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Will Michaelson

Will Michaelson Sales Associate

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Is a Visit to Your Service Bay like Pulling Teeth for Your Customers?

I’ll admit it. I fear bringing my vehicle in for service as much as visiting the dentist. I recently brought my car in for service, and for some reason, it reminded me of a routine dental check-up. Bear with me on this analogy.

Just like you want your teeth to stay white and strong, you want your car to run in tip-top shape. However, when the time finally comes to go back in for a check-up, you curl up in the fetal position, and softly cry (That’s what I do, at least, you may just cringe in fear).

Isn’t there something wrong with this? Do you want your customers dreading their next visit to your service department?

I was not looking forward to bringing my vehicle in for service, but was pleasantly surprised when it was over. Happy enough to say, boldly, that I will go back and service my vehicle with that specific department again. Let me tell you why:

As a customer, I love being in the know. If my dentist pulled out a drill without warning me what was going on, I’d be a little terrified.  I feel better when I’m taken through a process, and the same thing goes for service visits.

The technician tasked with my car said I could call and see where he was on my car anytime during the process, and I took advantage of that a few times. It was nice to know what was going on with my car, and how much longer it’d be in for.

Friendliness was also a key factor in my experience. My dentist’s receptionist knows I love hockey, and we discussed the playoffs at length before my check-up. Just like at the dentist, the technicians looked genuinely happy to see me, and I felt comfortable when discussing the service. It made me feel better dropping the car off there. This was my first service with them, but it felt like I was a regular there to them.

There were no surprises in my bill, either. If your dentist forgot to mention they pulled a tooth and charged you for it, how would you feel? The same goes for service. Everything the service department did to my vehicle was visible on the service order, and there were no surprises.

Are you providing your customers with friendly service, along with details on the process at hand? If you are, chances are your customers won’t treat their next service visit like a root canal.

Chris Costner
Right on the money with this Will. Thanks for sharing. The service department touch points certainly will out weigh the sales side over the ownership period and have a big impact on loyalty. Whether it is routine maintenance or something bigger, if we look for the opportunities to assist the customer rather than back them in a corner to sell them something, their experience will be much better. We can't assume that the "lack of complaints" means we are doing an exceptional job. Loyalty is built over time through a collection of positive experiences. It is our job in both sales and service to strive to make the customer experience just a little bit better than expected. It will certainly make the future "service sells" much easier to close on.
Jim Bell
Great post Will. I know that feeling and HATE the dentist. There are always so many unknowns. You think you are taking care of your teeth (car), but then that unexpected thing comes up and the dentist (service advisor) comes out and gives you bad news. Love the parallel you used.
Will Michaelson
Thanks, Chris! I'm right with you on the 'no complaints? no problem...' issue some businesses have.
Will Michaelson
Oh yeah, Jim. I hate the dentist, but boy, does he love me. You know you're probably gonna pay big at either place of business, but if you know it's necessary, and the experience is at least pleasant, the price doesn't hurt quite as much. Thanks!

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