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Adjust incentive programs to include customer service goals

Sales incentive programs  should not simply be about closing a deal, but should be structured to encourage effective customer service as a way to generate repeat purchases.

Car dealerships are very familiar with the use of sales incentive programs. Managers use these tools effectively to motivate employees and meet performance goals. However, the initiatives should not simply be about closing a deal, but should be structured to encourage effective customer service as a way to generate repeat purchases.

Poor customer service can have a strong impact on a brand's reputation. A study by ClickFox found that more than 60 percent of consumers are influenced by negative online reviews. In some cases, online complaints can reach a global audience. In one recent incident, a Chinese businessman hired a crew to smash his new Maserati as a demonstration of his anger at a local dealer. The video has reached thousands of viewers globally, CNBC reported.

Making adjustments to employee incentive programs is an effective way to get staff members to focus on customer service. Recognizing workers who have gone out of their way to solve patrons' problems can motivate others to deliver better services. Forbes notes that companies should develop comprehensive plans for dealing with online complaints. Incentive programs are helpful in encouraging salesmen to reply to comments posted about them on internet discussion boards. Collecting feedback from customers in this way could help staff members improve their performance, while acknowledging the complaints shows a commitment to consumers.

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