Customer engagement is the link between marketing and services performed. It should be given as much emphasis as promotional efforts to attract business and performance of quality vehicle repairs. A successful customer engagement strategy is based on the customer’s perspective and the expectations they develop through exposure to marketing messages. The culture of the organization must support the expectations of the customer and support the image conveyed through promotional campaigns. Business processes must be clearly defined and have the effect of ensuring that customer engagement supports marketing and service performance. Following are steps to developing a successful customer engagement strategy:
- Recognize the Role of Customer Engagement – Customer engagement is the link between marketing and services performed. Great marketing and great auto repair service can be undermined by poor customer engagement practices. Customer engagement at all levels should be given as much emphasis as earning business and performing quality vehicle repairs.
- Understand the Perspective of the Customer – Excellence in customer engagement is predicated on the customer’s point of view. Understanding the preferences of the customer is a critical component of successful customer engagement. Knowing the common traits of the target market is the key to defining a successful customer engagement strategy.
- Realistically Assess the Culture of Your Organization – The culture of an organization must support the image marketed and service performed. If quick service is marketed and performed the mindset of frontline personnel must support this overall strategy. If premium diagnostic and tuning services are promoted and performed all members of the organization must understand and support this philosophy.
- Identify Expectations Instilled by Promotional Efforts – The customer’s perspective will be influenced by the messages communicated in marketing campaigns. The image formulated in the customer’s mind of the service a business will delivery must be supported by customer engagement processes.
- Document Service Delivery Processes – Disconnects between promotional efforts and services performed are most likely attributable to flawed or poorly defined business processes. Processes that involve customer interaction should be closely examined and evaluated for their effectiveness in supporting company image and quality of repair service.
- Ensure that Engagement Supports Expectations – Customer engagement must be in line with customer expectations. For example if promotional efforts communicate friendly customer service and customers are rushed through the vehicle drop off and delivery process with little or no interaction there is a disconnect between what the customer understood through promotion and what their experience is. The process of engagement must be consistent and align with promotional messages.