Customers need to bring their cars in for service occasionally but auto service has become a big inconvenience for most for a number of reasons. These reasons unfortunately too often result in customers putting off maintenance that then leads to higher repair bills, more inconvenience, and even higher anxiety than is already present. How can you reduce the inconvenience a customer feels? In recent VILT class I proposed that many of the inconveniences customers feel actually are created by us. We think we are providing convenience to the customer but in reality we provide mostly convenience to ourselves. Yes, there can be overlap – and should be. However, shops need to make sure that their idea of providing convenience is what the customer sees as convenience – NOT just what they see as a convenience. Take for instance the loaner car. Loaners are intended to provide convenience, yet have you considered whether the customer is comfortable driving the loaner? Is it what they are used to? Is it nicer than what they drive? Has someone smoked in it recently? Sometimes a better convenience is offering rental cars. You can often do this for “free” and almost always provide a customer with a vehicle newer than the one they drive. Can you provide convenience for the customer who waits? What is your market like? Lots of young entrepreneurs? Business people? Older generation? How about quiet rooms with great WIFI? How about linking your property to the local walking path? Rides to the zoo for families? Free passes to the aquarium for kids? Yes, some of these ideas are “out of the box” ideas, but maybe you need to take your thoughts there! What can you offer that nobody else can? Review the VILT program More Customer Convenience and see what you come up with!

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