There’s not much more that will make a routine visit to the car dealership for an oil change take a bad turn faster than a long wait. The more time ticks by with the customer tapping their foot in the waiting room, the more that staff can expect to deal with complaints, requests for status updates and understandable frustration.
It’s bad enough when the service bay is backed up and the customer has a legitimate wait. But when the delay is caused not by the work, but merely by a lack of communication, that frustration can quickly result in short tempers and a very bad customer experience. If your customers aren’t receiving their vehicles as soon as their service is completed, you’re opening yourself up to a world of stress and bad reviews.
Greg May, who runs a Honda dealership in Waco, Texas, found an innovative solution for the customer communication problem. He’s started giving his customers restaurant pagers to let them know their car is ready. May, who invested in 15 pagers for his dealership as part of a customer service renovation completed last September, says he thinks it makes his customers feel special.
“The customer comes in, we do the write-up and hand them a restaurant buzzer and say, ‘This works all over the lot. You can go look at cars, go watch TV or whatever you want, and that will go off when the car is ready to go,'” May said. “They think it’s a really neat deal and not something you see everywhere.”
The buzzers can cut down on inefficiencies as well. Often, with service departments at big dealerships, the person who performs the service has to find the person who’s supposed to tell the customer the car is ready who has to then find the customer.
With the buzzer, no one has to run around the dealership and find anyone to relay the message. This saves everyone time, and that means everyone is happier. It means the service person has more time to work on cars, which means customers don’t have to wait as long, which means the dealership can accommodate more customers in a day, which means more money for the dealership.
Car dealerships can use restaurant paging technology to do more than just improve customer satisfaction levels. Clear communication has positive impacts across the board, streamlining internal procedures and reducing confusion among staff.
For example, many car dealerships are sprawling complexes with rows and rows of cars, service bays, storage areas, fuel stations, indoor office space for salespeople, waiting areas for customers, and so forth. In this environment, overhead paging isn’t even an option, and communication via cellphone is a poor solution.
Messaging systems like LRS’ NetPage Unlimited provide an ideal tool to communicate with those hard-to-find staff people who could be anywhere on the lot. This kind of software allows staff members to send preprogrammed messages from a PC to any staff member equipped with an LRS alphanumeric pager. Why hunt for a needle in a haystack when you can just page the needle instead?
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