The Meaning Of Customer Service In Today’s Aftermarket

What can be said about the phrase “customer service” in today’s aftermarket? Most likely you could ask any heavy-duty distributor about the meaning of customer service and hear a different philosophy.

Is this what differentiates distributors from the dealers or OES today in the eyes of the customer?

To get a better understanding of the meaning, we need to ask customers what their expectations are. Once we understand that, we can educate, train and measure the ability of our personnel to live up to these expectations.

When we ask our customers what they expect, the basic reply is, “The right part, the first time when we need it.” Pretty straightforward, right?

Have you ever seen such powerful meaning in so few words? In understanding these words, we need to position ourselves to understand the elements that make us who we are today. Ensuring all employees have the best internal and external training available combined with the best computer technology always makes the art of doing business easier.

Let’s talk about the basic foundation to build customer service:

 * Recruiting individuals with the desire to be the very best in the industry is one of the first steps in moving your company forward in customer service.
*  Training those individuals at all levels of branch operation so they have a real understanding of how their performance impacts getting the   job done right.

To get a better understanding of customer service we need to ask customers what their expectations are.

* Product training for employees that includes product application, performance, standards, liability and warranty.

* Educating employees on manufacturers’ core programs.

* Encouraging teams to build internal support systems to rely on each individual’s strengths and talent. Making sure they know that success is in numbers and not in one individual’s performance.

* Creating a teamwork atmosphere so that when one person is not available, someone else can ensure the same quality of service.

* Building your employees’ confidence in quality OEM products.

* Stocking product levels to ensure good order fill rates.

* Building good internal and external communication with both employees and customers.

* On-site training of customers by manufacturers for technical and product information.

* Listening constantly and making sure you deliver on the customers’ expectations.

* Establishing what value you add to any product item you sell.

* Making sure you do what you say you are going to do.

* Thanking the customers for their business every single time.

With all levels of distribution today, almost everyone has similar inventories and product lines with different performance levels and quality. That leaves you with one element that leads a customer to buy from your company­ — customer service.­

People buy from people, and once that level of trust and confidence is developed with your people, that’s the ultimate foundation for a great customer relationship.

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