Sometimes it Just Takes Educating the Customer

by Ed Reiter 9. June 2011 03:19

A friend of mine works as a Service Advisor at a car dealership and told me the following story.  When a customer has a car in for an oil change they routinely do an inspection of the major components of on the car. They check the tire tread depth, the fluid levels, the wipers and the lights. They have a check list they use to record the results.  When the customer comes in to pick up the car they review the report with the customer recommending any maintenance that may be needed.

He told me about a customer in particular who had tires with considerable wear. The vehicle had  over 30,000 miles so he recommended a transmission flush and new tires along with some other insignificant items like the wiper blades. The customer declined the additional service. Later the customer’s husband called and said he did not appreciate the way we pressured his wife to have additional services done.

This was clearly a case of miscommunication, the customer not recognizing the value of the inspection, looking at it as an attempt to pressure her into taking something she did not want.

My friend was scratching his head because he assumed the customer knew this was a service that did not obligate the customer to buy these from him; but it was something that would need attention in the near future.

I explained to him that to a seasoned automotive professional this was something he took for granted. To the customer, you were telling her the wheels would fall off if she did not have these things done right away. Even if he said it in a manner that seemed non-pressuring, without the proper explanation that these are things that needed to be taken care of in the near future, the non-technical customer does not understand, and can feel pressured.  He needs to stress to the customer these are recommendations based on what we see while servicing the car.

It is a lesson for all of us.  “The best customer is an educated customer”.  A line from an old commercial for Men’s Clothing.  Just because we think a customer knows what we are saying, sometimes we have to repeat it so they are sure to understand.

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Corporate Culture | Customer Experience

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