Customer service IS your business

Customer service isn’t just an important part of your business, it is your business. Creating that personal relationship with your customers has never been more critical. 

We live in a world where everything can be personalized, from a Coca-Cola bottle with your name on it to a personal shopper at Giant Eagle to building your perfectly unique new BMW. As a leader, you can’t ignore the fact that all of this marketing and business preparation is assembled to customize a level of service for each individual.

Everyone is different, and it’s important to really listen to what customers are saying. It’s not about telling a customer what you think they should do; it’s about assessing and understanding a customer’s needs and wants. You need to treat everyone who comes to your business as an individual with independent desires. Do your best to work with these customers along their journey by providing the best customizable experience they could have to find an agreeable outcome for both parties. 

Your employees are your most powerful success factor. In order to deliver a first-class performance, employees must adapt, respect and trust the independence they are given to act as a role model for others and understand that customers hold the key to victory as a company. If you focus on your people and build a culture they can thrive in, they will, in turn, take care of your customers. 

If your employees come in to work and are willing to put in the time and effort with a positive attitude, it translates to your customers’ experience. If your employees are having a good time at work, then your customers are going to notice that energy and have a great experience, as well.

It’s the small things that customers take note of the most. For example, if you walk into our dealership, our employees know that if they’re within five feet of you, they need to greet you and make sure you have everything you need. It doesn’t matter if they already saw another employee do this. We don’t want anyone to feel intimidated or not welcome — we’re all glad they’re in the store.  

Transitioning to a more personal customer experience relies heavily on having a brand that supports your initiatives. Building a new BMW for a customer has become standard for us, as we typically we see about 20 BMW orders come in each month. BMW USA has created an intuitive Build-Your-Own tool that customers and employees alike take advantage of daily. There’s a great sense of joy for a customer of any business when they are able to pick up a product that is exactly what they ordered. 

Our mission statement over the last 30-plus years of business has been to create the ultimate experience for customers. Your ability to build a team that can personalize that journey for your customers can go a long way toward achieving enduring customer satisfaction.

Adam Moon is center operator at BMW of Westlake.