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Service sells trucks … and everything else, too

Dec. 13, 2016
W. M. "Rusty" Rush – chairman, CEO and president of Rush Enterprises – has always spoken in fairly blunt terms about what makes the trucking industry tick (go see for yourself in this story from last year).

W. M. "Rusty" Rush – chairman, CEO and president of Rush Enterprises – has always spoken in fairly blunt terms about what makes the trucking industry tick (go see for yourself in this story from last year).

But one mantra that he’s consistently repeated during his company’s annual technician skills rodeo – at least over the last decade I’ve spent cover it – is this: service sells trucks.

“Technicians are the heartbeat of the dealership simply because service sells trucks in this business,” he explained during the 2010 competition. “You guys are where it’s at. You make us who we are.”

The funny thing is that saying turns out to be true across a far broader business spectrum as well.

Take a look at the results of this online survey conducted among 2,400 consumers by a firm named MarketingSherpa.

Their poll found that nearly 60% of highly satisfied customers believe that the marketing of a company they were satisfied with "often or always" puts their needs ahead of its own business goals, compared to 16.1% of highly unsatisfied customers — a relative difference of 269%. Similarly, for companies perceived as prioritizing customer needs against their own business goals, the satisfaction relative difference jumps to 488%.

The “satisfaction chasm,” not surprisingly, seems to translate into sales, MarketingSherpa found, as nearly 92% of satisfied consumers indicate they are likely or very likely to continue to purchase from brands they like versus 29.4% who are unsatisfied with a brand.

"In this era of data-driven marketing and intense customer targeting, the survey results clearly indicate that brands should think beyond just aiming at their customer,” noted Daniel Burstein, senior director of editorial content at MarketingSherpa, in a statement.

“Instead use that data to elevate the customer. We call this customer-first marketing," he added. "If the customer is the king or queen, shouldn't they come first?"

A few other tidbits from this survey to ponder:

  • Only 8% of highly unsatisfied customers were very likely to continue purchasing.
  • Yet half (51%) of highly satisfied customers were very likely to give the company a chance to correct its mistake by contacting customer service to find a resolution while only 18% of highly unsatisfied customers said the same
  • These same satisfied customers are more likely to recommend a company to others (61% very likely and 30% likely).

Something for trucking to keep in mind going forward.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr 1 | Senior Editor

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