Why do Dealership customers go to the ISP’s?

Joe Kacala NewsletterWaiting Area

Do you have a dark and dirty waiting area? Do you have uncomfortable stained chairs?

Customers want a clean-bright waiting area with internet access and a power supply for their gadgets. The Facebook generation requires internet access to stay in constant communication with their network and seek out places they can connect. If you wouldn’t let your own child play in the waiting room it probably needs updating and or cleaning. Make sure the area is freshly painted, dusted and the TV isn’t a 1980’s tube TV.

Be sure you spend extra resources to ensure this area is clean at all times. This is one of the areas where customers are making judgments and decisions if they are going to allow you to serve them again.

The Independent Service Providers have their waiting areas down to a science you should too!

Courtesy Transportation

Do you offer your customer’s shuttle rides but limit it to 5 miles. Are you making customers jump through hoops to get a ride? Do they have to wait 20-30 minutes and be part of a 6 person delivery?

If you answer yes to any of the questions above then you are giving your customers reasons to think about going elsewhere.

Is your dealership using a 3rd party rental company to provide loaners/rentals and if so is that company doing a good job? The rental provider’s reputation isn’t on the line as much as your dealership’s reputation. Customers don’t perceive you are separate from the rental company and will hold the dealer accountable for poor service, dirty rentals or hassles renting.

Do you take the time to spot check the rental company’s check-in and check-out procedures to ensure the rental company makes it easy for your customers to get into alternate transportation?

You should also periodically inspect the vehicles the rental company is providing to your customers for cleanliness, same OEM as you sell and current model years.

Customers don’t want to be stuck at your dealership especially if you are the dealership with the dark, dingy, dirty waiting area. Most dealers have an advantage by proving this service so be sure to share this great service with your customers.

Hours of Operation

The ISPs are able to clean our clock because they are willing to be open the hours customers need. Many dealerships are open limited evening hours, partial Saturday hours and rarely any Sunday hours. Guess what that is when customers need you to be open and the ISPs are open and are attracting YOUR customers to do business with them!

Dealerships also limit the work to certain types of services such as oil changes and rotations. It is important to note that customers don’t care if you are understaffed or are unwilling to open the extra hours. They will just go to places that will! Customers want to be able to take care of their vehicle when they have free time and this not between 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Many customers’ lead very full lives and getting to the dealership and dropping off the vehicle, getting a ride or rental is a major undertaking. The dealership who wants to succeed in retaining their customers and even capture back their lost customers needs to focus on being open when their customers need them.

“While you Wait Service”

In the dealership world waiters are often taboo and treated like a nuisance and customers often have a bad experience because of that mindset. Are you willing and able to accommodate waiters? If you’re not, your future may be in jeopardy. The market has changed to a high volume/high maintenance model in which the days of “leave your car; we’ll get to it when we can” are OVER! We need to focus on every avenue we can to generate revenue and catering to Express Maintenance is a perfect way to make it convenient for your customers and increase revenue.

As a dealership you need to be able to accommodate walk in business!

Next time we will talk about perceived lower price.

About the Author