In a highly competitive environment, how can equipment manufacturers, vendors and dealers ensure they are consistently delivering a superior service experience? Often customers are happy with the “front-end” part of the sale, but it’s the “back-end” processes of documentation, payment and financing that become challenging.
In a recent survey, 61% of recent purchasers of commercial equipment site the “deal closing” process as the worst part of the customer experience.
Could there be an opportunity for equipment sales teams to create differentiation in this overlooked part of the customer experience? We think so. Here are 5 tips to consider when developing your “back-end” value proposition:
- Don’t hide the process. In fact…do the opposite. Create a quick step by step written journey for the customer and make sure they have access to that information early in the sales process. Often customers become dissatisfied because they are surprised with certain information requirements at the last minute that delays or complicates the close. By establishing the process up front, you remove the mystery and prepare your customer for a smooth experience.
- Money Matters. Make sure they are prepared for the finance process. And not just the application process, but to total experience all the way to close. Ensuring that you bring up finance, payment and other money matters up front will save you migraines at the closing table.
- Word of mouth. Get testimonials of your smooth, successful transactions and focus on the customer experience, not just the value of the equipment. Hearing a customer speak of their experiences in the finance, documentation, insurance and other final stages helps new prospects feel confident in the buying experience…before they are ready to buy.
- Be straightforward and realistic. It’s easy to become excited when you are close to a sale and not want to say anything that might concern the customer. But having the courage to identify potential land mines in the process is important. More challenging credit might take a few more days to close. Upgrading insurance requirements may involve a few steps and take some time. Being proactive with these matters and setting realistic expectations actually creates a better customer experience. It’s the unforeseen surprises that hurt you.
- Understand the business that is buying. It is really important to understand who is buying, financing, paying, how many signatures, etc. up front. Asking this simple question can easily avoid troubles at the end.
At SLS, we think the finance part of your back-end process should feel very uncomplicated. And we help manufacturers, dealers and vendors grow sales through a wide variety of competitive equipment finance solutions. If you would like to see how a finance partner can help you differentiate with a smooth customer experience, contact us today.