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How can a customer become a natural advocate for your business....

What does great look like for a customer when making an emotional purchase, such as replacing their car?

Historically, the purchase experience may well have been a compromised one for a customer, in that at times it felt everything was more about making life easy for the business providing the service or product rather than them ensuring a fantastic, stress free and thoroughly enjoyable experience that the customer imagined and hoped for.

The very best retailers understand that approach just doesn’t work, and that the customer must be front, left and centre of everything! - and so here are our favourite pointers to helping you make that sale and turn a customer into an advocate for your business…..

Make it easy for customers to research their intended purchase.

How much information does your web provide and can customers compare different products & models, specifications, prices etc. Your web should show customer reviews and have tools that let customers explore the product in detail – videos & virtual tours are real plus points. Be open and transparent with any incentives, offers and charges – hidden costs found out later will erode trust. Whatever sets your business apart positively – make it clear. Crucially ensure that all changes relating to product & pricing are communicated throughout the organisation to avoid confusion!

Respond to all enquiries promptly & offer an omnichannel approach

Seems crazy to say in this day and age but make sure all telephone enquiries get answered promptly and professionally. The same for online enquires – and don’t forget to cater for online contacts outside of ‘bricks and mortar’ opening hours. Also make it as easy and seamless for a customer to choose which part of the purchase journey they want to complete digitally and which part they would like to do offline. Greet every visitor to your business, physical or digital, warmly!

Ensure all staff are knowledgeable, professional and authentic

Quite simply business moves at the speed of trust. Customers need solutions to their problems and not just be told about a product’s features – what will those features do to help the customer. Listen and offer professional advice without being pushy. Make sure the experience is authentic.

The customer must be able to see, touch & feel the product

This builds value over cost. Although thinking specifically around the test drive element when purchasing a vehicle, all the following factors apply to any purchase – is the product well presented, does the customer have time to evaluate it properly and is the sales consultant able to provide answers to key questions.

Is the negotiation and purchase process straight forward, pleasant and without nasty surprises

Customers are well informed and deserve respect – you don’t have to aim to be the cheapest but do have to demonstrate value over cost. Make sure everything is as straight forward as can be during the negotiation and purchase stage, with the customer understanding all options available to them. – transparency is everything! It’s really important to let the customer know what is happening at each point as well. You may complete multiple sales a day, week or month but the customer is only likely to make an emotional purchase such as that of a new car every 2-5 years. So, delight your customers by being brilliant at the basics, ensuring the purchase experience is straight forward and positively surprising.

Handover / Event delivery

Again, using the example of a new vehicle handover, this is the moment where a truly memorable experience can be created – but is it really any different for the sale of a luxury watch or piece of jewellery or indeed, when a customer decides on that once in a lifetime cruise? In fact, whenever a purchase decision is clearly important and significant to the customer look to go above and beyond – because a great sales consultant will have learnt what's important through listening from the very outset.

Exceptional customer service and support throughout is a must

From initial enquiry right through to post sale support, exceptional customer service is what sets the best retailers apart. Be that prompt and responsive communications, addressing concerns or providing updates. All post purchase contacts can add value and help ensure customers both remain loyal and become advocates.

If you would like to know some more about how R7 can help you deliver a great customer experience, please contact us today

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