Engage Customers During Service to Fuel Service Department Traffic
If the only interaction your service staff has with customers while they’re in for repairs or maintenance is,“It’ll be about an hour. Our lounge is right over there!” and“Alright, sir! Your car is finished! Let me get those keys for you…”
Then, you’re missing a huge opportunity to engage and interact with customers on a more meaningful level. For the half-hour or hour they’re waiting in your dealership, they’re a captive audience.
You’ve already scored them as a customer, use this time to retain them.
Here are three creative ways you can begin engaging with customers during service to entice them to return next time.
Talk to Them About Their Car
When a customer purchases a new vehicle, the initial walkthrough of the options and technology can be dizzying. They’ll be overwhelmed and usually won’t have any questions when they leave the dealership. Those questions will come as they use the car over the first few months. This means that when they return for their first service visit, it’s a prime opportunity for your service advisors to jump in and educate them about anything that’s got them befuddled – from how to work the climate control system to how the hands-free navigation system functions.
Why take the time to do this if they’re already a customer? It’s all about building brand loyalty – not to the make of car, but to your dealership. If customers feel that you’re taking care of them, they’ll return for complimentary maintenance. They’ll return for repairs that fall outside of the warranty coverage. And finally, they’ll return to purchase their next vehicle.
Interactive Media in the Lounge Area
Of course, you have a nice lounge area. And customers really enjoy the relaxing couches, cappuccino machine, and tasty snacks they get to enjoy while they’re waiting for their oil change. However, this still doesn’t really engage them or educate them about the services and products your dealership has to offer.
If you’ve already had your service advisor talk with them about any questions they have about their new vehicle, how can you further interact with them as they wait? Digital signage is one way. Use visually-attractive and constantly-changing computerized signs to educate them about the various service milestones on different makes and models of vehicles. It’s also a perfect way to advertise maintenance specials, as well as sales on aftermarket parts and services.
While they wait, also be sure to send a concierge out with a tablet to make sure you have their contact info up-to-date. This will ensure that you can reach them in the event of a recall or campaign.
Have the Service Technician Engage Them
Finally, don’t simply let your service advisors rattle off a list of the work that was done before handing a customer their car keys. Have them print out a multi-point inspection list and bring in the service technician. The technician will be able to walk your customer through everything that was done on that day’s visit, but they can also go through any items that look like they’ll need attention six months from now.
This will help give the customer a comprehensive picture of what’s going on with their vehicle, which will make them more likely to address maintenance items rather than letting them fall to the wayside. It also encourages them to ask questions and get a better understanding of anything they find confusing – which falls squarely into the “making them feel like you’re taking care of them” category.
All too often, most of the customer engagement happens on the front end during the sales process. By giving these tips a try, you’ll ensure a constant flow of communication with your customers that keeps them coming back time and time again.