The Writing on the Wall
Consider the messages you’re sending to customers
On a recent visit to a local dealership showroom, I noticed a few things that, in my humble opinion, could impact the customer’s experience negatively:
• Location and accessibility of a “Guest Log" – Sitting just outside the “tower” was a 4-foot high podium that resembled a lectern. On the podium in plain view of everyone sat a log with big words on top that said “TODAY’S UPS”.
It looked like a typical form from one of the big suppliers. It’s the one that has “Closing Ratio” in the upper right corner with the oversized % sign and the words “…should be 50%” underneath it.
• Use of the glass tower walls – While we promote and encourage an appointment log for managers, we don’t recommend special internal incentives for salespeople and specific vehicles to be displayed in view of the customer. In this particular case, weekend spiffs, terms for splits and special payout bonuses on used cars were listed in plain view for anyone who knew how to read.
Frequent readers are familiar with our position on the use of proper words and the importance of body language in building rapport with customers. But one thing we haven’t addressed much is the subliminal or hidden messages your showroom may be sending.
Customers spend a great deal of time roaming the showroom. Whether they are in the process of negotiations or waiting for a vehicle in service, customers can see the writing on the wall. And given time to think, customers will form opinions of how you do business based on what they see in the showroom.
So do a quick inventory of what’s hanging in and around your showroom. Put yourself in the customer's place and ask “What would I think about this dealership if I were shopping here?”
And then make the changes that will improve your chances of presenting a positive image.
Got an opinion?