King customer will reign supreme in 2010

There is absolutely no doubt that, at the sharp end of retailing, businesses will need to up their game more than ever next year. Most companies have a robust system in place for checking that precious customers are being given a first class experience and importantly will come back again and tell others of the positives.

This is graphically demonstrated in the car business because dealers and their OEM partners demand it and because they know that the long term profitability of their business and the ability to grow market share demands that the customer is king.

If we ever go to any shop or business we clearly want to receive value for money and be looked after by friendly helpful and professional staff and we all have examples of the good, bad and downright ugly. Did you know, however, that the lengths which car dealers will now go to ensure their prospective customers are looked after correctly are, in actual fact, world leading.

Whole departments within larger businesses worldwide are being set up purely to look at how customers are being looked after and if they didn’t buy a car then why didn’t they buys a car and dealers are being financially penalised by their OEM’s for non-compliance.

This is clearly a good thing for the customer, potential or otherwise, but also with so much riding on positive feedback from customers, dealers will stop at almost nothing to ensure they receive the right scores in their respective surveys.

One thing we can be sure of is that with many more car makers now building great cars which are ever more affordable there will be increasing competition to retain and grow their share of a dwindling new car market.
So the next time you’re in a car dealership and you don’t feel like you’re getting the service you deserve, vote with your feet and try someone else, because the only way dealers will be able to improve, or indeed survive, is by understanding and instilling the same ethos that is talked about in board meetings in their frontline staff.

When all is said and done there is only one boss in any retail outlet and that’s you the customer!

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