Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Monday, October 11, 2010

We don't open until 7:30-- you will have to wait!

     I was out of town last week in a very pretty part of the United States.  The town which I stayed is a very popular tourist destination and has an abundance of recreation opportunities in which to participate.
     I took my car to the dealer for service.  I normally use the dealer for service-- it costs more, however, the dealer has all of the special tools and equipment needed if necessary.  Usually, the dealer staff is better trained and equipped to handle most any mechanical challenge that a car can present-- at least I think so!  I know that this is an area of contention with many folks!
     The dealer's location was easily found from the interstate.  I drove up to the service department.  The big overhead doors were not open all the way, however, they were open.  I parked the car and walked in to see the service adviser.  She said, "We don't open until 7:30 am, you will have to wait!"  Well, I was there for service and guess that I did not have any other option!  So------ I waited!  I visited with the service adviser-- she was clear that she was "Busy", not sure what that meant, she moved paper from the left side of her desk to the right, not sure how that made her busy, however, that was her story.
      At approximately 7:26 am, the service adviser said, "Well, I guess that I can take you now!"
      OK, let's rumble!  I filled out my name, address, phone number and told her what services I was seeking.  The truth was that all I needed was an oil change with a new oil filter, along with a chassis lubrication.
       I asked if the car would be brought back washed.  The service advisor said, "No, we'll give you a token to go down the street and run it through when we are finished with it!"  UMMMMMMMMM, not what I had expected at a luxury car dealership, however, this dealership may do things differently!
       I walked into the showroom and asked to speak with a salesperson.  The receptionist said that no sales people would be in until 8:30, it was probably 7:45 when I walked in!  I was amazed by this, however, there was nothing I could do.
       A few minutes later, a salesman approached me and asked if I was the customer that wanted to talk to a salesman.  I said Yes, I was interested in some of the new vehicles that the dealer sold.  Well, things moved into high gear!  I was clear that I was not going to buy a car that day, I was just interested in visiting about new cars.  The salesman fully understood that-- he proceeded to show me some new cars.
       As we visited, I wondered how this dealership ranked on customer service.  The salesman told me that service was always ranked low, however, everything else was ranked OK.  Well, I can understand how service was ranked low.
       Think about your business.  Are you  ready when the customer arrives, even if it is earlier than when you open?  Perhaps if you have lots of early arriving customers, you may wish to adjust your operating hours to accommodate a wider variety of clients.  Do you greet your customers with a positive greeting, instead of "You'll have to wait?"
        Do you insure that the customer is valued as a real customer whose business is helping pay the bills?  If not, remember, there are lots of places your customer can go and buy the product or service which you are selling.  Never forget who writes the check at the end of the pay period.  The customer is key in any business-- never forget that and don't ever let your staff forget that either.
       In our next post, we'll share more about the car dealership!


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