I have been on a whirlwind tour lately and have seen lots of recyclers and one of the things that we spent time talking about is the customer experience. How many of us stop and look at the facility from the customer’s point of view?
You have many different perspectives that you deal with. What do you look like from an electronic standpoint? Are you mobile app friendly? How are your reviews? What pictures do you have representing you? Are any or all of those things something that you are happy your customer sees or is it saying not to trust doing business with you? Are the various apps that provide directions correct? I recently ended up in a corn field about 1.5 miles from the site. A different app got me there.
What does the customer see when they arrive at your site? Is your parking lot full of vehicles waiting to be processed? How are they greeted? Remember that the overwhelming majority of the population does place going to the wrecking yard high on their fun things to do list. (Hard to believe, but true!) You want their money so you need to treat them that way.
What does the yard look like? We are a green industry and some of us don’t look that way. Some of the little things go a long way like making sure the trash gets thrown away instead of left in the vehicles to end up on the ground.
What does your product look like at time of delivery to the customer? There are a lot of options on how to purchase parts to repair vehicles. The key to successful selling in any industry is making the customer feel that they received good value for their money. Part of getting good value is what the part looks like when presented to the customer. What do your parts look like?
If you sell a lot of wholesale parts that require deliveries, your trucks and drivers are the face of the company. Is it a happy or a sad face? Do you equip your trucks properly so as to not add to the friction costs that parts deliveries cause for the customer? Shops make money by working on vehicles not unloading delivery trucks. Are you the evil parts provider or the welcome solution to help them make money?
How is your accounting department? We often forget that sales people are good at selling but not so hot at the paperwork. Especially the credits that are needed. We also forget that bookkeepers want everything to button up perfectly. These two are on a crash course from the very beginning. Do you make this the customer’s problem or do you make sure that you work things out internally first?
All of these things are a part of the customer’s experience. There are many others that have impacts and you should take some time to see yourself through the eyes of the customer to see how you can improve. You now have a great opportunity to grow your businesses if you choose to work towards creating a better customer experience.
Mike Kunkel Bill Stevens
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