In all of the dealerships that I have consulted in, and all of the service advisor training classes that I have given, I bring up this same question: “Why do we treat a customer dropping their vehicle off for service differently than the customer waiting in our lounge for their vehicle to be serviced?”
First, let’s take a look at the customer that is actually waiting for their vehicle.
- Give them an approximate wait or completion time for their vehicle or do we just take their keys and send them off to sit and wait?
- Let them know that we will keep them updated on the status of their vehicle?
- Let them know at the time of arrival that we may be a little behind and offer them a shuttle ride or another time to come back?
- Monitor in some way their arrival time?
- Update them on their vehicle or leave them there and forget about them?
Now, the waiter that is not waiting at the dealership:
One of the most common mistakes being made in our industry today is the way we handle the supposed non waiter. If you take a moment and think about it, the fact is that everyone does wait somewhere. Weather they are waiting in your waiting room, at home, at a friend or relatives house or at work, they are in fact waiting. When a customer drops their vehicle off with us for repair or maintenance, the misconception on our part is that when it’s finished or we know something, we will call.
We do not in most cases agree on a contact time with the customer to call them with an update on their vehicle do we? But what I am sure that happens is we will pick up the phone and call them when we have ASR’s and recommendations for customer.
So why do we not have the same sense of urgency to call them throughout the day with an update? Well truth be said, it’s not as important as making that call for the sale, right? Wrong, why? Because two things are bound to happen, one is that we call them at “jail break” time and chances are (depending on the repair) that it may not be ready today and two, maybe you’re calling them at the end of the day to tell them you haven’t even looked at it yet. In both of these cases and many more like it, what I do know is that the customer will be thinking, “I have been waiting here all day for someone to call me, it’s 5:00 and now they call me?
So why do we treat the waiter in front of us and the waiter that’s not in front of us differently?