Are You Listening?

When I bought my new car not too long ago, I was so impressed about the dealership and the two sales guys that took care of me. They were handling my interest in such a different way than I have otherwise experienced in a US car dealership.

You see normally, my experience is that the car dealers attack you like vultures, give you very sleazy sales pitches, of which you believe no word, often show very little knowledge of their products and when it comes to hackling the price they always have to go off into the little glass box in the middle of the showroom and talk to a manager, before returning to let you know what they can ultimately offer you. A scene that usually takes place a number of times before you end up believing you probably cannot squeeze another dime out of the price.

The problem is, that although I believe myself to be a pretty decent and certainly experienced negotiator, then I invariably leave with a car and still feel a unappreciative sense that “they probably screwed me anyway”. Much the same feeling I get any time I buy an insurance of some sort or a pension solution. I also often leave with the impression that they really don’t care about or for me, and only care about getting that sale done.

Now, with this last car purchase things were different.

I was told upfront that all their prices were an open book price that was available to everyone, not to be negotiated, but already at the very lowest the car dealership could offer. In other words you really didn’t need to waste your efforts or time trying to get a better deal. It’s kinda like going into an Apple store. Did you every think you could get a discount in an Apple store by asking for it? Probably not. It’s very much either take it or leave it.

And so, when they have a great product to sell and you really want it, then you just pony up and sign the deal and drive away in that beautiful new car (or take home that new iPod, iPad or iPhone or whatever from the Apple store).

The no-bs pricing structure actually leaves you feeling reassured that that’s probably the fair price then for a great product and that you probably won’t be able to do much better anywhere else anyways and that you can trust this place as opposed to all the other dealers and stores that still haven’t gotten it.

What then you still look for, is the level of service and the way they treat you and talk to you and possibly a number of other factors. So these factors become even more important now as an added reassurance that you are dealing with the right people, store and company.

Now this particular dealership placed a lot of emphasis on customer satisfaction and service levels and it was apparent. In fact on the first day I visited this dealership (a BMW dealership), the same morning just moments before walking in, I had just come from a Chevrolet dealership to inquire about the new Corvette.

The difference in service and attitude and demeanor of these two stores were remarkable.

At the Corvette dealership I entered and walked resolutely towards one of the two Corvette vehicles in the showroom. There was a Salesguy busy with a client at one of the Corvettes so I went to the other one. I snapped some images with my camera and some with my iPhone and I sat in the car checking it out. I opened the hood and looked at the engine and I walked around the car a few times.

There were two other salesguys at the perimeter of the showroom, chatting with each other killing time and there were other employees around too. Now, while I appreciate that I wasn’t attacked by vultures hoping to get my money, I still was a little surprised that no one spoke to me or directed their attention to me, especially seeing that I took such interest in the car.

In fact it wasn’t until I walked out of the showroom that one of the salesguy asked me if I had any questions. I almost didn’t bother at this time, but thought I would ask a few things. It became apparent that the guy knew very little about anything really. I inquired about different engine sizes either available now or in the future (as has usually been the case with Corvettes). He knew nothing and tried to talk his way around this and other questions. He made another mistake too, which was basically showing hunger for getting potentially another sale, but at the same time probably didn’t think that I could buy a car like that (yeah, that kind of attitude shows). A test drive wasn’t possible of course. Well, I walked and drove straight over to the BMW dealership who gave me a much different experience.

You see, the very first time I walked into the BMW dealership I had taken but 3 or 4 steps in and the receptionist got off her chair and walked towards me, graciously and smilingly greeting me and inquired how she could help and what I would be interested in. In addition she offered me a bottled water or a coffee. After telling her the car type that I was considering she summoned a nice gentleman who guided me through the dealership and the differences that they offered and how they did things.

We discussed the car I was interested in and after a little bit he found one in inventory and let me have a test drive – more than one hours worth that took me onto highway and into smaller winding mountain roads. Wasn’t too scared when I tested out the motor a bit and allowed me to do a serious brake test.

Two dealerships – two very different experiences for sure.

I didn’t buy a car right there and then though.

But at any rate, I entered the BMW dealership a few weeks later again. My salesguy wasn’t in yet, so they handed me over to another one. Just as nice and courteous.

Luckily they had a brand new car of the model I was interested in that had just come in to their inventory. I figured I just needed to do a little test drive just to be sure and so we did. This guy was probably less adventurous as they first salesguy, and I keep laughing of this, but as soon as I hit the accelerator in a big time on the highway, he kinda went pale and in as controlled demeanor as he could said that we should probably take the next exit and turn back to the showroom. Too funny.

