Who should be greeting your service customers when they arrive at the service drive? A porter, an assistant or an advisor?
Every dealer seems to have a different process when it comes to greeting their service customers in the lane. Some would like you to just come inside, others may want you to stay with your vehicle. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to process really because each store is unique. But which one is going to start the customer experience off on the right foot? Do you have the staff available to create a great experience from start to finish?
The way I accomplished this, as a writer, was by greeting our customers each time at their vehicle. This sets a great first impression! We all love our lot attendants, however if they have never been an advisor or worked in customer service for that matter, they shouldn’t be the ones to answer any customer questions or address any customer concerns.
Having an advisor greet the customer also ensures that there is less of a chance for miscommunication. I cannot count the number of times I have gone to check a customer out - the vehicle is out of the shop and ready to leave - and they ask about something that was not on the work order. This occurs because “they asked the guy in the lane” when they first arrived, and the information was never relayed. Part of taking the vehicle cradle to the grave is making sure that we communicate as clearly as possible with the customer. Having someone greet them that is not assertive enough to immediately let the customer know they cannot assist but the advisor they’re walking them to can is crucial.
In a perfect world, the person that is handling the vehicle should be the one to greet the customer every time. In today’s world, NOTHING is perfect. So how do we ensure that we continue to provide excellent customer service and start the customer off on the right foot?
It’s going to start with the service phone call when the appointment is made. When a customer calls the dealership, the person taking the appointment should give them a brief rundown of how the first few moments of the visit will go. They should also be taking the time to confirm that the customer details are correct in the system. When we take the time to lay the groundwork over the phone (if they call in and don’t make their appointment online) then we create an educated and confident customer. We should be letting them know who they are working with, confirm their appointment date and time and thank them for the opportunity.
If we have a service BDC that confirms appointments, we can review this information AGAIN with the customers who made their appointment on the phone. We can also work to reach those customers that made their appointment online and review that crucial information for the first time, still before their appointment date.
When we lay the groundwork for the customer on that first phone call, it starts everyone off on the right foot. We can set realistic expectations for the service that the customer is looking for and expedite the check in process. When the advisor has up to date information in the system before even checking the customer in, we know that we have the most accurate way to reach the customer if need be, as well.
So even though it may feel tedious when we are on the phone making that appointment, working out all those details ahead of time should make for a smoother transition from start to finish. Customers are always looking to be in and out in a quick and efficient manner. If we give them a few simple directions and clarify a few details before they even step foot in the building, we will have done our due diligence to set them and ourselves up for success.