In today’s durable goods market there are two main factors other than the product itself that will ultimately influence the consumer’s purchase decision, regardless of the type of product. These two factors are quality of service and customer satisfaction. Turning the consumer from a potential customer to a loyal customer is a complex process. The business through its’ representatives must demonstrate that it will satisfy the consumer’s need for high quality product and service as well as accurate and reliable information.
Quality customer service begins the moment the consumer sets foot in the business. It starts with a genuine welcoming smile and a firm handshake. The confidence and enthusiasm of the business representative resonates with the customer, making them feel comfortable that they are dealing with a knowledgeable and expert individual. Friendliness and interest in the customer’s personal needs and opinions eases tension and begins to establish a trust relationship between customer and business representative. Straight-forward product presentation devoid of misrepresentations, misleading statements or false promises is key to building trust between potential customer and business representative. With access to a wealth of information from a wide variety of sources including the internet, the consumer is better informed than ever before. The business must recognize where it can add value and fill in the information gaps as the consumer seeks to educate themselves and become comfortable doing business with them. Treating the consumer with the utmost respect and dignity is an absolute today.
Customer satisfaction is not only a function of the ultimate purchase outcome, but of the entire process of research, purchase and service after the sale. Satisfaction begins with the consumer’s initial introduction to the business and continues through the process of learning about the product and meeting people who will service their needs throughout product ownership and finally with negotiating the final deal. Satisfaction with the entire process from product features to knowledgeable staff effects the consumer’s buy decision. Customer satisfaction leads to customer loyalty which is fostered by quality product, open and honest communication and a high level of expert and excellent service. High customer satisfaction leads to customer loyalty which often results in repeat business, the ultimate goal of every business.
Competition is fierce and the consumer has a wide range of choices. What differentiates one company from another is a serious and professional approach to building excellent customer relationships through quality customer service ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction.
Customer Service – by Mark Odat, COO, HUB Hyundai / Mitsubishi