AKRON (July 26, 2013) — What is it about a Starbucks coffeehouse that makes people want to stop in every day and purchase a cup of premium-priced coffee and maybe even stay a while to work on their laptops or visit with friends?
Starbucks is a place where people from all walks of life enjoy spending time. And it's not so much about the coffee, although that's certainly part of it.
People are drawn to Starbucks because of the atmosphere. It's trendy and comfortable—a place to relax and take a break. It's kind of an oasis where people can slow down for a few minutes from the hurried pace of life.
That's worth thinking about as more tire dealers decide to upgrade their showrooms and facilities to make the tire buying and service experience more palatable.
What kind of experience do you want customers to have at your dealership?
Think about it. Sitting in a tire dealership waiting for a vehicle to be serviced doesn't have to be unpleasant or a nondescript experience. It can be just the opposite.
Just like Starbucks, a tire dealership can create an atmosphere where—if customers have to wait an hour while their tires are replaced or their vehicles are serviced—they don't mind doing so and in fact may even enjoy it.
Most dealerships today are looking for ways to improve customer service and stand out from the crowd. Why not strive to make your dealership a place that customers rave about because it's trendy and cool? This is assuming that the tire and automotive services offered also are exemplary.
Tire Discounters Inc. in Cincinnati and Virginia Tire & Auto in Fairfax, Va., both recently revealed renovation plans. Tire Discounters said it wants to offer an "unparalleled" in-store experience, resulting in "unmatched" customer satisfaction at its 82 stores.
Meanwhile, Virginia Tire is rebranding itself based on the company's four cornerstone pillars—professional, genuine, attentive and forward thinking. The dealership has a new, modern, clean, in-store look, new interior signage and a new website—all aimed at providing a consistent customer experience at the dealership's 11 stores.
Social media are how many tire dealerships are drawing customers to their dealerships. Why not give them a place that's so inviting that the first thing they want to do when they visit it is tell all their friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., about this amazing dealership.
This editorial appears in the July 22 print edition of Tire Business.