What is trust? Is trust something that can be built with others? Is it something that can be broken? Can trust be rebuilt once it has been broken?
You have a choice. You can choose to build trust and value with your customers. If you hold on to what is of value, you will hold on to your customers. The ultimate goal is to build a lifelong friendship with your customers. For example, a person walks through the door and the first words out of the employee’s mouth are, “Hey, it’s the black sedan.” What just happened here? Ask yourself, is that the service I want given to me? Do I want to be known as the next job or to be known by my name? Make sure you know your customers well. Try this, “Good morning Miss Smith. It is great to see you.” Remember, build relationships with your customers. Over time they will appreciate the value you provide.
Your friendship will matter.
What is your employee’s motivation? Is it positive or negative? What kind of environment are you promoting? Is it happy or stressful? Is there a lot of tension in your work environment? Remember, if you are positive and energetic that message will be conveyed to the customer. Happy employees equal happy lifelong customers.
I once read, “You cannot change the fruit without changing the root.” Ask yourself, do you want your customer base to expand? Then look at the root of the issue. Ask yourself, what is it that needs to be fixed in order for me to reach my full potential?
When you are making a decision, remind yourself there will always be something attached or what you would call the ripple effect. Every decision a person makes not only affects you but it affects the people around you. In the past, I have mentioned an author I particularly like. His name is Stephen R. Covey and his book is called, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Covey says in this book, “We are free to choose our actions, based on our knowledge of principles but we are not free to choose the consequences.”
“If you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other end,” Covey said.
I feel this is very fitting in both business and life. When dealing with customers we always need to plan ahead. Prepare your team and educate them. If we do not focus on building trust and adding value, the consequences may not work out the way you planned.
View every problem as an opportunity.
When you have an issue with a customer do you see it as an opportunity or a crisis? No matter how small the problem may be employees should view this as an opportunity to build a relationship with the customer. They now have the opportunity to respond quickly, in a positive manner and be happy to resolve the problem at hand. Remember, mistakes will happen but it is how we handle then that makes the difference.
In business, it is unheard of to do anything but a win/win. You are making fair money and the customer gets a good deal too. However, there are people out there who believe they can get away with a win/lose, where they make all the money and eventually the customer ends up on the losing end. Eventually, the customer senses they are getting ripped off and over time, the customer will eventually leave and establish a relationship with someone else. A win/win for both parties is a perfect world. When dealing with your customer, make them feel at home, be positive, build trust, invest your time and they will invest in you. A win/win is a frame of mind that is shown by your actions not only in your everyday life but in your business relationships too.
Remember this quote from a man by the name of Scott Cook, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is, it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
AMBER KOSSAK is president and CEO of Solid Start, manufacturer of True Brand Products. She has been in the automotive industry for almost 20 years and is serving on the AOCA board of directors. She can be contacted at: [email protected] For more information please visit: www.solidstart.biz