Why creating memorable client experiences defines your brand

Following on from my musing last week about ‘Why customer service is your only point of difference‘, I’ve had two client experiences that confirm why my good friend and expert on all things brand, Deborah Ogden says that ‘your reputation is what people say about you when you are not in the room’.

I was asked recently to have a day’s test drive in a German sports car because they were struggling with sales.  Let’s call them Po***he to hide their identity.

When I arrived to collect the car, my named contact wasn’t available, so I spoke to another member of the team who told me to bring the car back before 18:00.  It was the day of bad snow so unfortunately had to take it steady as there was a £1,000 excess on the insurance.  Doh!

When I entered the showroom to return the car at 17:45, the only visible team members were both chatting in an office.  Both clocked me, but neither figured it was their responsibility to ask if I needed help.

After waiting for almost 15 minutes, I decided to go looking for a member of the team to return the car.  One of these guys then approached me and asked if I needed help (a bit late but glad you’ve finished your chat now).

My named contact had gone home for the day so one of the other members of the team who didn’t know the situation, asked how the drive had been and if I was interested in buying a car.

I declined at that moment and have had zero follow up from said dealership since, regarding any interest in purchase.

On Tuesday this week, I took my Polestar into the local Volvo dealership (IYKYK) for a service.

I was greeted with a huge smile by the visitor host Jackie, who looked after me.  She showed me to the meeting room I had asked for to conduct meetings, offered me drinks and biscuits (if my PT is reading this – I declined!) and said to shout if I needed anything.

When my car was ready and my meetings were finished, I was asked how my visit had been, if there was anything they could have done to make it better and given a nice pack with the documentation, receipt and a Google review link to complete.

I was shown to my car and thanked for my business.

I wasn’t looking to spend £90k on a new car (and I never will be), but the fantastic client experience even for a £150 service, suggested they genuinely cared about my business and wanted to leave a lasting impression.  A good friend of mine has recently bought a car at this dealership and also said the service was very good.

If you are looking for a remarkable car dealership experience (one of the few I have witnessed in a sea of apathetic mediocrity), check out Volvo in Wakefield and take time to say hello to the infectious Jackie and the rest of the fabulous team.

Here’s the rub and why customer experiences are important to you.

I have told a number of people about my less than memorable experience with the unnamed German car dealership.  Any impression they had will perhaps now be tainted.

I have also told a number of people about the remarkable one.  Any impression they had will be a more favourable one.

Your brand and reputation isn’t what you want it to be.  It is the experience that your clients and team members have.

It’s what these people say when asked.

Your brand is a by product of your customer experiences and service levels, and this is a result of your robust systems and your value aligned team following them.

Having loop holes in your systems and some team members not following them means inconsistency, which results in poor services levels and your customers either voting with their feet or worse still telling everybody that asks how poor the service was.

It’s why, when working with clients on the growth plans, we spend a lot of time focussing on repeatable systems and building an aligned team that cares as much as you.

It doesn’t matter if you are selling an expensive car, an inexpensive service or anything else. Your reputation retains and unlocks your business.

Be less Po***he, and more Volvo/ Polestar.

Want to discuss? Book a free 30 minute Discovery Call.

client experience Gary King Tendo Business Mentor Leeds