Do you want my business?
Posted by Becky Carroll on May 29, 2007
We are in the market for a new vehicle (a truck to be exact). While buying a car is one of my least favorite activities, the best part of it is the test drive. One would think the car dealer would make that a very positive experience. It wasn’t.
We walked around the lot looking at the clean, shiny new trucks. We were interested in a long bed truck, but there weren’t any apparently available on the lot. The salesman offered to have us drive a short bed truck just to see how it performed. He mentioned the cars might not start, as some of them hadn’t been run in a while. He finally found a truck that started up, and we quickly hopped in. Gosh, were our kids excited!
The first thing my husband noticed was the lack of gasoline in the truck. The salesman noticed it, too, and suggested we don’t drive more than a few blocks. We couldn’t take it on the freeway as we would have liked to do. Strike one.
Once back on the lot, we asked if there was a long bed truck we could try out. After being kept waiting for quite some time, the salesman said they found a few in the back lot and would bring one around for us to test drive. Twenty minutes later, still no truck, so the salesman walked us over to the back lot. There were several long beds there, and we were anxious to drive one as by this time, it was nearly dark and we were getting chilly (and hungry). The salesman didn’t have the key to any of the trucks and disappeared again, leaving us on our own in the back lot. Strike two.
A key was brought out for a truck, which wouldn’t start. They started charging the battery and went to get a key for a different truck. Turns out that truck was out of gas (just off the delivery truck and not yet fueled up). We discovered that all the trucks were out of gas, including the truck which was finally charged enough to try and start. Strike three.
Needless to say, we will not be purchasing our new truck at that dealer.
Lessons For Business
An organization can have all the great marketing in the world to bring the customers into the store, but if the product isn’t available, no sale can be made. Do you really want your customer’s business? This dealership did not. The showroom floor was polished. The salesman was professional. There was even free popcorn! However, no trucks were able to be driven.
Crafting an ideal buying experience for customers needs to be consistently executed across all touchpoints. Every employee plays a vital role in that experience, even the technician responsible for fueling the vehicles.
What are the details in your customer’s experience? Where can it go wrong? Where is there an opportunity to “wow” the customer?
Take your own customer’s experience for a test drive. Map the experience from touchpoint to touchpoint and see where the journey takes you. Don’t forget to bring your customer along for the ride!