Salesmen are important. They are an agriculture dealerships frontline in moving the most equipment off the lot. However, we all know that the key to a lasting business is lasting customer relationships. When we center our business plan on long-lasting relationships, suddenly the parts and service counter becomes just as important as the sales staff, if not more.
How important is your parts and service counter?
According to a recent study, 70% of a customer’s purchasing experience is defined by how they feel they are being treated. The researchers also found that a customer is four times more likely to stop buying from a dealer because of customer service issues . Customer service is the key to forming lasting customer relationships. But what type of customer service can an agricultural dealer provide? We have a saying at Kirkpatrick,
“The salesman sells the first, the parts counter sells the next five!”
Think of a salesman as a starting pitcher. He may have a few great innings, but if his bullpen of closers (the service department) can’t support him later in the game, all that work might be for nothing. If you’re a Kubota dealer and you move a baler off the lot, it’s probably going to be a good day. But when the farmer leaves that baler in the rain and needs to replace the bearings — your parts and service department have to be twice as helpful as the original salesman. If you’re responsive and quick in getting his baler running without any problems, who do you think he is coming to when his tractor wears out in a few years?
Personal service and customer service are the keys to lasting relationships.