We often hear the words “exceed customer expectations” or “deliver an outstanding customer experience” as methods to achieving organizational excellence. But in today’s competitive and rapidly changing environment, we must go a step further to be truly successful and help our customers meet or exceed their own goals.
Competition is fierce and customers aren’t as loyal as they used to be. This isn’t because customers are less friendly or appreciative; it’s because customers have significant pressure to deliver results.
Exceeding your customer’s expectations is just a starting point for an organization to be successful. Now, it’s important to focus on how to deliver an experience that results in your customer exceeding their performance goals. Instead of focusing on your success, consider focusing on your customer’s success.
As an example, auto auctions are vigilant of the inventory selection running in the lanes — the more, the better — and how many of those vehicles are sold. While these are important performance goals for the auction, the only concern the seller has is how quickly and profitably you can sell their vehicle.
At ADESA Buffalo, we are taking a new approach to the customer experience. We are focusing on the seller’s needs for each individual vehicle. We’re examining each seller’s experience and sales history and developing tailored sales plans and solutions that help the seller meet or exceed their performance goals. If our seller succeeds, the auction succeeds.
We now like to think of our auction sales staff as dealer sales consultants. They analyze a customer’s selling performance, looking for what works and what doesn’t. In some cases, this may mean suggesting to the dealer that they may have more success selling a particular vehicle through a digital, online marketplace rather than at the physical auction.
The results have proven to be successful for us at ADESA Buffalo. While we currently have fewer vehicles running through the lanes from our sellers, we have helped them increase their selling performance by 20 percent. They are saving auction fees associated with vehicles processed to run through the lanes but that don’t sell. We are helping our sellers determine the best venues to sell certain vehicles — the lanes aren’t always the best marketplace for all vehicles — saving them time and money. And we haven’t forgotten about our buyers. They are now seeing more desirable inventory running through the lanes, with less time wasted waiting on the vehicle they want.
It took a leap of faith for our auction sales team and our customers to try this approach. However, once we develop the right sales plan, both of us — the auction and our customers — can achieve performance goals.