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  • Customer conversations

    Posted by gcauto on October 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    What do you do when you have a very chatty customer? We have a small shop, my office and the waiting area share the same space. I know the importance of making the customer feel welcome, chatting with them when they drop off, making it all about them and their vehicle, however, in the event of a waiting customer, they tend to want to have conversations with me the whole time they are here. Sometimes this can be up to and/or more than an hour. My husband is the technician and I run the office, which includes many tasks. How do I politely explain to our customers that I cannot spend an hour chatting with them?

    chopshopcustoms replied 10 years, 7 months ago 6 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
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  • powellsquare

    Member
    October 30, 2011 at 11:16 am

    When we had our business we sorta had the same problem. My wife would get driven crazy by the customers. I on the other hand would use this chat time to build relationships. If you are busy as they are talking a simple excuse me a minute while I make this call. Have a t.v in the office so it gives them some distraction.

    But whatever you do. Dont’ show you are annoyed by them. Show you are interested in whatever they have to say. It will help as you sell your service to them.

    Alot of customers were retired and had no real life. They would come in just for the company. I would have to turn them a way with you have a 100 miles since your oil change come back again. They just wanted to talk. Yes it was sometimes a challenge but when they needed that big job done they came to us.

  • joecval

    Member
    November 9, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    We have the exact same office/waiting area and it can be a real challenge when customers are waiting. Generally, I will actively listen as much as I can, to help build a relationship. I probably enjoy visiting too much, and visit too long. I remember Christmas shopping one year when I ran into a customer, who lost his job 2 weeks prior. I spent a good 30 minutes visiting with him as my kids were running around crazy. That 30 minutes I spent encouraging him, really made an impact. When he finally started working again he stopped in to share the good news and has since spent a lot of money making sure his vehicle is reliable again. The return on those 30 minutes has been very good. When work just has to get done, I have found being able to have another work station in the shop helped. I would just excuse myself and work on the shop computer for a while.

  • Tom Ham

    Member
    November 11, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Joe Valind wrote:

    > We have the exact same office/waiting area and it can be a real challenge when customers are waiting. Generally, I will actively listen as much as I can, to help build a relationship. I probably enjoy visiting too much, and visit too long. I remember Christmas shopping one year when I ran into a customer, who lost his job 2 weeks prior. I spent a good 30 minutes visiting with him as my kids were running around crazy. That 30 minutes I spent encouraging him, really made an impact. When he finally started working again he stopped in to share the good news and has since spent a lot of money making sure his vehicle is reliable again. The return on those 30 minutes has been very good. When work just has to get done, I have found being able to have another work station in the shop helped. I would just excuse myself and work on the shop computer for a while.

    Two great points, especially the former. The right amount of conversation and interaction will cement many customers to a shop pretty much for good…there are no other shops in their mind once it occurs.

    A service advisor work station in the shop has many benefits in addition to the one that you mention. Many shops could stand to add one or more PC’s or laptops, or replace the dinosaurs they now have.

  • driszt

    Member
    November 20, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Relationship marketing, talk as long as the customer wants too! You can have a customer for life if you do, there is nothing more important than your customer.

  • chopshopcustoms

    Member
    November 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I used to get a lot of clients who just ‘stop by’ . Ill chat for about 10-15 minutes and then tell them I need to keep working or the car(s) im doing wont get it done.

    Most of them understand -and the ones that dont usually get the hint as I just continue to work and talk above the noise…

    Im happy to chat but please dont take the time away from another client – its just not fair to shortchange someone else.