We want to feel pampered, catered to, valued and put on a pedestal. But most of all, we want to be comfortable! That may sound like a tall order to fill, but it actually isn’t. Auto shops see all types of customers every day, from business professionals to homemakers. So waiting areas and sales desks should offer an environment that makes everyone feel welcome.
Remember your customer when you decide what to put in your waiting area. Try to design a room that feels cozy, relaxing and inviting. Here are some tips to help you make a waiting area that your customers WANT to visit:
- Kids Corner – remember, ladies make 65% of all auto related decisions. Many women show up with children. Designate a kid-friendly area in your waiting room, complete with crayons, books, kid sized furniture and toys. You will keep kids and more importantly, moms, very happy.
- Car Cafe – Starbucks and other coffee houses are cash cows because they offer ambiance and good eats. You can too! Set up a coffee corner and a comfy seating areas that give customers ample room to multi-task courtesy of your free wi-fi. And it wouldn’t kill you to set out some fresh cookies either!
- Television – Keep the television on mute and use closed captions so that the sound doesn’t disturb other customers. I suggest a family friendly channel, like the Food Network or National Geographic.
- Music – Have some sort of background music, preferably seasonal or elevator type, to cater to all preferences. A silent waiting area can feel like a morgue, and makes the shop noise (and staff chatter) that much more noticeable.
- Promote Your Community – If you sponsor a little league team or have a Girl Scout in the family, spread the word with your customers. Keep pictures of your staff and community involvement front in center so your clientele will feel like they know you, even if they don’t.
- Resources – Your job is to provide service. Giving your customers access to great resources, like Women Auto Know, provides extra service that they can take with them. Long after they pay the bill, they will be getting value from WAK,manufacturer sites, safety organizations and other resources you direct them to. And every time they use those resources, they will think of YOU!
- Customer Testimonials – Your customers are your best asset for improving your service ratings and your bottom line! Get to know them and greet them by name. Take pictures of them (with their permission) with their cars and ask them to write a small testimonial about your business. Post it on your WAK micro-listing and print it and hang it on your waiting area wall.
Real customers giving real compliments will make everyone in your shop feel real comfortable.
- Pick a Theme – Go retro, country or rock and roll. Find accessories, pictures and furniture to compliment your theme and carry that over to your printed material. People love being ‘part’ of something. And your shop may be just what that next customer is looking for.
Got any other great ideas on how to create a custom waiting area? Share them with us in our comments section. Ladies, share this post with your shop and encourage them to step up their game and put you, the customer, first!