Welcome back. Last session we talked about the specifics of telephone, face-to-face and electronic communications. Today we are going to look at some specific times when you communicate with your customer. Following the suggestions covered in our last session all apply all to these situations too.
The first encounter you have with the customer can be a lasting one. It is critical that these go well. Typically, the first encounter for a service customer is when they make an appointment for service. Equally important as the appointment itself, is being sure the customer knows what to expect when they arrive. No one likes to feel like they don’t know what they are doing. Instruct the customer where to put their vehicle and where to meet you. If you are not the one making the appointment, there should be a process to ensure this is done.
We will discuss specific write-up and check-out procedures in a later video but, during these two exchanges it is very important to let the customer know what to expect next. Where to go and what will be happening with their vehicle.
During the time your business has their vehicle you should be communicating the status with the customer. Set expectations for this early on. For customer satisfaction it is always better for you to be able to act rather than react. Waiting till 4:00PM and having the customer call you for status is a recipe for disaster. Your doing other things, you don’t have their file or know exactly what is going on. You are not focused, and you try to wing it! This never ends well. Do yourself a favor. Establish a time frame for them to expect a status and make time to do it.
Check-out can be another touchy time. There should be no surprises at redelivery. Status and follow-up calls should have already communicated the repair outcome and any associated expenses. These should have been documented and reviewed as estimates and approved previously. Surprises here are the direct result of poor communication on the part of the service advisor.
Follow-up can come in two varieties. One is the follow-up you promised them with status or diagnosis. These are critical because they further establish your credibility. These are essential and you need to sweat the details. The other kind of follow-up is that call to be sure the business met their expectations. Many businesses take the approach of let sleeping dogs lie. ‘If they are not happy they will call or come back’. No, these customers are 9 times more likely to just go away. You want to know if the vehicle is not right so you can have the chance to make it right. Vehicles are complex and they do not always get repaired with one visit. Do not let these situations smolder, reach out and get in front of the situation so you can control its outcome.
That wraps up todays communication scenarios. Join us next time when we talk about presentation.
This video is presented by The Group Training Academy.