5 Things Dealers Can Learn from Starbucks’ Customer Experience
It is important that businesses respond to customer needs and expectations as they shift – from regular Starbucks purchases to the shopper journey towards a car purchase. Starbucks can be an example to other businesses on how to rapidly respond to the market. They prepared for it and dealers can learn from them. Starbucks was prepared for a crisis because it cares about the customer experience (CX). It embraces change and is continuously evolving to make incremental improvements to the customer experience. The coffee giant doesn’t make changes for the sake of change. It makes changes based on key strategies to ensure a high-level of success – then monitors and assesses the impact of changes.
Experiences Matter Like Never Before
Each experience impacts customer satisfaction. In the past, a dissatisfied customer might only tell a few others about their bad experience. Today, that same customer can quickly share their experiences with thousands of people via social media. According to The Association of National Advertisers (ANA):
- Negative customer experiences with your business are shared with 2x as many people as positive ones
- The dissatisfied customer will tell between 9 and 15 people about the bad customer experience
- 13% of dissatisfied customers tell >20 people about the bad customer experience
Optimize Changes Based on Data
Starbucks analyzes customer data from in-store visits, mobile app usage, website traffic, and customer feedback (reviews and surveys) to influence future changes. Data tells the story of what customers want or how they want to buy. How can the auto industry apply this same strategy to ensure customer loyalty?
Here are five things to consider to improve your customer experience:
1. Give your customers the tools and support to submit and receive information from you successfully. Ensure your Google Analytics, Google My Business, and reputation management tools are set-up correctly. Be sure your contact information (including address, email, web address, and phone numbers) are correct, available, and easy to find. Include your website link and any specialized landing pages you may have that enhance your customer experience. Also be sure that every item on your site that can be tagged, is tracked. Build UTM codes for all external links pointing to your website, set goals within Google Analytics, and track the customer experience through the entire process.
2. Review customer data and look for trends – Are your customers saying similar things in their reviews or feedback? What actions are most customers taking on your website or GMB pages? Establish a system to track and compare your data to identify activity trends you can act on. Use a simple spreadsheet or a customer data management system to organize the information. Share negative and neutral reviews with your team and troubleshoot solutions to common problems. Celebrate success stories and work to translate those wins across other business processes.
3. Ask Your Customers – While analytics are great and can shed light on many things, customers are also shopping your competition. Train your sales team to ask customers for feedback, both in person, and on the phone. What did you like about your experience? What can we do better? Track their responses in your CRM.
4. Test – Don’t be afraid to try new things to improve your customer experience. When implementing a new experience, run it for a while and then assess it to see if it improves your CX. Collect actual data to review. Use A/B testing to identify the best solution to implement, then track and analyze data from both before and after the change has been implemented. If something doesn’t work, try something else.
5. Be open to change – Remember, just because something works well doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. Even small tweaks can make a vast difference in customer satisfaction.
The choice to do business with a specific dealer is a serious one for shoppers – after all they are not just ordering a latte, they are making a significant financial investment. Now is the time to focus on customer experience and to reinforce it with data to drive the best possible outcome. Thank you Starbucks, for bringing automotive retailing CX back to dealers.