Do you meet and greet your customers, or do your customers meet and greet you?
All too often I see customers come in to the write up area only to stand there for a while before even being acknowledged. Or even worse, they have to say something to the service advisor to get his or her attention. So, who is greeting whom?
Everyone knows how important a good meet and greet is. If you don’t believe this, just ask your sales manager.
They know how important it is. If a sales person greets a prospective customer with “Can I help you?” the normal customer response is “just looking,” or worse yet, “no thanks.” It’s pretty hard to get a good sales pitch going from those responses. It’s the same in the service area. A good meet and greet sets the tone for the entire service experience.
To begin with, a good meet and greet needs to be warm and friendly, even if the last customer you talked to was a miserable so-and-so. I once worked with a woman in an office that had a mirror on her desk. My first thought was how vain she must be. Then a coworker told me to ask her about her mirror. I was a little hesitant, but I finally asked. Her answer surprised the heck out of me. She told me before she answered the phone; she would look at the mirror to make sure she smiled when she answered the phone. She believed that the person on the end of the line could tell she was smiling. I believe it too. So imagine how your customer feels standing in front of you if you are smiling.
Now that you are smiling, what is the next step for a good meet and greet?
Certainly not “How can I help you?” It’s just too cold. How about, “Welcome to ABC Motors, my name is Joe Advisor”. At this point, if possible, shake the customer’s hand and wait for him or her to tell you their name. A simple “What brings you to ABC Motors today?” is much better than “Can I help you?” Whatever you do; now is the time to shut your mouth and open your ears.
This entire process lasts about 1to 2 minutes, but remember that it sets the tone for the entire service experience.