Published in Automotive

Making the Automotive Service Experience Exceptional: Part 1 of 3

Taking Care of Your Customers “Before”

Buying a new car or truck is magical. We work in the business so we can forget how special it is to our customers. And at best it only happens every three to five years, often much longerso it is truly a special event.  

Servicing this same vehicle is often looked at in a different light, as this is often seen as an ongoing expense that owners feel simply maintains their vehicle without adding other tangible benefits. As such, the importance of making the Service Experience exceptional cannot be understated.

Not only do we want owners to return for regular maintenance, but high Service satisfaction often leads to a greater likelihood of a repeat purchase as well. We all know the old saying that while Sales sells the first vehicle, Service sells the rest. 

An exceptional Service Experience is comprised of three parts – BeforeDuring and After – and each part is key in ensuring the highest customer satisfaction. In this blog, we’re looking at Before. We’ll look at During and After in subsequent blogs.   

Ensure All Methods of Communication are Customer-centric

Starting with Beforeappropriate care and attention must be taken in advance to make booking a Service appointment easy and convenient. Ensure that you have multiple options for a customer to choose from.

Whether it be a friendly and knowledgeable voice during a phone callan online appointment booking tool that is simple to navigate (and integrates with the DMS)or even a Service Advisor taking the time to pre-book the next scheduled appointmenteach of these options needs to be customer-centric and provide efficient and effective ways of communicating the value in the Service that is required. 

Consider Your Customer’s Journey and Close the Gaps

Once the Service has been booked, a few days prior take the necessary steps to confirm it with the customer. Manage their expectations by outlining the time required to complete the Service and determine the customer needs. 

Do they require a shuttle service? Do they need a rental vehicle, or if possibleloaner? Do they simply want to wait for it at the dealership? 

Each of these options is unique and requires planning to ensure the customer is satisfied. Finding out in advance will help you plan ahead and communicate with any other Team members at the dealership that may need to be involved. 

Let Customers Know What to Expect Once They Arrive

You also want to prepare the customer for the Service appointment. Are they a returning customer and familiar with the process, or are they new to your dealership? In either case, they need to be aware of the process when they arrive.

Where is the Service drive-thru? Where do they park? What is the Walk-around process all about? Is it during a busy time of the day?

All these factors should be communicated ahead of time to make the customer aware of what will take place. The more you can address upfront, the fewer surprises you will have to deal with when the customer arrives.  

In the next blog we’ll look at what needs to take place During the Service Experience. See you next time!