ST. JAMES, N.Y. (Nov. 23, 2016) — Car dealer Lee Certilman's pet peeve is waiting in line.
If he shows up for an appointment and has to wait, with no acknowledgment from staff, he gets frustrated.
So imagine his discontent this past August when he walked through his service department and saw customers standing in line, waiting for an adviser.
“The service advisers didn't have any customers in front of them, but they were doing paperwork from the prior customer and not acknowledging those people in line,” said Mr. Certilman, owner of Nardy Honda Smithtown in St. James.
“There's a reasonable time people will wait. But if you're standing around and waiting and no one is addressing you, you start to get anxious.”
Mr. Certilman soon realized that having customers waiting in line was a regular problem in his service department. He turned to his security cameras to pinpoint the problem and found seven minutes of security footage that helped fix it.
Now he has a new policy, and he uses the cameras to enforce it so his customers don't have to endure long waits.
“The cameras are there for protection, but you can use them to see if people are doing what they're supposed to be doing,” Mr. Certilman said. “It's a customer-service improvement tool. You can find a problem and then use it, after you've made an implementation, to spot-check to make sure the improvement is happening.”
“If you leave (customers) there for seven minutes, it might as well be seven hours,” he said.
Nardy Honda Smithtown, on Long Island about a 90-minute drive east of midtown Manhattan, sells about 3,000 new and used vehicles a year. Its customers are typical New Yorkers whose time is of the essence, Mr. Certilman said.