The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

48. 5 CX Tips from My Car Buying Experience w/ Ethan Beute

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

My wife and I recently had to go out and buy a new car. 

And if there aren't customer experience lessons in that process, I don't know where else they are. 

So, on this episode of The Customer Experience podcast, I shared the 5 things I learned about the customer experience...by being a customer.

So timely and responsive, managing expectationsobviously being honest. That's just basic rules for living. Fourth one here ismake it easy, eliminate friction. This is probably the biggest customer experience partof this conversation. The single most important thing you can do today is tocreate and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketingand customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectationsin a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here'syour host, Ethan Butte. So, our son just turns sixteen years old. We thought it'd be a nice thing to do to give him the carthat we drove him home from the hospital in as an infant. And,you know, a seventeen year old car bluebook value not really high. Soa nice gift and an expensive gift in frankly, we don't have to drivethem around as much anymore. So what...

...does that mean? And means mywife and I had to go out and buy a car. If there aren'tcustomer experience lessons in that, I don't know where else you'll find him.My name is Ethan but I host the customer experience podcast as well as theC X Series on the BDB growth show, and so I'm going to share withyou a handful of things that I learned recently or was reminded of inthe process of buying a new car. Now I'm a consumer reports guy.I feel like their objective testing and rating is pretty good. I've read theircar issues for years. My Primary Emo in buying a car is less thantwo years old with fewer than twentyzero miles, so that, like new where Idon't have to take that depreciation hit off the lot. But I havea like new car. That's how I wind up driving a seventeen year oldcar in eleven year old car respectively, and I treat him really well.So I narrowed it down to two choices, and they were very different from oneanother. One the Volkswagen Golf, all track, all wheel drive,slightly higher clearance than the average car and a very nice driving experience, orthe Toyota Prius, really the practical choice,...

...insanely reliable, great gas mileage andvery low cost of ownership. So I went online and started looking atthose two vehicles. Now, I found them all over Denver and Colorado Springs, and with other companies like Carmax or Carvana, you could actually search theentire country and I reached out on several specific vehicles, which takes me tothe first take away from this experience. Timeliness and responsiveness matter. Several ofthese companies never reached out at all. Others only reached out with automated messages. Now, if I was super interested in the vehicle, I would actuallyreply to that automated message in order to start the conversation. They wouldn't callme or email me directly, even though I was a very active buyer whoraised my hand. So, as you look at your process, look athow timely and responsive you are too, inbound inquiries and opportunities and all oftheir forms, whether it's online chat, whether it's a form fill or someother form of contact. I didn't expect,...

...in this case, at two minuteresponse time to an inquiry on a specific vehicle, but I did expectto be reached out to sometime in twenty four hours or so. So youcan't create the opportunity unless you're timely and responsive to these types of inquiries andpieces of communication. Number two, you need to manage customer expectations. Mywife and I were so disappointed. We had our eye on a Prius upin Denver. I communicated back and forth with the guy. We spoke byphone, we swapped emails and we ended up committing to buy this car.When I told him we'd buy it, he of course had all of thefinal paperwork in a PDF, purchase price, dealer and handling, taxes, etc. We were ready to roll in make a cash purchase and he setan appointment with us for two days later at fifteen in the morning. Sowe were going to get up early, drive up to Denver and buy thiscar. He set the appointment on the calendar. But the same day weset the appointment, about two hours later,...

I get an email and it hasthree words in it. It's sold. Sorry. So I immediately pick upthe phone and call this gime, like what is going on here?You just sent me a calendar invite, you gave me the out the doorprice. We made this commitment to come up there and buy the car,and his response was we have thirty salespeople on this lot. They need toeat. To talk about failure to manage expectations and failure to empathize with yourcustomer like we were all in on this. We had shut down several other opportunitiesand the gap here was he never communicated that. Hey, you know, if you give me two thousand dollars right now, I can guarantee thisas your car in two days. Or Hey, you know, this carmight sell today. If you commit to come up and buy it today,I can make sure this car is yours. But instead I'm operating from the ideathat, because he set the appointment and I have the final paperwork,that this is my car. I just need to show up and buy it. He's operating from a completely different expectation...

...that he did not communicate, whichis well, if it's around when he gets here, it's his car.So think about expectations that other people might have at different points in their relationshipwith you. Are you operating from the same expectation? Disappointment, this isjust a lifetip. Disappointment is exclusively a function of expectation. If my expectationsare managed and you deliver at expectations, I can't be disappointed. That's whathe thought he was doing, but he failed to communicate those expectations, therebyfailing to manage my expectations. Number three, be honest, because this is aused car story. I don't think you'll be super surprised that there wassome dishonesty in the process, and this is a crazy one. We wentinto test drive that all track. It was a super fun car to drive. I had already pressed them a little bit on the price and they hadalready moved down about three hundred and fifty dollars on it. It was thelast day of the month, it was...