At any rate, we came back to the showroom and I said let’s do it. An hour later I handed over a cashiers cheque for the full amount (incidentally almost twice the price of the Corvette) and could drive home in my new car.

Great experience all around buying this car.

A week later or so, they two salesguys even sent me a handwritten appreciation note thanking me for the purchase.

The experience and entire handling of me as a customer for a high end product impressed me and I posted a notice to this effect to 4,000 friends on Facebook for others to be inspired with.

However,…..

A week later or so, I took the car in to have film installed on the windows and a protective film on the front of the car and to treat it with a special protection coat. All as according to the deal and plan I had made with the salesguy at time of buying the car and everything booked with the department who would handle this (was even introduced to them and all).

They took in the car and told me it would probably a full 24 hours before job was done and it would be OK to take it out into changing weather. That was to be expected and all OK, I even let them have it for one more day, just to make sure.

The problem was that when it came to time for me to pick it up again, they still hadn’t called me to let me know it was ready. So instead I called them. Found out they really hadn’t done squat with the car in all that time. Apparently, they still hadn’t the film shipped in, even though that was ordered at the time when I bought the car and ordered the extra protective work. It was now weekend, so they would have to order it come Monday and then we would have to await delivery and then miss the car for another couple of days for the work.

What really made me wonder was why the heck they hadn’t called me as soon as they learned they had messed up. Instead I was without the car for a few days, wasn’t told anything was a miss before I inquired myself at the time it should all be ready and ready for pick up (at which time they actually still couldn’t tell me anything).

It was completely like the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing.

Well, OK mishaps happens.

But what really wasn’t alright, was the fact that subsequently, I told first the one salesguy about it and how I found this was very unfortunate for a company that took customer service seriously. I suggested they would have their quality control and service person call me so that I could walk them through everything and so that I could give them my suggestions for how to do better in these regards. He never called.

I also told the other salesguy (pretty much same conversation) and I told the guy who kindly gave me the full intro to the car (where buttons for this, that and the other was in the car – yeah, it’s highly technological and advanced). However, no one seemed to take this OPPORTUNITY to make the right person call me up and make a wrong really right and turn a bad experience into an awesome experience and turning this customer into a raving customer. Big mistake.

Remember, when you made some bad customer mistakes and when you get complaints, this in fact is your best opportunity to turn customers into absolute raving fans. Well, they missed that opportunity.

As you will recall, I posted my happy experience to 4,000 connections. That’s awesome for them. But this long report (way longer than the one little image I posted with the good buy experience) will go out to same 4,000 connections, but in addition to well over 12,000 other connections on another platform – 12,000 connections linked to 24 million people and of course it will now sit on my website for who knows how long and visible to anyone and everyone who comes by (this number might be higher than you think it is). This is in no way to make some sort of retribution or to punish the dealership, but more in order for me to relay the importance of recognizing your best opportunities for turning customers into raving customers and turning bad experiences into awesome experiences. There’s a good lesson her, so I hope that you take it to heart for your business.

We touched on this same subject in one of the businesses I run, RetailWise USA, in a new post of today called: Are You Listening Or Just Hearing?

Much shorter post, but worth reading.

 Are you listening? Or just hearing? Turning Bad Customer Service Into Good ones and Making Raving Fans

 

 

 

Cultural Differences and Nuisances

Today, still fighting and battling my cold, I tried to do a lot of canvass work for one of the other new ventures of mine – the venture of RetailWise USA.

This venture, which offers very uniquely comprised surveys for large retailers that will provide them with invaluable insights to just how well their stores in reality are performing and not least what their true potential is, is based upon a great deal of expertise and background of Danish company named RetailWise which already has an impressive presence throughout Europe.

Well, most of us have some experience with cold calling canvass work, either as the one doing it or as the recipient of such calls on the other end of the line. We probably also have mixed feelings about these in general. Sometimes as a recipient we can get really annoyed about the intrusion of someone who just wants to sell us something, but other times I must admit, that I personally at least, have been pleased to get introduced to something rather remarkable or perhaps just a fantastic offer that I ended up being really happy about accepting. To perform the cold canvass work on its side can sometimes be intimidating or demoralizing as you must be able to withstand a lot of rejections and at times even down right negative response. But ultimately is often a matter of a numbers game in which the more you do it, then bigger your results. To that end, it of course helps to have a good script and to be good at adapting your communication to handle whatever objections you are met with.

