What works for Apple (the computer/technology company) in terms of customer service can also work wonders for automobile dealerships. Even though comparing computers and cars is like comparing (excuse the bad pun) apples and oranges, Apple’s customer service mode of operation is still just as viable in both industries – and you’ll see why when you read on.
When Apple trains its employees, they lay out their “Steps of Service” using the A-P-P-L-E acronym.
A = Approach customers with a personalized warm welcome.
P = Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs.
P = Present a solution for the customer to take home today.
L = Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns.
E = End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.
The Fruits of A-P-P-L-E
Let’s look at each of these individually, starting with “A”. If you’re upbeat, confident, genuine and smiling, who wouldn’t appreciate a warm welcome like that?
Next, the first “P”. Discovering the customer’s needs and budget goes a long way toward getting them into the right new (or used) car.
The second “P” is much easier to figure out once you’ve discovered the needs and budget. And did you catch the word today at the end? It isn’t there by accident, nor is it a throwaway word!
The “L” is very important. The best salespeople have keen ears and are cognizant of customer concerns (even if the customer doesn’t come right out and say what it is, they may insinuate it).
The “E” is the salesperson’s last chance to create a positive impression. If the customer isn’t buying today, they may buy tomorrow if they leave with a good feeling about your dealership.
Apple stores are making huge dollars, in part, because they offer fantastic products; but it’s also due to the unwavering focus of their management to put an emphasis on customer service. Thus, what works for Apple could work for just about any other kind of company – including yours!
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