Dealers can't build meaningful customer relationships themselves, says industry consultant Charlie Fewell, head of Charlie Fewell & Associates.

“This is where so many dealers go wrong,” he says. “They need to be aware that everyone who touches the customer, even by just answering the phone, is either building or diminishing the customer relationship.”

It is not enough for just the dealers to show high levels of customer empathy. They need to coach all staff members, too, establishing a first-rate experience for the customer — from every member of the team, Fewell says.

Negative feedback provides good teaching material. Use it for real-life examples illustrating harmful effects of bad teamwork. “Get your team in the right frame of mind,” he says.