Welcome to 2013 and the chance for a fresh start for your dealership. Why not make it official and use the New Year as a reason to re-introduce your dealership to your customers?
Take a cue from manufacturers. Sometimes, a new model is just a few tweaks on an already great machine. However, those enhancements, such as redesigned controls or increased power, give manufacturers the opportunity to do this:
1. Differentiate products from the competition
2. Show that customers' needs are top-of-mind
3. Talk about other products
Dealers that I've talked with over the last few months offer good advice for enhancing your dealership to make it seem new and improved. Start by following a customer's journey through your dealership experience. What do customers see when they drive past your dealership? Maybe more frequent rotation of outside equipment displays could entice a passerby to stop.
What about that first step in the store? Rearrange that line-up of equipment to encourage a browsing mentality. Give room to pick up that power tool. Update product hang tags to show off the latest promotion.
Make other changes based on your dealership's strengths. For instance, if service is what sets you apart, find ways to show off your service department. The salespeople at Mid-State Equipment, our 2012 Dealership of the Year, introduce customers to the service and parts managers after a sale is made.
Do you have a product that no one else in the area offers? Spread the word in advertisements, on your website or in social media. Be sure to explain how it can help solve customers' problems.
Don't forget about the sounds of your dealership - like "hello," "what can I help with you with today?" and most importantly, "thank you."
Invite your team to offer suggestions for improvement, since many of them are customers, too.
One dealer said his goal was to create an extraordinary customer experience. It sounds like a lofty goal, but why not? Your customers give you that opportunity each time they enter your dealership. Make the most of it in 2013 with a few enhancements to your already great dealership.