Patience is a virtue. A virtue that many of us have trouble with including myself. And there is nothing more annoying than not knowing what the status is of your repair! Think it about it - sure, perhaps in the grand scheme of life a 30-minute delay does not seem all that big of a deal. But, well, it is! Those 30 minutes spent waiting without knowing what's going on feels like hours. Not to mention, the customer then begins to doubt that you care about their time. Or worse, when they do finally get to check out there is an issue with the RO total and a line at the cashier. To then only find out that the advisor is now assisting the next customer!
This all could be avoided, though if when the customer came in to check-in their vehicle if the right questions were asked:
Are you dropping your vehicle off at service today? If so, what time were you hoping to have it picked up? (this would vary given the services)
If this was an appointment (and the customer pre-booked select services), the advisor should be aware of the time needed. Offering the customer a proposed time for pick-up. During the time in which the vehicle is being serviced the customer should be contacted and being kept informed of the status of their vehicle.
Think about it, the minute it takes you to text the customer “Mr. Customer, your vehicle is in the process and is scheduled to be ready on time” they will not only feel taken care of, BUT they will come in on time.
Whereas, let’s say you do not call them and they decide that they want to come in early to see if it is done. Only to find out that there was a delay and that the car will not be ready for another 2-3 hours! Ouch. This could effectively cost your dealer a survey! And a customer!
The other issue, too, is that if the customer has to call in for the status, they have the chance of being transferred to multiple people. In which case, they lose their patience!!
Here some additional ways to handle status updates
As soon as the customer checks in for service, you should be inquiring about what the best (preferred) method is for contacting the customer keeping them informed of the status. This way the customer is aware of a) that you will be contacting them & b) the customer has chosen which method is best for them. As soon as they select the method, they are *expecting* you to contact them. So if you do not contact them, it makes it worse.
A lot of CRM’s on the market offer texting that is integrated, which is great! Most also offer the ability to create templates such as time expected, delays, etc. This is an easy way to communicate with multiple people at once without spending as much time on the phones. Or in many cases, getting the unexpecting angry call, which not only disrupts the service for the customer in front of you but causes more headache than needed!
Delays - How to Handle it!
Delays are inevitable. They will happen. How you handle those delays, though will make or break the customer's experience. If you are not aware of how the customer prefers to be contacted and you do not contact them (or are unable to get in touch with them), then it causes for an unhappy customer!
However, if you are able to communicate with them and honestly explain what is going on, they are much more likely to work with you!
How do you handle keeping the customers informed of the status of their vehicle? Do you use texting with great success?