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4 Ways to Engage With Waiters in Service

Article Highlights:

  • Dealership waiting rooms should not resemble a dentist's office.
  • RFID technology can help greet your customers when they arrive.

People hate waiting. With overnight shipping, fast food, and quick lube centers, customers expect results in a hurry. Yet, they come to your service department only to sit in boredom while waiting for their vehicle. Take advantage of that time. Engage with them. You spend so much money to get them there – don’t let them go unnoticed.

 

Waiting service customers often have untapped potential, whether that be in terms of future purchases or post-warranty repairs, and you need to keep them interested in coming back. If you were a customer, would you be willing to tweet about or ‘like’ your service visit? If not, it may be time to upgrade your experience. Some things you can do:

 

Make Your Space Cozy

Dealership waiting rooms should not resemble a dentist’s office – sterile and bland. Moreover, sitting on hard plastic chairs while sipping day-old coffee and reading a magazine from 2009 doesn’t offer comfort. Impress your customers with custom fixtures, plush couches, dedicated work/play areas, free WiFi, HDTVs, and fresh snacks. Some dealerships have gone as far as implementing a full-service Starbucks in their lounge.

 

Enhance With Technology

If you’re still handwriting ROs or inspection sheets, it’s time to move on. Customers appreciate technology and need to stay ‘plugged in’ to their lives at all times. Implement tablet technology to speed up the RO process. Keep customers updated with a digital status board which displays the progress of their vehicles in service. Offer customers the convenience of scheduling appointments online through your website. All of these options increase customer satisfaction, retention, and efficiency.

 

Give Personal Attention

You may be missing repeat customers. It’s evidenced by the overwhelming population of customers that choose to do repairs at commercial chains. Stop them from defecting to your competition. Review your list of waiters daily so you can get to know your customers. Prepare for conversations by adding notes to the customer profile. Equity mining tools can help you navigate potential service leads to see who might be ready for a new car. RFID technology can help greet your customers when they arrive in the drive, and send notifications to your staff for personal follow-up. Make the experience matter every time, and your customers will appreciate it.

 

Push Your Brand

It’s easy to forget about continually promoting your dealership, but you’re not “just another shop down the street.” Dealerships that succeed constantly remind customers about their unique features, friendly staff, great specials, and their community presence. Consider giving tours of your dealership to waiting customers to heighten their connection with your brand. Maybe even offer a test drive of the newest model. These easy-to-implement promotions can help drive sales and retention.

 

Conclusion

In the end, it’s all about going above and beyond for your customers. Consider having the Owner or General Manager meet and greet customers in for service. A few minutes with an Owner or GM that shows he cares about his service customers can increase loyalty and make customers feel highly valued. If you focus on the customer, cater to his experience, and implement the right technology, you’ll be on the path towards more profits in service. If all else fails, consider putting pumpkin spice lattes on your menu…

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Jeff Adams is a Product Planning manager for Service applications at Reynolds and Reynolds.

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