Successful businesses of the future will need to rely on solid customer service processes. In an industry where relationships still matter, being customer centric is more important than ever with a focus that has the customer’s best interests in mind.
It’s service with a caring attitude that helps the customer become and/or remain successful. So, culture and attitude are keys to the right process in a farm equipment dealership.
Each department has its own platform to launch, develop and maintain a customer-centric relationship. When orchestrated with the other departments, this can create a symphony that protects and watches over the customer for life.
There are 7 main processes in the customer-centric relationship:
Teaching, modeling and developing the relationship.
Earning trust and credibility.
Becoming a partner and consultant to help the customer analyze needs and aspirations.
Co-discovery of solutions that meet the needs and aspiration of the customer.
Overcoming any final barriers and objections while preparing the solution/order for final approval.
Delivering, training, implementing and integrating the solution into the rest of the customer’s business.
Continued customer follow-up and feedback.
When analyzing how well you’re doing on these 7 processes, look at your operations through the eyes of a client — not through your organization’s needs. Too often the processes are set up to benefit the company and not the customer. We’re then surprised when we’re not the customer’s first choice.
Ask yourself, “How will the customer perceive it?” Then use critical thinking to honestly analyze what and how your teams are doing in these 7 key areas.
1. Teach, model and develop the relationship itself.
Look at your practices to call on and meet and greet customers. Watch how your employees interact with customers on their turf, at the dealership and in public settings and ask yourself, “Would I feel more comfortable with that team member after that encounter?”
2. Earn trust and credibility.
Determine how successful your team is at setting up small promises and actions that can create a history of successfully completing and meeting the customer’s expectations. Make sure it’s an intentional tactic that’s being developed with/for each customer.
3. Become a partner and consultant to help the customer analyze needs and aspirations.
Analyze whether your team is there to sell something or there to help improve the customer’s business. What actions are your teams taking to become consultants or trusted advisors to the client?
“Too often the processes are set up to benefit the company and not the customer. We’re then surprised when we’re not the customer’s first choice…”
4. Co-discovery of solutions that meet the needs and aspiration of the customer.
Confirming your client’s needs may seem relatively straightforward, but it’s not. The co-discovery process allows your team to work with clients to determine the best solutions and then work together to implement them. As you analyze this process, do your teams act in a “one and done” fashion or as a partner in finding the best solution for the customer?
5. Overcome any final barriers and objections while preparing the solution/order for final approval.
Analyze the objections by looking at your close rates. If your close rates are not up to industry standards, then find the issues.
After the close, the most critical portion of your analysis will be centered on whether the teams are up to the task of meeting their promises, guarantees and commitments.
Check if all the teams have all the processes in place to seamlessly work together to prepare the product or service for timely delivery.
6. Deliver, train, implement and integrate the solution into the rest of the customer’s business.
For the customer, it must be a memorable “WOW” moment. Determine if your customers are using the machine or service to its optimum experience and what it would take to make sure they received the maximum benefit.
You want a process that leaves a “WOW” every time they deal with your departmental teams and that the team compliment the others in achieving that!
7. Continued customer follow-up and feedback.
The final step in your customer centric processes is analyzing the process of follow-up, confirming the customer made the correct decision, and determining the willingness to tell others of this solution’s success.
What steps are you taking to assure customer retention and prepare the client for the co-discovery of the next solution for their needs and aspirations?
If you take the time to analyze the strength of your customer processes, you’ll discover your strengths and weaknesses that provide a pathway for improvement you can follow to coach your employees who are on the front line with your customers!
Remember: it’s through the actions and attitudes of your employees on the front line that your customers will become and remain loyal to you.
If your teams are not properly coached in these 7 processes, your business becomes “an-also-participated” entity, and the client will seek out other alternatives.
This article was first published on farm-equipment.com.