Retention is a Matter of Trust

By Kristin Honderick, Account Manager, Traver Connect

A single customer experience can influence your business up or down dramatically these days.  Word travels quickly with the use of social media and/or reviews so the “reality” of your customer experience is subject to subjectivity.  Fair or not!  There are multiple factors that contribute to someone’s experience and likelihood to return.  It all begins with the first contact, whether we’re on the phone or in person, and progresses from there.  Here are some factors that will influence customers’ odds of returning:

  • Do you have a trained Service BDC staff?
  • How quickly was the phone answered or customer greeted in person?
  • Was the customer greeted in a friendly manner?
  • Were their needs properly assessed?
  • Were proper recommendations made?
  • Were their needs/expectations met?
  • Did the customer feel:
    • Acknowledged?
    • Valued?
    • Ignored?
    • Taken advantage of?

Here is an example of how trust is eroded and the opportunity for retention is blown:

I visited my local OEM dealership for a simple oil change. I was told that I needed additional services (transmission and coolant fluid services), which came to about $300 dollars. Later I was called by my service advisor and told that due to the transmission leaking, they would not recommend the transmission fluid service, so I agreed to wait until a later date to have those services completed.  When I arrived at the dealership, I was informed my total due came to $300.  They had still completed the transmission service anyway and I had to pay for it!

Long story short, I was upset and felt like I have been swindled by that service advisor so he could make an additional buck.  I had the expectation of only paying for the coolant service and oil change. I complained and was not contacted by the service manager.  I’m now unwilling to have any future dealings with this place because I’ve simply lost trust and I’m not willing to give them another chance – ever.

Moral of the story; mistakes are COMMON but stepping up and making things right is all-to-often UNCOMMON.  If you make a mistake own it, recover quickly, and give yourself a shot at a future retention opportunity – your business depends on it.