Tis the season for shopping, so customer service is in high gear. But what is the difference between genuine customer service and the scripted kind? Does it make a difference to the buyer? Will it have any lasting effect on the seller?
My wife and I have been car shopping for months trying to find a replacement for an older truck we sold. When I am in no hurry to buy something I have the patience to wait forever to find what I’m looking for, and yet since I wanted to get a smaller truck this time our options were limited. Only a couple of manufacturers still make new small trucks, and although I was fine with a used vehicle the choices have been few and far between.
We found our truck this past weekend on a dealer’s lot. It was the Ford Ranger I wanted sitting on a Honda lot. The sales experience was warm and friendly and lacked any pressure at all. Having researched this vehicle online I knew what the expected selling price was, and yet they did something called TruePrice, which was their lowest asking price, with no need to negotiate. The entire process was as if I was part of the family and that the relationship was more important than selling a vehicle. And it wasn’t just the sales people, it was every person we encountered in the building.
Yet over these past few months I can truthfully say that every single manufacturing dealer (Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan, Toyota, etc.) have been providing what I am calling Genuine Customer Service. It is as if in the past years of our lousy economy, the major players have really stepped up their game and decided to concentrate on the customer experience. Not only was it a pleasure to shop I would go back to any of them the next time I need to buy a vehicle.
Now, the corner dealers, and the private sellers were more of what I expected. Some good, some could care less if you bought anything. It was hit and miss because they all have different ideas of what they need to do to sell a car. Most of them I went because I saw something that might work, but most I would never go back to again.
We had a great shopping experience with the ones that practice “Genuine Customer Service” and I believe that these sellers will find that even if they didn’t sell a shopper a car today, they have planted a seed for the future. Being treated well, sadly, is a rare customer experience. So when we are treated as valuable, we tend to remember it longer and we tend to tell others. Pass it on!