“Selling is no longer what you have to offer, but about meeting the specific needs of the customer,” Meyer Pheiffer, Managing Member and co-founder of Expel SA, said at the inaugural 2021 F&I Industry Virtual Summit on Tuesday, 18 May.
Meyer was speaking in a breakout session of the virtual session on the importance of value-added products to bolster a dealer’s second gross and maintaining customer satisfaction.
“I believe that, even with the current situation of the pandemic, human interactions are still an important factor in keeping the customer for life,” he said.
He told the delegates that one way of retaining your customer is to keep the communication flow open and look at the relationship in the same way as a marriage. “Just like a successful marriage needs open and regular communication, so does your sales staff need to keep continuous contact with the customer. This means not only relying on the automated digital platforms sending out messages, but picking up the phone yourself and calling the customer,” he explained.
“Ask your customers if they are satisfied, and if they are unhappy about something, ask how it can be resolved and then actively try to sort out the problem,” Pheiffer emphasised a well-known, but sometimes neglected fact.
A customer-centric approach, according to Meyer, means that all communication activities are well coordinated. This means that every person in contact with the customer must take full responsibility and assume that the buck stops with them.
“Keeping customers happy and anticipating their needs, will undoubtedly mean a happy and returning customer, which inevitably could lead to an increase in sales and profitability,” he said.
In conclusion, Meyer said that by keeping the customer updated continuously with relevant and appropriate information, customers can be shaped into life-long ambassadors for your dealership and your brand.
JSE-listed Barloworld has finalised the sale of its motor retail business, comprising 38 motor franchise dealerships in South Africa and Botswana.
MasterDrive and Castell Projects and Services will be launching a driver training programme during June, which is also youth month, aimed at young drivers.
Right to Repair South Africa (R2RSA) has welcomed the pledge by the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) to support the Competition Commission Guidelines for Competition in the South African Automotive Aftermarket.