I bought a new vehicle in August last year.  Instead of getting letters telling me when to service the vehicle, my car now tells me with the picture of a wrench and what type of service is required when it is time. Technology!  The light recently came on so I went up to the dealership first thing in the morning before work.  I was quickly attended to by the Service Advisors.  I explained this was my first attendance with my car and just wondered if anything else was required.  They said no, a simple oil change was sufficient and it would be about 25 minutes. 

During my short time in the service bay area I was greeted by each of the representatives, all with smiles on their faces (and frankly none of them were too bad to look at).  I was told I could wait in the waiting room and help myself to coffee etc.  I went in and had a great deal of difficulty with the coffee machine – largely due to my impatience with machinery – however, first one  of the service receptionist came over to help me and when we still had difficulty the second one came over.  Both were extremely polite and I got my coffee – smiles all around.  My car was ready before the 25 minutes was up.  This was a great start to my day.

Unbeknownst to me my husband was also at the car dealership with his truck.  He let me know that he had great service that day.  In addition to his coffee there were sweet treats from a local bakery (cross marketing!), and free movie tickets.  He had a question concerning his vehicle and when the service people were unable to answer it, he later received a call from the salesman who sold him the vehicle answering his question.  He also was quite pleased all around.

You see in addition to providing the actual service of the oil change, they provided great customer service.  We both had an excellent experience.  It didn’t matter to me that I didn’t get the same freebies – even when he told me about them – because I had a great experience. The Service Department made me feel welcome and that I was not troubling them.  I had no appointment as I was able to utilize the express service yet time was taken to explain whether additional work was needed and what my next service visit would entail.

Business is extremely competitive these days – whether it is a law office or any other type of business, it is important to remember that customers make your business.  It is important to have knowledgeable people on staff to assist customers but it is also important to have in place those extras that will make people feel comfortable in your business.  This will ensure that they will refer your business to their friends and relatives.

It is a small thing to ensure that your staff welcome all clients who may be in the waiting room or walking the halls, to offer coffee or other beverages and to attend to their needs in a timely fashion.  I know that I will make a greater effort to ensure that I greet people when I see them. 

Take a look around your business and see what steps you might need to take to make your clients or customers feel satisfied with the service you offer and which will make them want to refer you to others.  This is how your business will grow.

Thanks to my dealership I received an oil change for $45.00 and a lesson in business skills – priceless!!