The WOW Factor  (continued)
    In general, once a customer begins dealing with the customer
    service department, he or she is already in a negative mindset. The best customer service representatives aren't
    those that simply neutralize the problem. Outstanding customer service representatives take a negative and turn it
    into a positive that ensures the customer is not only happy, but is convinced he or she has had an outstanding
    experience - the Wow Factor - that he would not have gotten with any other dealership or facility.

    The key ingredients of the Wow experience are:

    •        Seamless Service
    •        Trustworthy Service
    •        Attentiveness
    •        Resourcefulness
    •        Courtesy
    •        Pro-active Service

    Seamless Service: means providing everything the customer needs, not just what is required to meet the
    minimum standards. It's about making sure that they don't have to wait and wonder. Customers will appreciate a
    smooth, seamless process for addressing their needs. If there are several steps needed to take care of their
    concerns, keep them in the loop - update them by email or with a quick phone call so that they know you are
    working on the situation and progress is being made. By keeping them abreast of what is going on, you are letting
    them know you haven't forgotten about them and that you understand their concerns - reassurance and
    communication are powerful customer service tools.

    Trustworthy Service: is essential to retaining customers. Promising a customer anything and delivering nothing
    is the surest way to not only lose a customer, but get the kind of "word of mouth" bad press that can ruin you.
    Under promise and over deliver - If you promise a satisfactory solution and then go the extra mile to not only
    satisfy the customer, but gain their appreciation and Wow them, you will get word of mouth that will bring new
    customers to you.

    Attentive Service: means paying attention during and after the initial contact. How many times have you
    contacted customer service and been subjected to an obviously scripted response from the customer service
    representative? Does it give you the feeling they aren't really listening, but just trying to get to the end of their
    canned presentation?
    Attentiveness should run through every customer service experience, from listening carefully to the customer's
    concerns to following up after the exchange is over to make sure their needs have been met. Listening isn't just
    about hearing - it is about understanding what is really being said. The words are just the beginning -what about
    the customer's tone of voice?
    His/Her mood, Is he/she disappointed, angry or frustrated? Keying in to the customer's mood and responding
    appropriately is essential, and it means not following a script.

    Resourcefulness: means finding solutions when there appear to be none. Many companies have iron-clad
    policies that must be followed whenever a problem arises; however, sometimes a customer won't be satisfied by
    the "company line" approach. Resourceful customer service representatives know that there is always a way to
    move beyond the standard procedures in order to make a customer happy. Resourcefulness involves finding a
    solution when a solution isn't apparent. This may mean moving up the chain of command before the customer
    demands to talk to your superior. Companies with excellent customer service also give their representatives some
    leeway so that they can come up with creative solutions on their own. When a customer senses that you are going
    beyond the norm to help them, they will feel valued and respected.

    Courtesy: is a commodity that is becoming rarer every day. It takes so little to be polite but it is becoming a lost
    art. Say please when you ask a customer a question, thank them for their information and take your time talking to
    them. Nothing makes a customer feel more devalued than being treated like a number. Use the person's name,
    make requests rather than demands and know when to apologize. When something goes wrong for a customer,
    they want to hear that you understand their frustration and that you are genuinely sorry that they are being
    inconvenienced. It takes nothing to say, "I'm so sorry you aren't satisfied and I am certain we can do something to
    correct this."

    Pro-Active Service: means not waiting for the customer to come up with a solution that you simply follow through
    on. A pro-active customer service representative anticipates the needs of the customer and follows through. Don't
    wait for the customer to ask you what you are willing to do - anticipate the question and answer it before they can
    ask. If they call and say they aren't satisfied, apologize and immediately suggest some solutions. Customers want
    you to take the lead - acknowledge their unhappiness, offer a solution or solutions and explain to them how you
    are going to follow through. Pro-Active service means taking the lead, which will reassure your customers that you
    know what you are doing and that you will follow through.
Copyright© 2008-2009 Automotive Dealers Network. All rights reserved.
Jim Bernardi has held such positions as; Dealer,
General Manager, Director of Operations, District
Operations Manager, Parts & Service Director, Service
Director, Service Manager, Service Advisor and is
President /CEO AutoPro Training Solutions, a National
Fixed Operations Training Company which guarantees
increased GP or their training fee is free.
Jim Bernardi
Publisher/CEO Automotive Dealers Network
President/CEO AutoPro Training Solutions
and visit
View Jim Bernardi's profile on LinkedIn
It's unfortunate that most businesses today don't realize that
they are regularly losing valuable customers if they don't focus
on providing an exceptional customer service experience.
If you keep these six keys in mind - seamless service, trustworthiness, attentiveness,