We aren’t the traditional ‘3 years and change’ purchasers, choosing instead to buy and keep a car for some years. We’ll often make minor changes to wheels, brakes and other stuff to ‘make it our own’. Maybe it’s because of this that we fell foul to an interesting situation with our most recent purchase? This got me thinking about the broader concept of the customer journey, and how what cars my family and I choose applies to it.
We already knew the car and model we liked, it was just time to upgrade to a newer, higher spec, lower mileage model. In the months leading to the decision to replace the current car, a service was due. During the service a worn engine part was noticed and I telephoned to order it at my local garage’s request. Several phone calls later and I eventually managed to convince the manufacturer that this was indeed the part I needed and that they didn’t need to check it for me. Better still, the local garage would allow me to keep the loan car for the two days.
Despite chasing, it took nearly a week to receive the part and then the service team refused to deliver it themselves to the local garage despite it being within sight of their premises! My local garage went and got the part themselves to speed the process up as at this point I had been without a loan car for close to a week.
Fast forward a few weeks and all is well. We’ve decided on the exact model we want to upgrade to and a quick tour of the web reveals there is a fine example in the dealership ready and waiting.
Around this time, I took our other car to the local dealership to book a service … still well under warranty so no decision there! I was surprised to find the same model that we were interested in sitting in the carpark outside the dealership with a for sale notice. Further investigation revealed it was a trade in. The price and mileage were comparable to the other manufacturer’s dealership and a decision had to be made.
So do we buy one make of car instead of another just to get that level of better customer service – yes we did!
Why are things so different between the dealers then? I reflected on this for some time before I came to the most obvious conclusion… that one manufacturer view the after sales team as being equally if not more important than the pre sales team. They recognise that this will have a greater effect on resale than anything else – so much so that the most senior member of the dealership in our local dealer is the head of after sales.
Knowing not just your customer, but what influences and motivates them is a huge business tool, and is essential in an ever-competitive market. Being able to track where the touch points are and continual assessment of weaknesses and strengths can allow the business to focus and succeed. It’s all about the customer journey.
Download our eBook to gain insight into mapping your organisation’s customer journey, rate customer satisfaction on touchpoints, design new processes and reinvent existing ones, and evaluate the effectiveness of your processes.