolving an issue – that is, practicing reactive customer service(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Oops, We Screwed The Pooch. Now What?






  I think readers of this series are fairly clear on my feeling that great customer means never having an issue in the first place, right? Well, okay, but what happens when we mess up? What happens when we screw the pooch? Responding to and solving a customer service issue is required whenever your team(…)






The Customer Experience Series: But They’re Just After Dinner Mints!






  There’s a great 2002 study on manipulating the customer experience that was published in The Journal of Applied Social Psychology detailing how something as small as an after dinner mint can be used to dramatically increase a waiter’s tips. For those of you not wanting to read the entire study (I don’t blame you),(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Customers for Life






  Lesson number five of our Five Simple Strategies to ensure we never have customer service issues, is to always maintain the goal of Customers for Life. Why customers for life? Well, as we learned in the first post in this series, it costs six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Real Alignment






  Fourth on our list of the 5 Simple Strategies that guarantee you never have customer issues in the first place is dubbed Real Alignment (like “wheel alignment,” get it?).  The alignment I’m referring to here is getting your customers’ expectations aligned with your realities. In other words, we are going to manage their expectations(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Convenience Store






  The third simple strategy of the 5 Simple Strategies that keep you from ever having customer services issues in the first place is called Convenience Store… as in 7-11; Circle K; QuikTrip; Wawa; RaceTrac; Speedway; Sheetz. You know, convenience stores; stores that are convenient. To prevent customer service issues from occurring in your business,(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Expect the Unexpected






  Any real fan of Road House (1989) knows that when Dalton gives his famous “Three Simple Rules” speech, he actually combines two rules into the first rule, giving his bouncer team four rules: “All you have to do is follow three simple rubies. One: never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two: take it(…)






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