What Are Your Customers’ First Impressions of Your Dealership?

As Will Rogers said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Creating favorable customer impressions may even seem easy when you can show off renovated waiting areas and state-of-the-art amenities. But, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that multimillion dollar investments are the only way to inspire five-star reviews – or that such investments will guarantee them. The reality is that everything and everyone that your customers come in contact with makes impressions on them. Whether you have a brand new state-of the-art facility or a 50 year old pole barn, it is in your best interest to self-examine whether your facility and people represent the image you desire. Let’s examine some facility and employee checks that may – or may not – reflect the ideal impression: Facility Check Common sense tells us that your dealership should be sparkling clean. But, that goes beyond nightly cleaning and ongoing maintenance. If the coffee counter has spills on it at 9 am, the trash can is overflowing at 3 pm and the bathroom is out of toilet paper at 5 pm, it doesn’t matter how clean your dealership was when you opened your doors at 7 am. If your customers see any or all of these situations, you are not likely to elicit the customer experience or perception of your dealership that you desire. Even worse, your customers may assume that the work performed on their vehicles was just as sloppy. To prevent such situations, we recommend keeping cleaning logs within each area that your customers will see. But, don’t expect the log alone to accomplish anything....