Poor Service is Not a Symptom of COVID! - AutoSuccessOnline
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Poor Service is Not a Symptom of COVID!

Clients want important information and clear directions, and it starts with their first point of contact.

Sally Whitesell is president of sw Service Solutions, which offers in-store training nationwide and Fixed Ops University; engaging online training for managers and service advisors. Sally brings over 21 years of on-the-drive experience to her training, seminars and books, which include her highly sought after “What Drives Women?” program and her book, “Words That Sell Service.” And new for 2019: the ultimate sales tool: the sw Service Solutions Maximizing Menu.

Due to COVID, we will not be: 
“…issuing any rainchecks”; 
“…serving beverages on this flight, unless you are in first class…”; “…able to process your order quickly.”

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If you have gone to restaurants, shopped or travelled in the last year, you have noticed that this pandemic has been used as an excuse for limiting amenities and providing poor service. I want to clarify that I am not downplaying the virus. It has created huge loss and suffering for all of us. However, the quality of service we deliver shouldn’t suffer from taking unnecessary shortcuts that we’d like to blame on the virus. We are still required to offer excellent service.

Clients are walking around dazed and confused. They are unsure of where to go or what to do. Automotive clients are no exception. They are trying to figure out where to stand, where to wait and how to sign approvals. Then there is the issue of being able to hear and understand a masked conversation. I have watched guests step over yellow barriers, walk up to the plexiglass and lower their faces to the cutout so they could hear and be heard. Not exactly what we are going for with social distancing!


I know we are doing the best that we can, but we are causing our clients more stress by shortcutting our check-in process and not providing clear directions. Add to that the lack of customer satisfaction and lower CP sales that come when your advisors stay tucked behind a desk and take orders. 

Where would you feel more comfortable as a customer: standing by a desk in a room full of customers, advisors, salesman and porters or at your car with a safe distance between you and your advisor? The answer is obvious: We need to get back to a full professional walk-around check-in process with adequate spacing. 


Clients want important information and clear directions, and it starts with their first point of contact. 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.

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 join you. Plan to spend about seven 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. Rest assured, we have safety measures in place, such as face masks, sanitation procedures and social distancing. Is there anything else I may assist you with today? We look forward to your arrival on (day, date and time).”


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, it’s time to get your advisors back to business! If they have gotten comfortable behind their shields, encourage and train them to get back to performing a professional process. Mastering strong communication skills and professional processes is more important now than ever. While other stores are limiting service, your store will stand out as a shining beacon. When your team (and website) provides important information and guidance, your customers will be more prepared and relaxed for their visit. 2021 is the time to eliminate costly shortcuts and provide excellent service!

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