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In our business world today, we talk about the value of customers. We talk about winning customers for life.
How do you win a customer for life?
I’d like to use an example from the automotive industry which is on this audio CD “Winning Customers for Life”. This is a live presentation I was giving to a breakfast meeting. I remember looking at the people in the meeting and thinking from what businesses they were from and there were a huge variety.
The car industry example came to mind and one of the car dealerships that I was consulting to at the time said he was going to put a carwash in and I said “fantastic, great idea.” I said “what’s the story?” He said “every time we service the car, we put it through the car wash, the customer gets extra value, isn’t that fantastic? They’ll love us. We’ll will customers for life.”
I said “not necessarily.”
He said “what do you mean?”
I said “how much are you charging them for it?” He said “that’s the point; we’re not charging them anything.”
I said “you should charge them.” He said “what do you mean you should charge them? I’m giving it to them. Isn’t this fantastic?”
I said “here’s the problem: you will wash my car, service my car, wash my car, service my car. I’ll be happy.”
One day you won’t be able to do it because you’re too busy.
I’ll pick up my car and it’s not washed or I expect it was going to be washed and you will have underperformed, then I’ll hate you.
That’s not fair is it? Because you were doing it for free all these other times but if you charge me for it, $3, $5, a minimal figure whatever it might be. If you can’t do it, say “we didn’t get a chance to do it today but we didn’t charge you.”
I said “if you put a figure on that’s very reasonable and then you put that into the RO and the customers prepared to pay for it because they probably are because it’s a bucket load less they’d normally pay, it maybe start to fund your machine.”
He looked at me and said “wow, I never thought of it like that.” I said to him “be careful, don’t wash everybody’s car because there are some people who do not want their car to go through a car wash. They want to do it personally.”
That means that when your service advisor book in the car, he goes “by the way, we do complimentary,” (Note: by the way not free) “a complimentary car wash” or “we do a car wash and it’s just $5. What would you prefer?”
You got to look at what words you use. I would go down the track; I would say “we normally wash your car if we can fit it in. It’s $5 or $10. Would you like us to do that?” Customers say “sure!” If you didn’t get a chance to do it, you say you didn’t get a chance.
You actually win the customer for life because you’re providing them with added value service but you’re not overpromising and under-delivering. There are a whole lot of examples of that nature on this CD, “Winning Customers for Life”, and that’s the ultimate win them for life for the right reasons.