Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Eight Habits Of Highly Successful Service Advisors-Part Three

Over the last couple  of months we identified the importance of the Appointment and Communication Process which allows your service advisor the time and preparation needed before your customer arrives at the service department.

This month's blog, as promised, will cover the last four habits that are crucial in "First Impressions" and  building strong relationships with every customer. We call this the "Relationship Process" and review how important it is to the success of your service operation.

Here's the glue! The Walk Around Process. I have witnessed so many failed "Walk Around" Processes installed by "Consultants" or Factory Representatives. I finally realized a long time ago they never installed the "Appointment Process" which should precede any "Walk Around" Process, thus allowing the Service Advisor enough time to perform a proper "Walk Around" in the first place.

When preparation meets opportunity, success follows at a very high percentage rate. Here is a small list which is worth repeating if you want a successful "Walk Around" Process:
  1. Appointment Process
  2. Daily Action Plan
  3. Proper Meet & Greet
  4. Listening Skills
#5 The "Walk Around" Process

If you decide to skip one of these fundamental items, your "Walk Around" Process will fail. So let's take a look at what ACG's "Walk Around" Process looks like. First, we want to greet the customer by name at their vehicle and confirm what they are coming in for, or the "Prime Item".

Next, we ask if there was anything else they might have noticed on their way into the shop today that they may want us to look at. The next step is to ask the customer how many miles are on the vehicle to get the customer "engaged" with the process.

We do not want to start recording the vehicle identification number, or ask the customer to "Pop the Hood" before creating the relationship which is crucial to the "Meet and Greet" Process. 

The next step is to perform a light check with the customer by advising them to step on the brake, turn the key to the on position, turn their lights on and put the car in reverse. This sets up the "Walk Around" starting at the left front door. Then, we make our way to the rear looking for any body or wheel damage, engaging the customer in casual conversation as we proceed.

Once we are at the rear of the vehicle, look for any signage, bumper stickers, roof racks, or a trailer hitch so we can find some commonality to talk about with the customer. Next, we record our findings, such as inoperative bulbs, most common are license tag or brake lamp bulbs.

I strongly recommend not to advise a customer you're walking around the vehicle to inspect for damage. If you find some damage let them know at that time in a positive manner of awareness to the customer. If no damage is noticed, no further words need to be said. 

Then proceed to the front of the vehicle again looking for damage. Once there, ask the customer to turn on the high beams and quite honestly, many times you will find that the customer doesn't even know how to turn them on. This is a great time to start some conversation and continue to build a strong relationship.

The next step is optional, based on how the advisor "reads" the customer and how they are responding to the "Walk Around" Process to this point. Ask them to "Pop the Hood" and join you while the advisor performs the "Vital Fluids" Evaluation.

It's also very important not to say negative things during this fluid evaluation that contain the words "burnt, dirty, poor smell" and so on. Approaching this fluid evaluation with negative words may lead to a negative outcome.

# 6 Menu Presentation

When the "Walk Around" is complete, have the customer join you back at your write up area. This is the time to review the prime item(s), maintenance needs based on time or mileage (Service Menu/Quote), reviewing each item with a one "Package Price". Lastly, confirm all operations and completion time and don't make the mistake of pricing out each item individually as it will confuse the customer and kill the sale.

# 7 Customer Promise

 This is the stage were you review everything your going to do and by what time. Don't forget to have the customer review the pre-work order to make sure all contact information is correct. I can't tell you how many times the advisor just "assumed" that the phone number on the repair order was a good contact number, only to find out quite the opposite.

The number one thing a customer is waiting to hear is when the vehicle will be completed. If you forget to update the customer throughout  the day,  they WILL call to ask "What's up with my car?" At this point, the customer trust factor is in trouble.

# 8 Close The Sale

We have found that there is no need to learn the top 10 best closing scripts based on how the customer responds to your solution to either fix or maintain their vehicle. The best way to make a customer say "Yes" is to build a relationship through trust, without fancy closing scripts.

At this point, all you need to do is ask for the sale. "Mr./Ms. Customer, the total price is $369.95 which includes all taxes and fees, I can have it done by 3:00 PM. All I need is your "OK" (Sign) to get started".

Nothing else needs to be said until the customer has responded. The more you speak at this time, the less chance you will have to complete the sale.

If you have provided enough value in your presentation, the customer will purchase. If the customer decides not to buy, then ask why because they will tell you. Once they tell you, you can now provide "new" information to close the sale.

 If you follow these "Eight Habits" consistently, you will be more successful in building customer trust, one customer at a time.

If your serious about making things happen versus waiting for things to happen, call or e-mail us now!

Don't wait till it's too late!

 Make This Year Your Best Year!

Guy Salkeld is the President and Head Performance Coach of Automotive Consultants Group Inc. The only Results Based High Return Training, Coaching, and Consulting company in the World! To learn more go to www.smartservicetraining.com  Have a question? E-Mail Guy directly at guy@smartservicetraining.com or Call me direct at: 305-331-3373    

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