Do You Service Vehicles or Do You Service Customers
That may seem like a trick question to some of you, but those that can’t make the distinction between the two are destined to never reach the exemplary levels of customer satisfaction that we all talk about.
As an owner, when you prompt your location manager to spend a little extra time with each customer spreading goodwill, does he reply with, “Who’s got time to stand and talk to the customers all day? I’ve got to get back to these cars so we can move ‘em out!”
Or are you a location manager that finds yourself giving your customers the clipboards to fill out all of their personal information while you work under the hood?
If you answered “Yes” to either of those questions, then you are definitely servicing vehicles first and customers second. A very commendable attitude, to be sure, but not one that is ultimately going to win you any overly-enthusiastic customers.
What’s the difference?
The difference is actually pretty plain to see, but only when you are looking at the whole picture from the other side.
You must accept the fact that no matter how good you are at doing the mundane and repetitive aspects of your business, you can only be so good.
Perfection is what we all strive for. Maybe you call it “100 percent Correct Service,” or “Zero mistakes,” or one of many other catchy, but nonetheless similar, phrases. Of course, we all want the best possible and most accurate performance out of our crew members.
Think of this for a moment: What is the motto or goal of your direct competitor? Do they also advertise “Complete customer satisfaction?” It’s a safe bet that the overwhelming percentage of all quick-lube shops, whether privately owned, franchised or part of a big corporation, try to do the best job they can, day in and day out.
The question is, is it enough?
If you want to be able to say that your shop is at least as good as any other, or maybe even a little better, then yes, that may be enough.
However, if you want to be able to honestly say that your particular lube shop is so much better than your competition that they would never even consider going to your competition, then the answer can only be a resounding “No.”
Customers make the difference!
Look at it this way, vehicles don’t tell their owners to take them to a particular lube shop that they like. It’s the car’s owner that decides where to take the vehicle.
The owner of the vehicle will bring the car to the quick lube shop that he feels gives the best service. That is primarily a matter of perception on the customer’s part.
Managing your customer’s perception is the key to making your lube shop stand head and shoulders above your competition.
That brings us to my main point. You are providing services to customers, not vehicles.
Managing your customer’s perceptions
It isn’t enough for you to know that you did the best service possible. The customer must be fully aware of all the benefits and positive results that getting their vehicle serviced at your location has to offer.
If the customer is not aware of all the good stuff you did for them, then what was the point of doing it?