But like I mentioned, I really pulled myself together today – delayed too long already by this nuisance of a cold that just doesn’t seem to let go of me – and I called and reached out to a long line of large US retailers. I had collected a list long list of them, so it was just a matter of getting to them, ringing them up one by one. And so I did.

If you have ever done something similar anywhere, you are probably aware of just how many tries you will have to endure to get anywhere. However, I have to tell you that this proved a bigger nuisance than expected and it all comes back to the usual impression that I have been reliving ever since I moved to the US. You see, here in theRetailWise USA

United States, to a degree much greater than I have experienced anywhere else in the world, the companies – large and small – have a serious tendency to “hide” behind their tedious telephone systems and not least voicemail capabilities. In fact, I have come to believe that a lot of employees, if in fact not most employees, will deliberately hide behind their voicemail and deliberately let all or at least a majority of calls go to their voicemail instead of picking up the phone – regardless of them possibly actually having the extra time on their hands to do so.

I also believe that it’s not just a matter of letting your voicemail be your screening device, but sometimes, I’m sad to say, just out right laziness and just not wanting to deal with anything.

It grieves me to say this, but I must say that I really believe a great deal of truth to be resting within these words. I have felt so pretty much ever since I moved “over here” from Denmark. I have even felt it regardless of me being in the shape of a customer and even possibly wanting to buy something, so in other words the problem doesn’t just reside in matters of me trying to reach someone to sell something to or to complain about a customer experience or product to. Don’t get me wrong. I love the US and I love the Americans, but I really detest the typical phone system encounters and the way companies are handling it. In Denmark, I used to find that it was mostly when you had to reach a public office of sorts that you would continually run into something similar – into situation where you would be calling in vain never reaching anybody or certainly be tested in your patience. But here in the States, it’s almost everywhere you call.

Almost everywhere, you will have to endure long automated answering machines that ask of you to press this for that and that for this, through layers after layers, before you would finally reach your desired end destination, at which point you will invariably be met with – yes, you guessed it: a voicemail. Hardly ever, will you be fortunate to actually get to speak with a person.

If you deal a lot with companies in the US, you must know what I’m talking about.

Meanwhile, also today, I was pleased also to finally have my own telephone auto-answer and response system set up for the new venture RetailWise USA. It too actually makes use of the same facilities as the systems I have just complained about, but at least my auto-message is kept to a minimum and unless it’s out of hours or everybody is busy, then you will actually get a real person answering. So yes, there’s some irony here I admit, but there will be no hiding behind my voicemail here. No, let’s do business!

At any rate, it was kind of fun when I tried to relay my initial cold calling experiences to my buddy who works very engaged with the Danish RetailWise company. He offered comfort as to how I could reach out to some of my colleagues from Europe and fine-tune “my script”. What he had a hard time hearing, was the fact that my message actually stated that it wasn’t that my script was no good, but the fact that I couldn’t even land with an actual person to speak with at the other end of the phone line.

Darn it. So frustrating. But I’m not one to give up. There are other ways to skin the cat. This is just a minor setback. Annoying, yes. But there’s another way. I’ve just got to find it.

So I’m thinking, I will contact meeting bookers’ bureaus and see if they may do this (excuse me for saying it: boring and tedious slavery work) and see if they can get me anywhere and then meanwhile I will work on other channels that I believe will be much more powerful anyways, as they will instill the potential customers to seek me out rather than me trying to get them to pay me a few minutes of audition.

I shall keep you posted as I progress.

If you have has any similar experiences or found great ways of getting somewhere, then please share this in the comments area below. Would love to hear from you.

 

RetailWise USA helping US retailers dramatically improve their results

Press Release: January 8, 2014: New Venture For Successful Multiple Parallel Entrepreneur Mikkel Pitzner Launched – Spells Great News For Large Retailers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

How does the individual store and thereby the whole chain increase its earnings – simply, effectively and quickly? Regardless of what retail industry your store is a part of?

 

Highlands Ranch, CO. – January 8, 2014 – A new business venture headed up by Mikkel Pitzner, marketing expert, successful businessman and partner of several businesses, professional board member and mentor sees first light.

RetailWise USA launched publicly today. The new business venture builds and expands upon the very successful Danish company RetailWise that after huge success starting in Denmark and following in several European countries currently is heavy expanding all over Europe and now also gets its presence in the United States.

The US company, RetailWise USA LLC, is headed up by the successful multiple parallel entrepreneur Mikkel Pitzner via his company Pitzner Enterprises. The company is working closely with the proprietary idea creator RetailWise and its founder, John Schønberg in Denmark.

