Staying Focused on your 2017 Goals

The summer season is finally here and we know it’s a busy time for your dealership! Days are longer, traffic is doubled, and being able to keep ahead of day-to-day demands can seem more challenging.  Remember to carve out time to check your progress toward the goals set at the beginning of the year.  A 6-month check-in will help you stay focused on initiatives, adjust any that may be off target, and keep your team committed to the goals.

If you read and implemented any of the 6 Goals Dealers are Setting in 2017, here are some ways to measure progress and continue to drive improvements.

Increase Training Efforts

If increasing and investing in training efforts was important in 2017, take a 6-month check-in to review the effectiveness of the training delivered so far.  Tally the training hours and topics covered to date, and list what remains. Determine whether your teams have made the progress you’ve hoped for and if they’ve adopted and integrated the training into their day-to-day activities.  Identify performance gaps that could be remedied with additional support such as a dedicated time for review and questions, and FAQs published on your network. Now that it’s busier than ever, it’s time to be sure your team is prepared and ready to rock the experience they create with customers.

Improve Customer Follow Up Processes

Being busy doesn’t mean you should let customer follow-ups slip through the cracks. Now is the time to gain loyal customers for next year. When you show your customers that their needs and opinions are a priority for your dealership even during the busy season, you will create and keep loyal customers who continue to do business with and recommend you throughout the year. Check back in on the processes you’ve implemented over the last few months to determine if you’ve reached your follow-up goal. You may need to take this opportunity to reset your target if it’s set too high or too low.

Consistently Track Issues and Close the Loop with Customers

Issue management is even more important during the summer. Your customers’ days are longer and they demand their equipment work as expected. Are your location and department managers contacting your customers with issues within 24 hours of receiving feedback or have you noticed this has changed? Are your teams documenting the root cause and issue resolution to prevent future recurrence or are they jumping to the next issue without giving a complete record of what was done? Having the ability to research similar issues quickly is crucial for keeping your customer running. By tracking the timing and steps for issue resolution, and sharing this throughout the dealership, you will improve your dealership processes and future customer experiences.

Take Customer Relationships and Retention to the Next Level

Dealership managers that make on-site visits to key customers are re-energizing their customers’ loyalty. Take time during this busy season when it may be inconvenient to your customer for an on-site, and instead review what you’ve learned about your customers’ goals and concerns so far. Determine how you can use this information to improve your dealership’s processes and identify trends that may impact other customers. Call customers you visited to share improvements based on their feedback and provide support for specific customer goals or concerns. For customers you haven’t seen during the first half of the year, call to schedule a visit at a less busy time. Show they are important by sharing dealership and industry news, trends and ways to help them optimize their business.

Incorporate Customer Journey Maps

Customer journey maps help dealers understand how customers interact with their business from the customer’s point of view. Review the journeys you have documented so far and identify whether changes are needed. Have you noticed points along the Customer Lifecycle where your customers’ experience is not what you intended? Are there points where customers drop out of the lifecycle? Target these as key improvement opportunities and ask employees for input on solutions. Are your NPS scores consistent between departments? Review processes to identify whether actual processes are different than those described in your documentation. Revise your existing journey maps and prioritize the list of journey maps you will create during the next two quarters. This will keep employees focused on improving customer experience and ultimately your dealership’s experience score and revenue. Read our Quick Start Guide to Mapping the Customer Journey if you are just getting started.

Improve Employee Engagement

Have you taken steps to increase Employee Engagement? If you participated in an engagement survey, have you set goals and changed processes based on your identified opportunities? Is it time to participate in a 6-month pulse survey to re-examine the initiatives you put in place and improve upon them? Take a step back and make sure you are actively engaging your employees the way you planned and make adjusts to drive even more value. If you haven’t implemented any new employee engagement activities, use this opportunity to start! Read 9 Steps in 90 days to kick things off and start driving engagement.