Over the last seven years I have had the opportunity to be exposed to some good and some not so good service managers. From both I have learned a lot and applied many of the skills that have been taught to me. For the most part all the steps to having good customer service scores and good sales numbers are similar but what I have come to figure out, my customers come to do business with me. To this point I am reminded everyday how lucky I am to have a customer come and want to do business with me so I apply the following tactics to every customer I am help in service. This way I know, I have a good opportunity of keeping a customer coming back even after their second, third and even fourth vehicle purchase.
Preparation – Know your customer before they come in. Quickly look at your appointments for the day and review their history. They simply may be coming in for a routine service visit or are they returning to complete the recommendations from the previous visit or are they there to have the special ordered parts installed. In any event make sure you know your customers intentions for coming in.
Greeting – Sure, you want to have open body posture, a good smile and a warm welcome but the thing that my customers love the most is that I’m out to their car before they can even gather their stuff, turn the car off and open the door. Right about then I hit them with a warm welcome and remind them about the things we are doing today.
Write up – Even my best customers never think to remind me about the changes in their customer record and it may seem a little strange asking your best customer to go over their contact info but more often than not there is a new cell number or email address.
Needs analysis and recommendations – During the write up we review their main reason for coming in and make sure I have a very accurate way to duplicate the concern for my tech. The most important part of this step is to go over the recommendations from the prior repair and the items that their vehicle is in need of due to the time and mileage on their vehicle. Depending on the customer this step may just be planting the seed for now but when I call them back after the technician has looked over the vehicle the customer is ready for the recommendation. If I am writing up one of my good customers this is typically added lines to the repair order.
Printing the repair order and determining the customer expectation – This step is critical and where I set the expectations for the service visit. I will have the customer sign the repair order and then ask the customer what time would be best for them to pick up their vehicle. In most cases I get an answer that is after work and in some situations it may be a lunch hour pick up. They key is I know what their expectations are at this point and in most cases I am able to exceed the customers set timeframe therefore creating a positive customer experience.
These basic steps start the customer experience off in the right direction and I know as well as you do that there are many more steps to ensure your customer will have a great service experience. If we focus on the way we start each customer experience it seems that the next steeps simply fall into place.