Below, MD Tim Chudley looks at the importance of the customer journey.
I picked up my car from a routine service the other day. An efficient but uneventful handover took place and I pretty soon found myself sitting in my car and surveying my surroundings before starting up and setting off home. First though there were a few things I had to do.
I got back out of my car and pulled off the plastic seat cover and picked up the paper floor mat cover. Returning to the showroom (it was raining by the way) I found a bin and jettisoned these unwanted items.
Getting back into the car I realised that my key had a large brown luggage label to be removed and I had to go through the fiddly job of prising open my key ring sufficiently to slide the chubby hole in my electronic car key onto it. If you have ever done this you will know that the process inevitably results in a broken thumb nail.
I may be turning into a grumpy old man because I sat there and thought, why should I remove THEIR luggage label? Why should I remove THEIR protective seat and floor covering? And, why should I break my thumb nail?
I then had a ‘sliding doors’ moment and imagined an alternative reality. In my perfect world the service receptionist jumped up as I approached the desk. Addressing me by name they rapidly produced my key, removed their luggage label and then asked if they could use a clever little gadget they had to re-attach my key ring.
Walking me to my car (with an umbrella) they described with pride the attention my car had received or maybe just chatted about how well Northampton Saints were doing this season. On opening my car door for me they quickly retrieved their protective coverings, pointed out the complimentary tube of Polos by the central arm rest and cheerily wished me a pleasant evening.
Now I know only too well that we at Sundial Group are far from perfect but I do think my car dealership could do with some of the training and visualisation we use to improve our service levels.
The Customer Journey Training
Last month I attend our latest programme, ‘The Customer Journey’ which is mandatory for every team member (including the MD). Building on our previous program, ‘The Customer’s Eyes’, we investigate, role-play and discuss service from the consumer’s point of view.
I have no doubt that this approach to developing customer service skills and awareness of our customer’s expectations plays a massive part in our success.