...six PM, they were open fora couple more hours, and so I told my salesperson and his sales manager, who was out on the lot with me standing at the vehicle, Hey, I need to go back. My wife and I are going to talkabout it. We're going to sleep on it tomorrow. I'll get back toyou the next morning with our decision. But before I do that, Ijust want to know what is the absolute, very best price you can give meon this car. And he told me, Hey, I need tomake two hundred dollars on every used car sale and that is where I am. I have no room to move on this car. I said cool,that's fine. I just wanted the best price you could offer. It's partof the decisionmaking process. will go make our decision and follow back up withyou. But the next morning. So he goes into the building. I'mstill chit chatting with my sales rep who I had spoken with on the phone, had swapped several emails with. He was very, very responsive, agreat salesperson. And then as we're wrapping up our chat, the sales managercomes running back toward us. Ethan, I've got exciting news. It's thelast day of the month and the salesperson...

...here is sold nine cars so farthis month. If he sells his tenth car he gets a bonus. IfI could give you five hundred dollars off right now, would you buy thiscar on the spot tonight, last day of the month? And I saidof course not. I told you I wasn't buying the car today and youjust told me you had no room to move on the price. It's justludacrous that two minutes later he would think that I might forget that he toldme that he couldn't move on the price. Lyne to your customers in their faceis always a bad look. Even if we wanted to buy that car, I would have refused to buy that car out of principle from those folks, and the sad part was it was not the fault of the sales wereup, who, again, was awesome, timely, straightforward and very, veryhelpful. So timely and responsive, managing expectations, obviously being honest.That's just basic rules for living. Fourth one here is make it easy,eliminate friction. This is probably the biggest...

...customer experience part of this conversation.Companies like CARMACS and even newer business models like Carvana have identified what makes peoplelike me and you, if you've been through this recently, so frustrated andthey knock down all those things. So we inquired on a car with carmacksand I set an appointment. When I set that appointment through their website,which, by the way, had amazing search criteria, I could dial itinto exactly what I wanted, including the features, including the mileage, andall these other characteristics, including internal and external color of the vehicle. Mywife and I found one that fit what we wanted. Click to make appointmentbutton and it immediately disappeared from the website. When I told my son that wewere going to go check out this car and probably buy it. Hewent to find it online, couldn't find it. Kind of panicked a littlebit and I said they just took it off the website because they reserved itfor me, which was awesome, completely different from the manage expectation story onthat pre US UP IN DENVER. In addition, as we were thinking,should we buy this on the spot or...

...not, seven day return policy.Absolutely no risk whatsoever. The mileage didn't matter. They would give us allof our money back, no matter what, within seven days. We were buyingthis north of Denver, by the way, and they would allow usto make this return in Colorado Springs. Super Convenient and eliminates any of theobjections on the by side, as well as any of the friction of thatbuyers remorse. In addition, Ninety Day warranty. They paid for the manual. There's no manual in this used car we were purchasing. They gave methe link to a website to order it. I submitted my receipt and they reimbursedme to get a physical copy the manual that I could put in theglove box. I was in and out of that dealership in ninety minutes witha car from. I need to inspect this car, check it out.I want a test drive it, which was a fun experience. Walk throughall the paperwork, actually pay for it and all these other things out thedoor. Ninety minutes last step. Here. Carmacs just kills this, by theway, from a customer experience standpoint.

As we were doing the final paperwork, someone was washing the interior and exterior of the car and as wewere walking out to approach the car, they had positioned it in a parkingbay with a nice sign behind it, a giant yellow bow right on thehood. Their colors are blue and yellow and as we were going out,our sales rep said, hey, can I have your phone? Go standjust to the left of the front tire. She took a couple vertical photos acouple horizontal photos of my wife and me with the new car, absolutelyknowing that it's the kind of thing that we would share with our friends inour family, which we did, because they wanted to know what we boughtand what it looked like. In all these other things. Just really thoughtit all out in advance. It's just a nice little surprise and delight momentat the end of the process. That builds social proof for them. Inaddition, just another quick small note on social proof, as we were sittingin the dealership, they have these giant monitors all around in their constantly poppingup new members of the Car Max family with little head shots and the vehiclethey purchased in the city they purchased it...

...in, just really nice touches thathumanize the whole process. Fifth and finally, here, values matter. Ultimately,we made this decision on moral and ethical grounds. Now, not everyonethinks this way, but for us it was just difficult, even though thatcar that I drove for the past seventeen years that still an absolutely amazing shape. As of folkswagon, we opted against the all track, even it wasa great driving experience for two key reasons. One, it only gets twenty twomiles to the gallon in the city, versus forty four for what we purchased, and fifty four a Prius. Right. So we did end upbuying a hybrid car. In addition, Volkswagon got caught in that diesel emissionscheating scandal. Right. So, in this world of finite resources, theidea that we're going to buy a car, that we're going to drive for thenext fifteen to twenty years is going to be very fossil fuel dependent,far less efficient than so many other options in the market. From a companythat was caught bending the rules and actively...

...cheating was just something I couldn't getbehind, even though it was an awesome car to drive. So just ahandful of tips. They're hopefully that triggered something for you, either as acustomer or, even better, as a marketing, sales or customer success professional, about the way that you're interacting with your customers or the way you're beingtreated as a consumer. Hope you enjoyed the episode. If you want tohear more, visit Bombombcom podcast. That's bomb Bombcom podcast, and I welcomeyour feedback. Again, my name is Ethan, but you can reach outto me directly Ethan etch an at bombombcom. Thanks so much for listening. ClearCommunication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefitsof adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy todo with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book. RehumanizeYour Business. How personal videos accelerate sales...

...and improve customer experience. Learn morein order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listeningto the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can dotoday is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learningthe latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player,or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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