Carl Sewell: The 10 Commandments of Customer Service


Editor's note: Please be sure to read the June 5, 2017 article in Automotive News on legendary car dealer Carl Sewell: 

Carl Sewell's "Customers for Life: How to Turn That Onetime Buyer into a Lifetime Customer" has sold over 900,000 copies worldwide.

Sewell Dealerships: A service experience that puts you on top of the world.

There are many stories of successful business leaders and dealerships using it as their bible and giving copies to all their staff.

“Customers for Life” is eminently readable with short chapters, plenty of anecdotes and no management science gobbledygook. Just common sense principles that work.

Here are the Commandments, as written by this world-class retailer:

1. Bring ’em back alive. Ask customers what they want and give it to them again and again.

2. Systems not smiles. Saying please and thank you doesn’t ensure you’ll do the job right the first time. Only systems guarantee you that.

3. Under promise, over deliver. Customers expect you to keep your word. Exceed it

4. When the customer asks the answer is always “yes.”

5. Fire your inspectors and consumer relations department. Every employee who deals with clients must have the authority to handle complaints.

6. No complaints? Something’s wrong. Encourage your customers to tell you what you’re doing wrong.

7. MEASURE EVERYTHING. Professional sports teams do it. You should too.

8. Salaries are unfair. Pay people like partners.

9. Your mother was right. Show people respect. Be polite. It works.

10. "Japanese" them. Learn how the best do it: make their systems your own. Then improve them

Sewell focuses on the expectations and demands of contemporary consumers and employees, showing that businesses can remain committed to quality service in the fast-paced new millennium by sticking to his time-proven approach: Figure out what customers want and make sure they get it. 

For more information on the Sewell family of dealerships:

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