Better Waiting Areas for Automotive Customers
When a customer brings their car, truck, or motorcycle into an automotive garage, the jobs necessary can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. For some customers, they’re willing to leave their vehicles with the workshop and then go somewhere else. Others however, prefer to wait on-premises for the work to be completed.
That’s where the waiting area plays an important role.
Some workshops don’t have a designated waiting area, instead providing customers with a couch or some seats in the office where they can sit patiently. This, as you can imagine, is a low-budget and low-comfort solution.
Some workshops in the Klang Valley, particularly the branded chains of workshops, put a little bit more effort into their waiting areas. Some have air-conditioned rooms designated for automotive customers waiting for their cars to be fixed, complete with a TV, charging stations, coffee machines, and in some cases even pool tables!
Imagine how much that would improve a customer’s waiting experience, turning something unpleasant into a positive part of the overall automotive customer care experience. Some customers would even look forward to bringing their cars into the workshop, just so they can experience the waiting rooms!
Whether your automotive business has a low or high budget for this area, there are a few basics that should be considered to make a customer’s waiting much more pleasant.
First and foremost, comfortable seating has to be provided for guests. Chances are they’ll be sitting down for extended periods of time and might even take a nap while waiting for their vehicles to be worked on.
The more comfortable the seating, the less a customer will feel stressed or agitated during the entire experience. By keeping customers happy, complaints can also be reduced as it helps to maintain a positive mood among the automotive business’ customer.
Entertainment or Reading
Additionally, providing customers with ‘distractions’ could make the waiting time fly by for them. This could be anything from providing televisions to providing computers or workstations for customers to surf the web while waiting. This could also be great for customers who wish to do some work or check their emails while waiting.
Alternatively, having quality reading materials will also help. Magazines that are up to date will go a long way in keeping your customers occupied while they wait.
More importantly, this could also include marketing materials such as brochures and posters that help to educate customers and promote the products, services, and spare parts that your automotive business has to offer. This is a great way to bring customers’ attention to these products seeing as how they are a ‘captive audience’, waiting in that room for an extended period of time.
These are almost non-negotiable. Basic amenities such as access to toilets and clean drinking water are incredibly affordable for any business to provide, and will go a long way to keeping customers happy.
However, this can also be taken many steps further if the business is able to provide it. Examples of this would be coffee machines or other vending machines that provide customers with basic food and beverages to help them avoid going hungry or thirsty while waiting. This is also another way to help maintain the customer’s positive emotions to reduce their complaints and increase their overall satisfaction.
A View of the Workshop
This is not always possible, but is definitely a great bonus to have! If at all possible, give the customer a way to view what’s happening in the workshop. Some do this by having their waiting area built right next to the workshop, while some instead have cameras that link to displays in the waiting area.
Having a view of the workshop gives customers a sense of relief, knowing that they can witness their vehicles being worked on with their own two eyes. Additionally, it promotes transparency and honesty among your automotive business’ employees.
Having a comfortable environment for automotive customers to wait can help influence the overall opinion of a customer regarding your business. Even with a low budget, there are ways to make the area much more pleasant for your customers.