The news of this new company should generate a lot of interest soon among all larger retailers. A major factor to the huge success RetailWise has experienced already among household brand name large retailers all over Europe is due to a very unique concept and product offered by the company. One particular product especially has brought RetailWise clients dramatic results – a product is called Exitshopping®.

Exitshopping® in one operation combines the very best of Mystery Shopping, customer satisfaction rates, loyalty rates, analyses, customer utility flows etc. to help large retailers pinpoint where to set in to dramatically improve results, productivity and ultimately profits.

The concept has proven so successful among some of the largest European retailers that free pilot projects turn the prospect retailers into paying customers at a rate of approximately 80%.

“RetailWise is hugely successful in Europe with some of the most recognized and largest retailers there. So successful in fact that RetailWise is currently expanding forcefully into several local presences throughout European countries,” stated Mikkel Pitzner.

“Seeing that the market in the US is so heavily influenced by the presence of so many large retailers it just makes perfect sense that RetailWise must come to the United States and I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to head up the business here”, continued Mikkel Pitzner, CEO of RetailWise USA in a statement and continued; “Our proven concept is certain to create massive results for many, many large retailers here in the United States, just as we have done in Europe. I expect us to be very, very busy in the time to come.”

Mikkel Pitzner continues: “Improving these large retailers topline, costs, productivity etc. by just a few percentage points spell huge increases and improvements to the profit line. Simultaneously, the improvements usually bring about or is in fact brought by increased customer satisfaction. In other words, it’s hard not to be really interested in our services and our Exitshopping® product as we really offer a win-win-win solution.

Already Mikkel Pitzner is a multiple parallel and serial entrepreneur with many, many varied activities on his plate and very vast experience behind him. He also sits on a number boards of directors for many varied businesses spanning several countries and several different types of industries, including privately held as well as publicly traded companies.

 

About RetailWise

RetailWise was established in Denmark by majority owner John Schønberg and a couple of silent investors. It developed some very unique concepts that help larger retailers dramatically improve their results on many levels, not least the bottom line.

One of the more noticeable offerings and concepts is that of Exitshopping® which is taking Europe by storm and has already help create very noticeable results for a long string of household brand name retailers there.

RetailWise is represented throughout Europe, Asia and now also North America.

 

About Mikkel Pitzner

Originally from Denmark, Mikkel Pitzner he used to run what turned into the fourth largest car rental company and a leasing company he lead to a doubling of size and a quadrupling of locations.

Up until end of 2010 he owned and operated the largest limousine service company in Denmark which profits he managed to grow 3200% during the first year of ownership alone. The company served the most discerned clientele including no less than 3 recent US presidents, being George Bush, President Clinton and President O’Bama, the latter during the World Climate Summit meetings during 2009, servicing more than 200 limousines to the US Embassy of Copenhagen along with numerous other embassies, countries, royalties, celebrities, multi-conglomerates etc.

Mikkel Pitzner also successfully ran an import and distribution company of scuba diving equipment until that company was sold to a German distributor.

Mikkel Pitzner is still a partner of Freetrailer (which comprises of Freetrailer Denmark, Freetrailer Sweden and soon Freetrailer Germany) and of a very unique advertising and marketing bureau named Aksel & Ko. Mikkel Pitzner is a sought after professional board member and current sits on boards of companies spanning the US, Denmark, Sweden and Poland, including privately held as well as publicly traded companies.

Mikkel is also a multiple best selling author (with 6 best selling books published so far) and speaker and teaches entrepreneurs how to create a business that will provide you with the lifestyle of your choice while taking you off the treadmill of your job, so you can spend your time on things of your choosing. A list of Mikkel Pitzners books is given below:

The Art And Science Of Success, Vol 2

The Only Business Book You’ll Ever Need

The Success Secret

Marketing Miracles

New Rules Of The Game

Mikkel Pitzner’s Trade Secrets For Marketing Your Business Online

Masterminds’s Insights To Business Success

Mikkel Pitzner has been featured on CNBC, abc, CNNMONEY.com, Entrepreneur, Fox News, CBS News, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Fast Company, SmartMoney, USA Today and NBC. Mikkel Pitzner was also a guest at the Brian Tracy TV Show.

 

To learn more about RetailWise USA, please visit www.retailwiseusa.com or call 1-855-710-0014, to learn more about Mikkel Pitzner, please visit www.mikkelpitzner.com or contact him directly via contact details given below.

 

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Contact:
Mikkel Pitzner

888-988-2489
info@mikkelpitzner.com