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Transparency is key – This is the hardest one in our business since we have a history of doing just the opposite and our customer’s guard is up. In order to accomplish this you need to make certain that you are doing everything possible to allow the customer to relax their guard. Empower your customer and engage your customer early during the repair process by offering choices and listening and asking clarifying questions. Do not be afraid of transparency and simply embrace it. Everyone, customers and employees enjoy transparency
Remember that customers are people – This is one I hear on the service drive everyday. We associate customers with their vehicles and then naturally when it comes time to discuss needed repairs we are thinking of the vehicle instead of locking in and listening with the customer. The challenge would be to remember your customer by name by remembering a fact about them instead of the model and color of their vehicle. This type of name recognition will help you build a relationship with the customer instead of their vehicle.
Use humor to help lighten the mood – In no means do I intend you to suddenly become a stand up comedian when dealing with a customer, actually that type of behavior could cause the adverse affect and our customers will see right through the skit. Nothing is more upsetting than asking for a product and having a clerk or owner be rude. In contrast poking fun at yourself will help the customer feel more comfortable so that he or she can better open up to you about their need.
Treat others the way you would like to be treated – Ok this is one that has been taught to us since we were old enough to remember and understand so how come this simple behavior is so easily forgotten. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes and provide the same level of service and respect you would want. This classic lesson is a simple task that will help create trust.
Use open body language – Get out from behind the counter, smile, engage in open conversations, make eye contact; our customers can tell consciously and sub-consciously how you feel being around them. Simply be yourself, every customer interaction is unique and should be treated that way, keep it simple and don’t overthink it.
Relationships take significant time and effort to build but can fall apart quickly. Do not take the relationship for granted, appear apathetic and the rapport will fall apart faster than you built it, guaranteed. Use these simple steps to avoid the pitfalls and start cashing in on the currency of trust in your service drive.