Have you ever gone into a place of business and immediately felt uncomfortable because you weren’t sure where to go or what to do? Many of your clients may be experiencing this same uncomfortable feeling.
Here is a simple test to find out. Stand out on your drive in the morning and watch your customers. Do they appear to know where to go and what to do? Or are some of them parking and walking in while others are driving their cars into your service drive? When they do drive in, are they staying in their cars, or leaving them to walk to the advisor’s desk or even worse, your waiting area? Inconsistency in their actions is a sure sign that your clients are not receiving the direction they need to feel confident and relaxed when entering your store.
We all are relying on direction more than we ever have in the past. Just think about how many times you Google something or use your navigation app to move through your day. I find myself using Google maps in cities I have visited many times just for the security of not taking a wrong turn. Your clients would like this security too, and there are a few things we do to help them relax and enjoy their visit.
It all starts with their first point of contact: the telephone call. If your phone personnel or service advisors take a moment to tell clients where to go and what to expect upon arrival, a lot of confusion, worry and apprehensiveness will be eliminated for your guests, especially those visiting for the first time.
Here is an example of a simple word track that can prepare your customers for their service visit:
“Mr./Ms.________, we have your check-in time reserved for (day, date and time). Please pull into our service drive and wait comfortably inside your car and an advisor will come out and greet you. Plan to spend about 7 to 10 minutes with your service advisor so they can discuss your concerns, and perform our complimentary walk-around. We like to take the time to make sure we understand all your service needs so you have an excellent service experience. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?”
This short word track will give your customers the information they need to be more comfortable entering your service department. I recommend you also add this direction in your online scheduling system.
Now you may be wondering, what is a check-in time? It is a much more effective way to clarify what we are really scheduling. Clients tend to have the perception that an appointment is when their car will get in the shop. We all know this rarely happens, so this is another area that needs some clarity. Here is a simple explanation to give when asked:
“A check-in time is a time reserved for you to discuss all of your service needs with your advisor so he can put your car in line for the first available certified technician.”
Of course we are going to get their vehicles in as soon as we possibly can, but we need to educate our clients in a professional manner about the flow of a shop. I like to compare it to a doctor’s visit. Sometimes the patient ahead of you needed more time and medical attention than expected. This can delay the flow and make things take much longer than expected. If your advisors use this scenario, most of your clients will gain a better understanding about why you may need more time than originally expected.
As with all training, this a simple matter of mastering strong communication skills. When your team (and even your website) provides important guidance and direction through consistent messages, everyone will be more prepared and therefore able to relax when they come into your store.
Don’t forget your sales team; they can also use this technique, which creates the best environment to provide excellent service.
Click here to view more solutions from Sally Whitesell and sw Service Solutions.