Do Our Customers Exist in The Service Department?
I travel a lot. In my travels across this great country of ours I see themes developing.
When I first walk into a service department I wait by the front door. I do this to see how long it takes for someone to acknowledge my existence. Sounds funny, right? Should be the easiest part, right? You would be amazed at how long it takes just to be recognized! I have witnessed customers stand and wait seven to ten minutes at a time without so much as a wave from the advisors.
I once questioned a young lady who stormed out of the service department after waiting a long time to be acknowledged. I asked her what was going on and could I help her? She responded by telling me she just wanted to know she existed!
This should never happen, not if you have a process in place. Do you print out your next day's appointments the night before? Do you make Prewrites? What do you include in those Prewrites? Are histories included? How about menus? Are the repair orders marked for missing information? This allows your advisor to be prepared for the day.
Who is responsible for greeting your customers? Develop and implement a process that works. But please, (KISS) Keep It Simple Stupid! Every team needs a coach to be there to make decisions and help guide the flow. Are you out on the drive helping or are you evaluating what happened yesterday?
Service departments have been running lean since 2008, and with technology advancing the way it is, we expect so much from our advisors. Take a hard look at them throughout the day. When customers walk in, do the advisors have their heads buried in the screen? If they're on the phone, will they acknowledge them with a wave? Or is it a Deli counter? "NEXT!" Are we charging them with too much to do? Can they complete the day-to-day tasks to serve your customers? Are we doing our best to service our only resource--"the customer?"
Ladies and Gentlemen, we need to get this right. You may not get a second chance or deserve a second chance. One of the best advisors I have had the privilege of working with puts on a show for every person she greets. She gives one of the biggest greetings I have ever seen and the customers thoroughly enjoy it.
I can’t stress enough how important this is. Take a look at your greeting process. Step out of your office and observe. Then develop a process that works, KISS.
Are you having trouble implementing a process that works? Call us. We would be more than happy to walk you through this and many other processes. We are here to serve you with our experience and guide you through processes you may not know about or have even thought of. In my travels, I have seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst in the service drive. It’s time to acknowledge our customers for what they are, the reason for our existence.
Written by Gus Wadsworth