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3 Things Missing From Your Service Drive That Are Hurting Your Customer Experience

Puzzle pieces
Article Highlights:

  • First impressions at check-in have a lasting impact on customer experience.
  • There are 3 components to nailing first impressions in service.

Customer experience. You know you need to care about it and should always aim to improve it. But why? Is it because OEMs put so much emphasis on it? Are you trying to keep up with your competitors?

The fact is, a good customer experience is very important. But what’s even more important is knowing why, and what you need to do to make sure your dealership excels at delivering it.

Gone are the days of a good customer experience only being a clean storefront and smiling, uniformed employees. Those still matter, but this is expected, so you have to evolve and find ways to stand out.

One of the key areas you’re missing out on? Your service drive, and more specifically, the check-in process.

Consider this: research shows a first impression is formed anywhere in the first 7 to 27 seconds of an interaction. Once it is formed, it’s nearly impossible to change, and a bad first impression can linger with someone for the long haul.

If a customer pulls into your service drive and is met with long lines, unorganized paperwork, and feeling ignored, the likelihood they purchase any upsells or leave a good review is low. They may never even come back after that, regardless of being a first or longtime customer. One in three customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience.

The silver lining is achieving positive first impressions at check-in is possible through three key components – personalization, convenience, and technology.

  • Personalization. Start strong! Doing this goes a long way toward making a good first impression. When you go the extra mile to personalize your customer’s experience from the moment they pull in, you are not only making them feel like top priority, but making the entire check-in process smoother and faster.
  • Convenience. Who doesn’t love going to the self-checkout when grocery store lines are long; or even skipping the store completely and ordering online? Options allow us to choose what we decide is most convenient for us. Your service check-in should be the same way! Convenience happens when you let customers choose the experience they want.
  • Technology. Technology is a must to make sure you meet evolving expectations. It allows you to deliver personalization and convenience successfully. Plus, it makes your employees’ jobs easier when they can use less paper and communicate more efficiently. When their jobs are running smoothly, so is the check-in.

Nailing these three things at your service check-in is worth its weight in customer experience gold.

Customers are likely to spend 140 percent more after a positive experience than after a negative one. Plus, 73 percent of consumers say a good experience is key to influencing their brand loyalties. And loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend to the company.

Better customer loyalty, increased upsells, and a boost in CSI are waiting for you at check-in!

In this series, we will talk about how each piece gets you one step closer to positive first impressions in your service drive – leading to better customer experience and more profits.

Head to the next article to see just how important personalization is, and how to achieve it the second your customers pull into the drive.

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Vice President of Fixed Operations Product Planning

Jason Sideris is the vice president of fixed operations product management at Reynolds and Reynolds. For over 25 years, his focus has been on how innovative technology and dealership processes come together to create an efficient experience where both dealership customers and employees thrive.

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