While it may seem there are many factors throughout this business that you have no control over, taking good care of your service customers is definitely one aspect you do have control over.
Beyond ensuring that expert repairs are done right the first time, customers should be well cared for while at your facility. After all, while you’re servicing one of their most expensive purchases, do you really want them in a waiting room that doesn’t reflect your brand and your quality of service?
Walking into your service department may not be a big deal for you. You do it every work day and it’s routine. Not so for your customers. Walking into a dealership’s service area is something unfamiliar to them and can be overwhelming. It might have been years since their last visit. So, what can you do to make this experience a good one?
To put clients at ease, you’ve got to look the part. Dress like the professional you are to begin to earn their trust. Make sure you and your staff are well groomed and your work area is orderly.
Meet them with a smile. Look them in the eye. Listen to them. Let them know from the moment they walk in that you are there to help them solve their problem.
Many of your customers will judge you not only by the quality repairs you provide, but also by the atmosphere of your waiting area. A clean waiting area with comfortable furniture and amenities beyond a coffee pot says to customers that you pay attention to details.
Offer magazines that address positive topics like fitness, sports, family life and your local community; provide free Wi-Fi, complimentary soda, water and coffee. Is there room for a kid’s area with toys and books? What about a work area for guests who want to work on their laptops?
When a customer has decided to wait for their service to be done, you now have a captive audience. Your waiting is area is a great place to display headshots of all your employees with plaques that list their certifications and short bios. You could also post your department’s/dealership’s mission statement. This will reinforce to customers what you and your dealership are all about.
Do you have a store or area where waiting customers can shop for accessories such as key chains or insulated coffee mugs with your brand’s logos?
If your waiting room is too small to accommodate all of the people who are waiting, maybe offer to shuttle a few of them to a local coffee shop or shopping center.
There are even more options today for servicing customers who don’t want to wait on site, options that may either replace or complement your shuttle service. Uber and Lyft now both have business divisions to get your customers to and from their locations, at exact appointment times and with easy scheduling and payment options for the dealership. Using these services also keeps your employees on site where they’re needed most.
Customer satisfaction starts the moment the customer enters your service department but it doesn’t have to end when they leave. Customers will appreciate the enhanced services you provided, will come back for future services and, when the time is right, for a new vehicle.
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