1. INDEPENDENT AUTO SALES AND SERVICE (IAS)
Expand sales and service business, especially via repeat customers and word-of-mouth recommendations.
This mid-size auto dealership sells late model used automobiles, many of which are recently off-lease cars the owner gets from large new-car dealers in a southwestern city. IAS is owned by Stephany and Lee Bergen, a husband-and-wife team. They have been in business for 15 years and have a positive reputation for honesty. Many of their sales come from referrals from past customers. Competing with other new- and used-car dealerships is always a battle. New cars are sometimes being offered with zero interest loan incentives. IAS, however, can almost always offer a much better purchase price, especially on two- or three-year-old cars with some mileage on them. With a difficult economy and reduced sales of cars, Steph and Lee have decided to emphasize their repair services in addition to sales. They have three full-time mechanics on duty. The service manager is Ray, a man with good skills but not much of a personality. Nevertheless, repairs now account for about 15 percent of IAS revenues. In addition, IAS has been cultivating additional business-to-business (B2B) sales efforts. They recently got a contract to provide servicing for the vehicles owned by their local city government as well as a major building contractor. This increase in service business has posed some problems due to lack of repair staff. Sometimes Ray promises more than he can deliver or misses deadlines. IAS is recruiting qualified mechanics to meet this need. They are also on the lookout for good salespeople.
1. If you were an owner or leader in this business, what could you do to help employees understand the value of excellent customer service?
2. Who are your external customers and what are their specific needs? (Describe at least three.)
3. Who are your internal customers and what are their specific needs? (Describe at least three.)
4. What are some starting points for developing the core competencies we discussed in your selected business? Be as specific as possible.
5. How could your business apply the ideas in this chapter to build customer loyalty?