Horses for courses: finding the right person for your service desk

GW columnist, Mark Johnson on customer service and front of house staff

Horses for courses: finding the right person for your service desk
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It’s all too easy to forget the important of good old fashioned front of house customer service, GW columnist and service manager at AAT Auto Services in Whitstable, Mark Johnson explains.

Mark Johnson, GW columnist and service manager at AAT Auto Services in Whitstable.

Finding the right people for the right job in your business is essential and it’s a fact that’s stuck with me, reminding me of the “horses for courses” phrase often used by my dad.

Most already know that excellent customer service tends to lead to success but while we’re busy in the workshop getting the right diagnosis for a customer’s vehicle, it’s all too easy to overlook the customer’s front of house experience.

Your garage reception is where first impressions are made, which is why it should be the focal point to your business.

Repairs are completed in the workshop but it’s in reception where the profit can be made, where customer rapport is developed and where you have the opportunity to secure their custom for years to come.

With the right staff in place, good front of house shouldn’t involve pressurised selling because we’re not looking to make as much money as we can and run.

You need someone that can aid your customers into making the right choices, to explain the difference between non-OE and OE parts.

Customer choice

It’s all too easy to forget about offering choice but an informed purchase is always valued by consumers and helps to build that rapport.

When taking an MOT booking, do you ask the customer the vehicle was last serviced?

Perhaps you should.

It opens up a conversation, during which you can chat through the various options available to the customer and they can make an informed decision.

Asking the right questions at the time of booking will not only allow your technicians to accurately understand the fault but it also shows the customer that there we’re sympathetic, understanding and willing to offer our help and expertise.

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting the right person behind your reception desk.

It goes without question that it should be someone with a good degree of technical understanding but consider if that’s one of your technicians or someone specifically employed for that role – who’s the right horse for your course?

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