Early on in my career, my mentor patiently watched me cut corners with a customer on the phone and then listened as I excused my actions as “customer satisfaction.” I wanted to help the customer as quickly as possible and plan on inputting the data at a later time. But I was only making things more difficult for myself, my company, and the customer.
“What if you had been pulled away from your computer before you were able to input the information? Would you have been able to recount the entire conversation? The phone number? The email address? Would you have remembered to put the information in at all?”
He was a very analytical person, and he knew that cutting corners is one of the most pernicious forms of data loss.
Fact: The short-term memory of the human brain has a data capacity of 5-7 items and can only hold those items for 15-30 seconds. The smallest memory option on the current iPhone is capable of holding 2132 photos—and if my phone is any indicator—it can hold those items for 6+ years.
My mentor was extremely good at streamlining processes. He would say: “It’s easy to fix big problems. Going from 60% to 80% is dramatic and obvious with almost instant gratification for the results. It’s the 80% to 100% that is difficult, and that last 20% is the day-to-day tasks your team is performing.”
Customer satisfaction does not come through allowing your employees the option to input data at their leisure. Every transaction should be slowed down and inputted correctly so that our customers can be confident in their experience with your dealership.
Your employees are there to make it easy for the customer to experience and transact with the full vision of your decision-makers. Customer satisfaction is not about ‘in the moment’ interactions. By slowing every interaction down enough to accurately serve and catalog your patrons you are creating continuous positivity and enabling future business. Demanding accurate data accumulation ensures our customers are loyal to the dealership they are working with and not the transient employee they are talking to.
If you do not have accurately documented data then how are you going to anticipate what your customer-base needs? In this fast-paced world, there is no room for error. In fact, I would go so far as to say, in this fast-paced world the customer is waiting for your error.
Customers go to 1.6 dealers before they transact. If that number is still true and they show up at your building then haven’t you already won? By default of convenience, you won. The last thing you want to do is fumble it because you didn’t collect appropriate data.
These aren’t arduous tasks. Your staff isn’t doing them because they are difficult, they aren’t doing them because they are lazy or scared.
The irony is we allow it to happen. We fall prey to the same excuses, behaviors, and fears.
“Well, if I start sending people home for not putting a customer in the CRM then whom will I have available to do the work?”
“Well, it’s a one-off. That doesn’t happen all the time.”
“That sales associate sells XX a month so we let him do it the way that works for him.”
If your managers set up an environment where the staff was encouraged to do their business in a more efficient way your ROI would increase exponentially. The person that uses the CRM correctly has the power of the marketing initiatives, the BDC, and the vendors on their side. The person that uses the CRM utilizes your budget to win more sales month over month. Yet, the person who bypasses your CRM for their ‘own method’ is losing you money.
Moreover, we are in the middle of a generational shift. The tech-savvy successors you are currently hiring are fully capable of using the CRM to its absolute potential. It is the old-school-have-a-retirement-date-sticky-noted-to-their-desk managers who are enabling this inefficiency.
There’s a saying: “Knowledge is power.”
“Knowledge is potential. Application of knowledge is power.”
Knowledge is the information we have available to us, and how we apply it is how powerful we are.
Your exercise for today is to prove me wrong. Is your number one lead source not the top option in the CRM? Bonus points if that top lead source isn’t something to the effect of:
**Ask the customer….
**I’m too weak to ask the customer…..
Last week I heard a sales associate say to his manager: “I made you so much money last year I don’t understand why you keep riding me about what I didn’t do. Shouldn’t you be happy?”
We rely on the accuracy of our systems yet at the same time consciously know that those inputting that information are doing so incorrectly. Why? What are we afraid of? Why are we allowing this to continue?
The better the information we have the more everyone succeeds.
The better the information we have the more money everyone makes.
Herb Anderson / Charity Ann