Always clarify your business' antivirus safety precautions for customers before they arrive at your tire dealership or service shop.
In this era of the pandemic, explaining these safety measures is practical and workable thanks to modern technology. As far as I am concerned, there are no legitimate reasons not to notify customers about your safety rules and other requirements for an efficient interaction.
What's more, the gesture of contacting people in advance of their visits will boost customer loyalty today as well as over the long term.
I will describe the kinds of advance information you should provide to your scheduled customers first. Then I will discuss the benefits of this personalized approach during these stressful uncertain times.
Now, imagine that you are scheduling maintenance or repair work with a car owner. Naturally, this motorist has to deliver his or her vehicle, drop off keys and provide a certain amount of information for this transaction.
For one thing, most motorists are not fond of — and never have been fond of — hanging around an auto repair business for any reason. So during normal times, it's been prudent to minimize the amount of time any vehicle owner has to spend at your tire dealership or service shop.
But during this era of a pandemic, it is many times more important to handle routine transactions as quickly and efficiently as practically possible. A key reason for this approach is that many auto service facilities have closed their customer lounges and waiting areas as a precaution against the spread of the virus.
If you have worked at a service desk or counter, consider the range of interruptions that may occur there.
For example, you have to look up additional information regarding the customer's problem. Or you have to arrange a ride to work for that person. Or, an urgent call occurs.
Traditionally, a service salesperson might respond to these routine interruptions by asking the customer to take a seat in the waiting area — perhaps enjoy a cup of coffee and a magazine. Or, a salesperson might suggest the customer take advantage of the shop's Wi-Fi in order to catch up on email for a few minutes.
Without a functioning waiting area, the salesperson loses these basic but valuable options during a transaction. Furthermore, the loss of the customer lounge has forced sales personnel to improvise in the ways they interface with their clientèle.
For instance, some salespeople have begun greeting customers outdoors as long as the weather cooperates. In other cases, they allow customers into the building but restrict their access to just a few square feet of space inside the main entrance or possibly near a door on the back of the building.
Once a customer enters this door, he or she may conduct business at a folding table or picnic table that the crew has set up as a temporary service counter.
Meanwhile, some auto service facilities still allow customers indoors, but this apparent courtesy may be counterproductive because it means that service personnel must "police" prescribed Covid-19 safety measures such as wearing masks and social distancing — all within customer lounges and waiting areas that simply weren't designed for these extraordinary conditions.
So, common sense suggests a potentially different outlook: The fewer customers you have on hand at any given time, the smoother transactions likely are to be for everyone involved.
"Smoother" translates into less- stressful transactions. During these traumatic times, any steps you take to reduce customers' stress are invaluable and memorable.