Maintaining a consistent level of service at all times is extremely important to the long-term success of your service department. It only takes one bad experience to drive a customer away, even if previous experiences were positive.
These are challenging times we are all living through. Maintaining a consistent service experience for each customer every time can be more difficult now than ever before, with stringent health protocols in place and heightened customer anxiety.
Here are some ideas for maintaining a consistent level of service as your dealership recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Know your Customer
The most important factor in maintaining consistent service levels is to understand who your customers are and what preferences they have. This information can be gleaned from sales reports, advertising engagement reports, customer surveys, and simple observations of customer behavior in your shop.
For example, if you know the majority of your customers prefer contactless drop of and pickup, then tailor you processes to create a more consistent experience for this process, so that your customers know what to expect every time.
Standardize your Processes
The biggest enemy to consistent service levels are customer experiences that cannot be duplicated with consistency. By documenting your processes for each aspect of your customer’s experience, you will begin to create a more uniform experience for each customer every time they visit.
Be sure to document multiple scenarios for each process. For example, you would have a different variation in the check-in process for customers that use contactless drop off, than you would for customers who walk-in and wait for their vehicle. Make sure the processes and variations are mapped for every situation.
Train Your Employees
Well defined processes are only as good as the employees that carry the out. If you are serious about maintaining a consistent level of service, it is imperative that your employees are well trained and know the processes and expectations in each scenario.
Enforcing process adherence with employees is always a fine line. While it is important to train them on the processes, it is equally important that they understand why the process is in place, and be allowed some level of freedom in executing the process.
Without a certain level of freedom to act for themselves, employees will grow to resent processes and the system will fail to work.
Unify Customer Experience across All Channels
With the evolution in technology, customers can now connect with your service department through multiple channels. A customer could schedule an appointment online, by telephone or in your dealership.
This can be challenging if your team takes a different approach on every channel. Customers get frustrated when they get a different response or treatment on different channels of the same company.
Customers are also get annoyed when they have to repeat themselves to representatives on different channels on the same issue. That’s why it’s essential to ensure a customer question or concern is immediately registered and is handled efficiently across channels.
Consistency in level of service takes research, planning, training and execution. If you take the time now to tighten up your approach, it will pay dividends long into the future.
Did you enjoy this article from Ken Strong? Read other articles from him here.
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