The car is sold and your customer has been showing off their new ride to friends. They brag about the dealership and the deal, because who doesn’t brag about the deal? Then the time comes for them to bring the car in to be serviced. This is a key moment in which the customer will decide whether or not to return to your dealership for continued service as well as whether or not they want to look to you for their next car purchase. In order to retain the customer and their business, you’ll want to make the process as smooth and seamless as possible.
It requires a bit of teamwork from both your sales and service departments. The salesperson should set up the date and time for the customer’s first service appointment so the salesperson can introduce the customer to the service writer. This also allows the salesperson to connect with the customer again which can result in future business and referrals. The rest of the experience is up to the service department so here are four easy tips for making it a good one.
1. Remember a customer’s name. The service writer should always use the customer’s name when addressing them. This may sound like a no brainer but you’d be surprised how often it doesn’t happen. People like to be addressed by their name rather than a generalized “Sir” or “Ma’am.” Now don’t get me wrong, phrases like “yes sir” or “yes ma’am” are still appropriate responses to customer questions, but when YOU ask them a question, try personalizing it.
2. Stay visible. I know the service area can get busy but it is important to make sure that you, or at least someone from your staff, is visible. Stop for a moment and walk into the customer waiting area, ask if everyone is comfortable and see if they have any questions. Oftentimes, the service area is in a different place than where they bought the car and this can be disconcerting for the customer. By showing up and asking a simple question, it tells the customer that you care about their experience, as well as their car.
3. Stay in communication. You’ve made yourself visible so now stay in communication. The number one customer complaint about vehicle service is a lack of communication. Long waits with no explanation or even average waits with no explanation. Update your customers about the status of repairs even if they’re just there for an oil change. Always keep an eye on the clock and make sure that you are updating the customer every 20 minutes or so, even if it’s just to tell them that you’ll be another 10 minutes. When you take the time to communicate with them, you’ll be surprised at how much more patient they will be for you to finish.
4. Go above and beyond. If you have the means, why not wash a customer’s car as an extra sign of appreciation? Try putting a handwritten thank you card on the seat and include your business card and perhaps a coupon for their next oil change. The smallest gesture can make a customer feel special and earn you their loyalty.
The overall goal for the service department is to give the customer an amazing experience that they will identify as different from any other experience that they may have generic viagra online had at other dealerships. The best way to accomplish this is with one-on-one, personalized treatment. Try out those four easy tips and I guarantee you will see more satisfied customers returning to your service department again and again.
Written by Bryan Jennings