Factor Mystery (part 2)
Turning my attention back to the Service Advisor, he finished his factory recommends checklist and asked if I thought the air filter should be changed? I responded with, “is it dirty?”, at that point he picked it up off the counter and said, “just a little” (I never saw them bring it up, again, it kind of just appeared). I said no and he handed it to a Technician outside the office to reinstall. With that said, he asked if I would like any water or coffee and pointed to their little convenience bar with bottled water and fresh coffee, then said it would be about another 6 minutes until they were finished. This was a 5-8 minute process to this point! I watched carefully as the Technicians worked on my vehicle and what I saw was; properly trained Technicians doing a great job on my vehicle. When the service was competed, I watched them park the vehicle outside the front (glass) door, then the Service Advisor called me back to his counter and went over the results of their inspections and the final bill. I paid the bill and the Service Advisor said “John will show you to your vehicle”. Here came that chip and attitude! I turned and politely said, “it’s right there, I can find it”, with a smile and a little grin, he stated again, “John would be happy to walk you out”, so out we went. When we walked outside (a huge 5 foot trek) I was greeted by another Technician that pulled the dipstick from my vehicles engine, and stated, “just verifying the oil is full”. After “our” verification he reinserted it and began to cover everything they had checked under the hood, what had been topped off and asked, “Do you have any questions before I close the hood?”. Now, almost dumbfounded and with my little attitude tucked tightly away, I responded, “no and Thank You”. John opened my door and after getting in, closed it for me requesting that I “think about them next time I need my oil changed”.
OK, so lets recap; met at the vehicle when I drove up, introduced to the Service Advisor by my greeter, my choice of oil changes (and at a very reasonable price), covered Factory Service Recommendations, total oil change experience took approx 20 minutes (including full vehicle vacuum), was shown a full oil level and told about everything that was topped off and checked, car door opened and closed for me, AND was NOT TOLD to come back, but instead asked to “think about them next time I need my oil changed” ……………………………………..WOW!
Sorry about the long story in getting to the WOW, and I understand that we certainly can’t all do everything they did as timely as they did it, because of staffing, location, facility……….. or……..can we? I don’t believe it is a question of can we; it is a question of, “when are we going to start?” Certainly they don’t do everything we do and that is our one advantage, in most cases we are full service, we do it all! But keep in mind that our customers all expect the items I started this article with, good service, vehicle repaired correctly, on time and the first time, with follow up, warranties etc. So what makes us any different than everyone else? What is the deciding factor when our customers have to spend large amounts of money during a poor economic period on their vehicle? Is it solely loyalty, warranty, “we’re good guys”? Don’t fool yourselves into complacency, our customers are not only looking for the best value for their hard earned money, they are looking for something more, and that more is the WOW Factor. AND please remember that the WOW factor does NOT come from simply doing a good or great job, it comes from an EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERIENCE, and absolutely nothing less!
What can you and your facility do to bring the WOW factor into your business?
- First and foremost, perform all the basics noted previously that customers have come to expect, every time on every vehicle!
- Remember, we are Professionals, act like it, look like it, be it!
- Tomorrow when you walk up to your facility, look at it through customer eyes (not owner or manager eyes). If you were coming to this facility for the first time, visually speaking, what invites you in, what gives you cause for concern? Is your facility really clean? Our customers are leaving their $40-$50-$60-$70,000 plus vehicles with you, does your facilities appearance invite them in? Look at your facility with open eyes, fresh eyes, customer eyes, and then make the changes you’ve thought about for years, but just haven’t had time to do. Because if you don’t do them soon, you may have all the time in the world later as your customer count dwindles.
- Train everyone of your employees on how to talk to/with customers, even if they’re position is not one that would normally have them talking with the customer. If they wear a company shirt or uniform (and they should be), a customer could, at any time ask them a question, make sure they understand the company line and educate them on how to promote the company within those conversations.
- Listen to what is being said in the facility by your employees because if you can hear it, your customers can too! Excessive laughter or abusive language will always cause concern with customers. Your facility should be a place where every employee can be comfortable and have fun within the work environment, but they have to understand how certain situations may look to a customer and avoid the potential damage that could occur if a customer heard or saw something they shouldn’t have.
- Talk with your Service Staff about their thoughts on Exceptional Customer Service and what they think should/could be changed to make it better. You know your employees are probably one of the best resources of GREAT information about changes needed in any facility! Use this resource to the fullest.
- Make sure that every employee is on board for this new EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERIENCE. Those who are not should go to work for someone else. One bad employee can bring your whole facility down; make sure you don’t have one!
- Parking the clean finished customer vehicle pointed outward so that they can simply drive off without having to back up makes a HUGE impression on most people and may save some embarrassing moments or discussions with your insurance agent.
- Keeping the customer informed throughout the entire process is probably one of the most complained about issue customers have today. If they are kept appraised of things like WHAT is being done, costs, and expected done times, we can eliminate most of the customer complaints we see in the field. An informed customer generally is a Happy Customer
So, to summarize what it takes to give that WOW factor experience we need the following;
*Do what you say you are going to do.
*Don’t just meet, but Exceed your customer’s expectations.
*Treat your customer’s like they are the only one there, and your business relies on each one solely.
*Remember, without your customers, you have nothing.
*Provide an exceptional customer service experience, to EVERY customer, EVERY time.
*Have a facility that speaks the part without you having to say a word.
*Train all of your employees in the above noted summaries.
If you need help with your business and want to see and feel the successes you expected when you opened your doors, give us a call at:
The ACT Group, 805-444-2598 or visit our website for more information www.automotivecoachingandtraining.com