What Home Depot and Car Dealerships Have In Common.

“There’s no way I can express how sorry I am for all of the stories you shared,” Blake wrote in a message posted Tuesday on the Internet board. “I recognize that many of you were loyal and dedicated shoppers of The Home Depot … and we let you down. That’s unacceptable.”

Home Depot and JetBlue, two companies that built profitable businesses centered around customer service have admitted to losing focus. One thing is certain customers will remind you that the crowd rules, not Wall Street or CEOs. This recent Home Depot event sparked an debate among the staff here at MyDealerReport.com. Who knows the most about what auto consumers want, salespeople or owners?

Michael Dell created a computer empire because he was among the people, the customer. But now he finds himself in a similar position as these other guys. Salespeople are the greatest form of market research for auto dealerships and manufacturers. They interact with multiple customers everyday. Yet, salespeople are treated like children, they are told to be seen, but not heard. While, management continues to plot outdated old fashion dog and pony shows to bring in customers. As I said in a previous blog “the dog has been shot and the pony is dead”.

When I was a salesperson, I constantly encountered the god complex of management. Management hates to be questioned about anything. Their philosophy is just shut up and do it or you can walk! If a customer tells them what they want, management will tell the customer what they need. Now, I can not speak for all auto dealerships, just the multiple dealerships I have worked in the past. Salespeople are perceived as heartless evil villains. However, they are human. They able to relate to one’s anxiety, fears and desires when purchasing a vehicle. But many of them are taught not to feel, but to dominate, by any means necessary.

Most dealerships hold a weekly meeting to discuss performance, goals and deliver sales instructions. When do they hold meetings to uncover the need of their customers? Frank Blake, CEO of Home Depot had to go directly to the customers on the Internet board, because they lost control of the matter. If Home Depot was utilizing their store staff for customer feedback, they would have been proactive instead of reactive.

It would be nice if auto dealerships would conduct weekly meetings with their sales staff for customer feedback. But what would be even better is a monthly meeting with customers. I allured to Michael Dell’s success in the computer business earlier. He was successful, because he customized computers for customers. Customers told him what they wanted and he built it. It sounds like the Big 3 in Detroit can take a lesson from the old Michael Dell.

Why fight with customers? Why force them to take a square peg, when they want a round one? It is a lot easier to give customers what they want, because if you don’t they will find someone who will.

This should be a wake up call for the auto industry, learn from the mistakes of Home Depot, JetBlue and Dell computers. And remember the crowd rules.

Customers tell auto dealerships what you want or don’t want by visiting MyDealerReport.com. Dealers discover what your customers want by visiting MyDealerReport.com.

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One Response to What Home Depot and Car Dealerships Have In Common.

  1. all the ps2 games

    Really nice site you have here. Ive been reading for a while but this post made me want to say 2 thumbs up. Keep up the great work.

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