Taking Customer Service to the next level

I woke up early this morning and started puttering around the house like I tend to do, trying to be as quiet as I could so as not to wake up the other people in the house who were still asleep. Anyway, I dropped a dish in the dishwasher a little louder than I wanted to and the plates clanked together rather loudly. Fortunately everyone managed to sleep through it, but I didn’t want to push my luck, so I decided to sit in the living room to read some news on my phone.

There are a lot of stories that hit my phone I really don’t need to be reading if I want to have a good day, and I try to avoid them whenever I can. Sometimes, like this morning, I find something that is good for me to read. It gets my mind working, and has me thinking about things in a different way than I have been.

The article I came across was about car dealerships. It was entitled “Car dealers could learn a lot from Starbucks, Grubhub and Amazon when it comes to customer service.” It was all about how to create a good ownership experience for your customers. Frankly it had a lot of good points and a few good ideas, but more importantly, it got me thinking. Then the questions came.

What if we treated every one of OUR customers like we treat any and all Newmar customers? What would that cost us and what would it get us? Could we find a way to charge for it?

What if we had a way for our customers to book themselves service appointments on line? That could completely avoid the “I can’t get through, and no one called me back” that I hear every so often from customers.

Could we have all RV part orders tracked with the tracking status on line so customers could check where they are in the process of getting their repairs done? I know exactly when my amazon order will arrive with a click of a button. Why not the door handle on my fridge?

Think about the Pizza tracker from Domino’s Pizza. I can order on line, and I immediately get an icon of a guy making a pizza with a little moving red bar right below him. It tells me that they are processing my order, then making the pizza, then it is getting ready to ship, then it is on its way. I can almost time when to open my door as the delivery person comes walking up with the pizza.

What if we offered to pick up and deliver a customer’s RV for service work, for a fee? Or offered mobile service writers? Could that create a new revenue source for us, and would it automatically reduce the amount of time we stored customer’s units while we waited for parts to RVs that are still totally usable?

Would all of these things keep customers more informed, and at the same time free up our best people to do the revenue producing parts of their jobs? Wouldn’t that be better than keeping our people bogged down with phone calls to and from customers just to update them that the parts aren’t in yet, or that that we expect your RV to be done and ready to pick up next Tuesday?

Most importantly, what would be the customer experience? Would they be more or less likely to buy from us again?

What kind of a closing tool would that be for us?

Paul Willman

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