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Toronto, Canada
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Simon, you just have to shake your head in disbelief. What you experienced at the car dealership seems to be so common that too often consumers just come to expect it. Margins are so thin, salespeople (if you want to call them that) are a dime a dozen, the OEM is disconnected from the dealer, and no money is spent on training people in how to listen and service customers...the focus is all on the product and how to up-sell various maintenance packages, extended warranties, etc. One might assume that something so obvious as a customer coming in laying his/her cards on the table, saying they're prepared to buy today, would be a no-brainer. An easy, quick deal. The sad part is, this dealership has been successful - the top Fiat seller in the country - despite offering a great customer experience, but rather, because of their prime location and their competitive parking garage deals. They're buying "loyalty" just as so many airlines, hospitality chains, and Telcos do - by making people an offer they can't refuse, through point programs or bundled incentives. So, they continue to hide behind their impressive sales numbers. Good luck helping FiatUSA recognize what's important for long term success. Hopefully, the people at the top are better listeners than those who deal directly with customers.
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Aug 21, 2012