Columns Meldrum News

Meldrum: The customer is king

Time 8:15 am, November 5, 2013

photoHOW ‘customer-centric’ do you think your business is? Much is being made of the need to have a strong web presence, with dynamic search engine optimisation that delivers outstanding site visitor numbers, which then boosts footfall and, significantly, increases car sales.

But, in the midst of all this activity, where is the customer? Surely the important thing to remember is that it’s how we relate to our customer that counts, not the technology we use?

Whilst modern technology can provide many benefits, it cannot replace the fundamental need for us to treat our customers fairly, with respect and integrity, because, and I’m sure you’ll agree, selling cars is all about people and how we serve their individual needs.

Gaining a reputation for putting the customer first is worth all our advertising and marketing budgets combined — it’s a major factor in determining how much a business will grow.

We have an operating principle at First Response that says: ‘Ensure that what matters to our customers is at the heart of what we do.’

What does this mean? Well, if whatever we’re doing isn’t servicing a customer’s needs or making it easy for the customer to do business with us, then we are obliged to challenge why we’re doing it. The success of how well we put this principle into practice can be measured in the substantial increase in customers who remain with us for a second and third vehicle, as well as the growing number of car dealers who add us to their panel of lenders.

We would suggest that it makes more sense to invest time and effort ensuring that your staff understand the value of customer retention and customer referrals than to continuously waste huge amounts of money advertising for new customers — because it’s all about the people.


Jim Meldrum's avatar

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