Greg May, owner of the Greg May Honda dealership in Waco, Texas, understands the value of providing excellent service. At the pace his dealership was growing, May recognized that he needed to make some necessary changes in order to improve the experience for his service customers and adapt with his growing business.
One of the biggest challenges May faced was speeding up the turnaround time for car service. On an average day, the service department could see up to 40 cars. However, the volume of requests for service were as high as 75-80 cars per day, to the point where they were having to turn customers away. For a simple oil change, customers would have to schedule an appointment three to four days in advance.
In the fall of 2014, May invested in renovations to improve his service department. In addition to adding five more service bays and creating more parking, May also invested in a guest paging system. Inspired by the flexibility and freedom that patrons experience in a restaurant setting, May believed the same philosophy could apply to guests waiting in his dealership. At any given time, there could be five to 15 customers waiting to get their car serviced. “For an oil change, it used to take anywhere from one to two hours,” said May. “Now, 95 percent of our customers can be done in 30 minutes or less.
Customers are no longer tethered to the waiting area. Instead, they are free to roam the lot, walk around the showroom, converse with sales associates or even sit outside if they please. Before the guest paging system, customers were called over a noisy overhead speaker. With the pagers, customers now have peace of mind knowing they haven’t been forgotten or missed and can wait comfortably anywhere in the dealership. In addition, May said the showroom is significantly more peaceful without the overhead PA system.
The guest paging system has also helped May’s staff become more productive and focused on their duties. “My staff loves it,” said May. “They used to spend an inordinate amount of time searching for customers, taking them anywhere from five to 15 minutes.” Staff are now able to use their time more efficiently. The time saved has also helped speed up the completion of car services. “We are able to get back to customers quicker regarding the diagnosis of their car and what they need in order to make a decision earlier in the day. That way, they can get their car fixed and back in the same day instead of leaving the car overnight,” said May.
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