Cars aren’t the only ones that need tune-ups. Dealerships also need tune-ups now and then. If you’re an owner or manager, there are several areas where you can improve service delivery and overall customer experience.
Here are a few ideas that you can start implementing:
On-time appointments are crucial to your operations. This helps staff dedicate enough time to address customers’ needs. When serving auto customers who have their own busy schedules, timeliness can make all the difference.
Consider adopting a digital scheduling tool for your operations. This can help you identify bottlenecks quickly and make the necessary adjustments.
If you’re a relatively small dealership and you prefer doing things manually, proper scheduling can still be achieved. As long as your staff is finishing orders in a timely fashion and your customers don’t have a hard time filling out forms.
However, remember that as your business and customer base grows, you will need to integrate more efficient systems.
Ready-to-use materials and equipment
Having easily accessible materials and equipment can enable your technicians to do their jobs faster. If your staff need to go out of their way every time they need to fix something, this can cause excessively long waiting times for the customer.
Whether it’s air filters, engine oil, battery chargers or car wheel balancing machines, find out which types of items are frequently used. You can do this by reviewing your job orders in recent weeks or months.
Aggregate the data and see if you can find some common trends. Based on this information, you can gather these materials and equipment in a ready-to-use package.
Prompt customer follow-ups
One of the quickest ways to turn away customers is to respond too late. As a business, you can’t afford to do that.
Review your customer engagement strategy and see if you’re responding to customers on time. From service inquiries and appointment follow-ups to soliciting feedback, no stone should be left unturned.
It’s a good idea to integrate automated responses—via email, text, or another digital platform—which can be especially useful when confirming orders and sending out appointment schedules. However, don’t overly rely on these channels.
If customers feel like you’re just sending them cold, templated responses, they might feel like their concerns are not being appropriately addressed. Using technology to communicate promptly is good, but don’t forget to add a human or personal touch to customer engagement.
Comfortable waiting areas
Customers make time for visits to the dealership. Sometimes this can involve shifting their schedules around to get needed car repairs or maintenance out of the way. So when they wait for a considerable amount of time in waiting areas that are poorly designed and equipped, don’t be surprised to see them becoming irate.
See if waiting areas provide a comfortable atmosphere for queuing customers. If some things need to be revamped, best to get started on it.
You don’t need to invest in expensive or designer furniture to make this happen. Simple touches like decent benches or chairs, complimentary drinks, and free Wi-Fi can significantly improve the experience.
There are more resources available on running and managing a dealership. Educational resource databases, like this one from the National Automobile Dealers Association, can help you and your staff significantly improve service.