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Love your car dealer?

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

...and more importantly, does your car dealer "love" you?

On a recent trip to a local premium car dealer I bumped into a friend who just received her car from annual service. Since I was looking around for a new car I asked hear about her experience with the dealer. She started to talk about how much she loved her car and that the service of the dealer was generally ok. However, she admitted that she was really upset today since the car typically comes back cleaned after the service. However, today she was told to come back another day for the cleaning because the car wash was out of order.

So I asked her the question of how likely she would be to recommend the dealer to a friend or relative on a scale of 1 to 10. Her answer was a clear 7. In NPS (Net Promoter Score) terms, that would make her a Passive Customer (i.e. neither driving loyalty nor shying other customers away).

I then went on to ask her about what it would it take to get a higher score.

Her response: "There is a fantastic independent car wash station just next door. If they really cared about me, they would have simply driven the car through there. Instead, they chose what's easy for them and apologised for the broken service rather what's easy for me i.e. not having to come back another day. Additionally, if they really cared about me, they would have offered me a coffee while I was waiting. After all, why do they have these expensive machines around?"

This discussion reminded me how easy it can be to meet customers' expectations if you care to see the situation from the customers eyes. Things don't go smoothly sometimes. However, it is too easy to go down the route of what's easier from a company's viewpoint in that situation. In the above discussion, it would have taken less than EUR 15 i.e. car wash next door + a coffee to show that they care. Instead, they offered an apology. Put that against the EUR 700 my friend pays on average for an annual service.

If we miss what's easier for the customer and focus on internal procedures instead, we might miss the opportunity to create an enthusiastic customer. After all, what better opportunity do we have to show a customer that you truly care for them than going above and beyond when things do not go smoothly.

I invite you to explore together with us the ideas of what it takes to create companies that truly care about their customers. That's what this blog is all about and for us it starts with Leadership as a Passion.



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