Customer driven

The long game

By Martin Hill, Group Director of Strategic Partnerships

As businesses seek differentiation in an ever more transparent, boundary free environment, fantastic service must be a winner. It can also help to move discussions away from price. And now, in an increasingly digital world, there is another crucial benefit – free advertising from delighted customers.

As a household that has seen more than our share of Amazon boxes (all recycled) over the last year, I like a quote from Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos; ‘If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.’.’

It is the principle that has helped drive success for Lookers Volkswagen Northallerton under the guidance of brand manager Alan Lea. It is a principle that works for an offline and especially online approach.

Almost every study I’ve seen over the years claims that an excellent service experience will make price less relevant. Last year I saw a survey of 1,000 people that monetised this belief discovering 62% of people were willing to pay more for a good customer service experience, and only 12% said they would not.

In our motor industry, it is increasingly critical to be obsessive about winning hearts and minds with outstanding service. Plenty has been written about the importance of business culture and I love Alan’s business transformation strategy of opting to adopt a culture that focuses on the customer experience over the money coming in.

Customer service focused solely on securing a sale is transient. The importance of being obsessive in delivering amazing service, without exception is what wins the long-term game and all-important reputation. It is what AutoProtect strives to provide and what Alan and his team are delivering.

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