Posted By Liz Keener,
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
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Operation: Keep Your Customers Boating has been focused on providing exceptional customer experience to your new boat buyers, so they have a better boating lifestyle, stay in the sport, become loyal customers of your dealership and refer their family and friends to you.
And the service department is an integral piece in that equation. Service is the primary department your customers will interact with between their first boat purchase and any subsequent boat purchases. So the experience your customers have with your service department is critical to them returning to your dealership again and again.
One of the key things a dealership can do to improve the relationship a customer has with the service department is for the customer to have their “person,” their primary contact, the person the customer knows will always have their back, says Rallee Chupich, an MRAA Certification Consultant who spent 34 years working at the dealership level, specializing in service.
Sam Dantzler, of Garage Composites, also backs up that assertion in his 2018 Continuous Certification course, “Take Your Dealership from Good to Great with CRM.”
What customers want is a key contact in service who knows them by name, understands their past and current issues and will be liaison for them in the service department. To make that possible, Rallee recommends you hire one or more service advisor assistants, employees who may not have as much of a service knowledge base as your primary service advisor, but instead can focus on the customer experience and helping the customer close the gap between having an issue with the boat and having that boat fixed and back on their trailer or dock.
Service advisors are skilled individuals, who balance an understanding of the service department, service scheduling, technical knowhow and customer experience. But many could use additional help, with the number of clients and service appointments a dealership has to handle. So while a service advisor can still write up repair orders, work with VIP customers and coordinate with the service manager, the service advisor’s assistant can handle the rest.
A service advisor’s assistant, Rallee says, could handle some of the following tasks:
• Answering the service department phone
• Being the go-to person for most customers
• Calling customers the day before their appointment to confirm they’re coming in (saving a headache for the rest of the department, if the customer isn’t coming in)
• Calling customers to schedule boat pickup
• Getting pre-authorization or authorization of work to be completed
• Assisting in sales of service products
• Entering customer information into the CRM (customer relationship management system)
Having a service advisor’s assistant will help the dealership by preventing burnout among the talented advisor staff, offering a better customer experience, and possibly giving the dealership someone to train up to the next service advisor position.
When customers have that go-to contact at your dealership that they can trust will take care of them, it builds up their trust with your entire dealership, getting them closer to becoming a customer for life.
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