In my last post I wrote about the initial experience walking in to a restaurant the Saturday after Valentine’s Day. Finding out there was no reservation, rude employees frustrated with aggravated customers, and disappointment of a ruined experience. In many ways this mimics what happens in a poorly executed Sale or Advertisement in a Dealership.
Now we move forward to finally being seated. It took about an hour, and in that time I had asked my wife repeatedly to go to another restaurant. She felt that we would just have to wait, and it would be a complete pain to get the car, figure out a new place to go, and eat even later. We decided to wait and see when we would be seated.
This is a lot like when there are bottle necks in a Dealership. Prospective clients pull up on your lot, and are waiting to be helped, 10, 15 , 20 minutes. They are trying to make a decision about staying, is the pain of finding another Dealership, greater than the pain of waiting and having the present bad experience? I will wager that many feel as I do and would just find a new place to do business. Before everyone reading this says not my store, I send my classes out to mystery shop every week, and after over 500 students have shopped, the historical average is 25% are not helped within 15 minutes. That is an eternity waiting on a car lot.
After this wait we sit down and wait another 15 minutes for the waitress to come over to the hibachi table and offer drinks and take our order. The waitress was there for under a minute, and asked the other 8 people besides us at the table if they wanted water, because she saw the drinks from the bar in front of us. I could tell she was hurried, too many people, minimal staff, no interest in doing anything that wasn’t producing a tip (like bringing water). My wife piped and asked for water and we got a heavy sigh, and off the waitress went to get water. When she came back the glasses were just placed down without a word, or even eye contact.
This is much like an understaffed Dealership. Sales Consultants start handling incoming traffic sifting for a sale, instead of properly serving each prospective client. They know that they have an endless stream of people, and see the best course of action is to establish right up front the best percentage chance of income. Losing a client or two by this tactic means nothing to their income, they are at their maximum capacity to being with.
The final piece of our dining experience was walking out with the Manager of the restaurant up at the hostess counter. My wife and I made eye contact, and being polite, said good night. Not a word, he actually glanced back the other way to make sure he wouldn’t have to have any type of conversation. An exclamation point to a disaster of a dining experience.
This also happens in Dealerships. One of my mystery shoppers experienced it this week. I ask my trainees to always get a Manager’s card, so I can contact them and offer the results of the shopping experience. So my trainee asked, and the Sales Consultant went to the Manager’s desk. The Sales Consultant returned without the card and said, ” the Manager does not meet with customers, so you do not need his card”. That is just like the Manager at the restaurant, avoiding the customers, because they know the service is poor and do not want to answer for it.
The next time you run an ad or event, don’t create a massacre