Preparing for your customers is a simple tip I give automotive service advisors to drive sales and boost customer engagement in the service lane.
This goes beyond scheduling based on shop capacity or taking a brief look over who is coming in for an appointment; proper preparation requires taking the time to review your customer’s service information so you can make customized recommendations for vehicle maintenance. This shifts your service mentality from reactive to proactive, and allows you to maximize each sales opportunity in your shop.
Step 1 – Prepare Your Customer
- When you are setting an appointment, tell your customer that when he/she comes in you will be reviewing his/her service history and discussing any additional maintenance they may require
- Why is this Important? Sharing this lets your customer know you are going above and beyond to ensure their vehicle is maintained properly. It also helps set the stage so your customer is prepared for any additional recommendations you might make.
Step 2 – Prepare Yourself
- Create a folder for each customer coming into your shop that includes:
- Service History
- Manufacturer’s Recommendations
- Menu of Service
- Take a few minutes to review each customer’s service history and predict incoming mileage; make notes of maintenance that is likely due; look for any recommendations the customer declined during recent visits or items that were noted for future service on the last multi-point inspection.
- When the customer comes in, share with him/her that you have looked over the service history and mileage for his/her vehicle. This ensures each customer understands that you have taken the time to get to know more about their vehicle in order to make customized recommendations.
- Why is this Important? This not only provides a personalized experience for your customers, it also allows you to maximize sales opportunities. This step helps you to move beyond simply taking orders to making thoughtful recommendations. Preparing in this way means you will not miss out on sales opportunities. No matter how busy your shop becomes or who ends up welcoming a customer, your team will be prepared.
I understand how hectic the service department can become, and you may feel you do not have time to take this step to prepare for customers each day. But keep in mind that investing a few minutes preparing for each customer will generate significant return on investment in maintenance and light repair sales that you likely miss when you are not prepared.