III. Customer Notification
Customer notification is the third step in the process of active delivery. A thorough review of the repairs is presented to the customer via telephone. Charges should include applicable taxes and supplies, the amount to be collected by the cashier, and verification of the method of payment. It is confirmed that the items have been completed as authorized by the customer. Parts on order are discussed. An installation date is discussed with the customer. This is based on the anticipated arrival time of the parts on order as projected by the parts department. The items that have been completed are reviewed. Items not completed are reviewed, with an explanation as to why. This may be a good time to reconfirm any items that may not have been authorized by the customer. All appropriate literature and information is attached to the customer’s copy of the vehicle repair order. Such items as menus, 27-point inspections (report cards), and a business card are included for future reference. Once the above review is completed, the customer is asked to meet with the service advisor when picking up his/her vehicle. At the time the customer is notified, production scheduling/routing information is verified.
- Delivery of the Vehicle to the Customer
The fourth step of active delivery is delivery of the vehicle to the customer. The service advisor greets each customer upon arrival. The service advisor will then cashier the repair order, or accompany the customer to the cashier. In the event that the customer was unable to be contacted prior to vehicle pick-up, a review of all information is performed with the customer, by the service advisor, upon arrival. If a porter is used to retrieve customer vehicles, notify the porter. The porter should remove any protective materials from the vehicle, discard any unwanted replaced parts for the customer, and check the vehicle for grease or damage.
- Thanking the Customer
The fifth and final step to the active delivery process is thanking the customer for their business. A genuine appreciation is expressed for the customer’s business. The customer is thanked for the opportunity to serve them. Future services are reviewed. This is an opportunity for a “star moment.” The customer is accompanied to their vehicle. Further questions may be answered during this time. This is a good time to review the information previously discussed to confirm the customer’s understanding and satisfaction.
The fundamentals that should be done for a complete active delivery are:
- Review and close the repair order
- Confirm quality control
- Customer notification, deliver vehicle back to customer and thanks the customer for their business
Active delivery is a process that is developed for each dealership, taking into consideration those aspects specific to that dealership, such as the personnel available, the facility layout, and the assignment of responsibilities for tasks related to the process. Many variations will exist; however, the customer will remain the primary focus. The service advisor and his/her commitment to the customer are paramount to the success of this process. By performing an active delivery you will have less chance of errors, you build a value for services and build relationships with customers.
Written by David Dietrich