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 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. The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your 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 car that we drove him home from the hospital in as an infant. And, you know, a seventeen year old car bluebook value not really high. So a nice gift and an expensive gift in frankly, we don't have to drive them around as much anymore. So what...

...does that mean? And means my wife and I had to go out and buy a car. If there aren't customer 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 the C X Series on the BDB growth show, and so I'm going to share with you a handful of things that I learned recently or was reminded of in the 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 their car issues for years. My Primary Emo in buying a car is less than two years old with fewer than twentyzero miles, so that, like new where I don't have to take that depreciation hit off the lot. But I have a like new car. That's how I wind up driving a seventeen year old car 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 one another. One the Volkswagen Golf, all track, all wheel drive, slightly higher clearance than the average car and a very nice driving experience, or the Toyota Prius, really the practical choice,...

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

...in this case, at two minute response time to an inquiry on a specific vehicle, but I did expect to be reached out to sometime in twenty four hours or so. So you can't create the opportunity unless you're timely and responsive to these types of inquiries and pieces of communication. Number two, you need to manage customer expectations. My wife and I were so disappointed. We had our eye on a Prius up in Denver. I communicated back and forth with the guy. We spoke by phone, 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 the final paperwork in a PDF, purchase price, dealer and handling, taxes, etc. We were ready to roll in make a cash purchase and he set an appointment with us for two days later at fifteen in the morning. So we were going to get up early, drive up to Denver and buy this car. He set the appointment on the calendar. But the same day we set the appointment, about two hours later,...

I get an email and it has three words in it. It's sold. Sorry. So I immediately pick up the phone and call this gime, like what is going on here? You just sent me a calendar invite, you gave me the out the door price. 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 to eat. To talk about failure to manage expectations and failure to empathize with your customer like we were all in on this. We had shut down several other opportunities and the gap here was he never communicated that. Hey, you know, if you give me two thousand dollars right now, I can guarantee this as your car in two days. Or Hey, you know, this car might 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 idea that, 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, which is 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 relationship with you. Are you operating from the same expectation? Disappointment, this is just a lifetip. Disappointment is exclusively a function of expectation. If my expectations are managed and you deliver at expectations, I can't be disappointed. That's what he thought he was doing, but he failed to communicate those expectations, thereby failing to manage my expectations. Number three, be honest, because this is a used car story. I don't think you'll be super surprised that there was some dishonesty in the process, and this is a crazy one. We went into 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 had already moved down about three hundred and fifty dollars on it. It was the last day of the month, it was...

...six PM, they were open for a 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 talk about it. We're going to sleep on it tomorrow. I'll get back to you the next morning with our decision. But before I do that, I just want to know what is the absolute, very best price you can give me on this car. And he told me, Hey, I need to make 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 part of the decisionmaking process. will go make our decision and follow back up with you. But the next morning. So he goes into the building. I'm still chit chatting with my sales rep who I had spoken with on the phone, had swapped several emails with. He was very, very responsive, a great salesperson. And then as we're wrapping up our chat, the sales manager comes running back toward us. Ethan, I've got exciting news. It's the last day of the month and the salesperson...

...here is sold nine cars so far this month. If he sells his tenth car he gets a bonus. If I could give you five hundred dollars off right now, would you buy this car on the spot tonight, last day of the month? And I said of course not. I told you I wasn't buying the car today and you just told me you had no room to move on the price. It's just ludacrous that two minutes later he would think that I might forget that he told me that he couldn't move on the price. Lyne to your customers in their face is 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 were up, who, again, was awesome, timely, straightforward and very, very helpful. 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 people like me and you, if you've been through this recently, so frustrated and they knock down all those things. So we inquired on a car with carmacks and I set an appointment. When I set that appointment through their website, which, by the way, had amazing search criteria, I could dial it into exactly what I wanted, including the features, including the mileage, and all these other characteristics, including internal and external color of the vehicle. My wife and I found one that fit what we wanted. Click to make appointment button and it immediately disappeared from the website. When I told my son that we were going to go check out this car and probably buy it. He went to find it online, couldn't find it. Kind of panicked a little bit and I said they just took it off the website because they reserved it for me, which was awesome, completely different from the manage expectation story on that 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 all of our money back, no matter what, within seven days. We were buying this north of Denver, by the way, and they would allow us to make this return in Colorado Springs. Super Convenient and eliminates any of the objections on the by side, as well as any of the friction of that buyers remorse. In addition, Ninety Day warranty. They paid for the manual. There's no manual in this used car we were purchasing. They gave me the link to a website to order it. I submitted my receipt and they reimbursed me to get a physical copy the manual that I could put in the glove box. I was in and out of that dealership in ninety minutes with a car from. I need to inspect this car, check it out. I want a test drive it, which was a fun experience. Walk through all the paperwork, actually pay for it and all these other things out the door. Ninety minutes last step. Here. Carmacs just kills this, by the way, from a customer experience standpoint.

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

...in, just really nice touches that humanize the whole process. Fifth and finally, here, values matter. Ultimately, we made this decision on moral and ethical grounds. Now, not everyone thinks this way, but for us it was just difficult, even though that car 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 was a great driving experience for two key reasons. One, it only gets twenty two miles to the gallon in the city, versus forty four for what we purchased, and fifty four a Prius. Right. So we did end up buying a hybrid car. In addition, Volkswagon got caught in that diesel emissions cheating scandal. Right. So, in this world of finite resources, the idea that we're going to buy a car, that we're going to drive for the next 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 company that was caught bending the rules and actively...

...cheating was just something I couldn't get behind, even though it was an awesome car to drive. So just a handful of tips. They're hopefully that triggered something for you, either as a customer 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 being treated as a consumer. Hope you enjoyed the episode. If you want to hear more, visit Bombombcom podcast. That's bomb Bombcom podcast, and I welcome your feedback. Again, my name is Ethan, but you can reach out to me directly Ethan etch an at bombombcom. Thanks so much for listening. Clear Communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales...

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

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