A Second Chance At A First Impression

Owning a 12-Volt Retail Facility is more than just hanging your sign up on a random building and customers instantly pouring in to buy product. There are thousands of consumer habit and buying surveys, tools you can use to measure customer retention and satisfaction, and there are numerous trainings you can attend to try to improve your realization of a successful shop through higher sales and more aggressive marketing.

However, none of those things will benefit your business unless your core is strong – and your core is being an expert in your field in an environment that is conducive to consumer confidence and demonstration.

Let’s focus on one quick and easy thing – how ‘in-the-know’ are you with current and upcoming vehicle technology and features? Knowing what could visit your bay in the next 12-18 months is a key advantage most shops don’t pay attention to. Pick up the latest Motor Trend, Car and Driver, and Consumer Reports magazines to get breakdowns on vehicle features, real-world feature acceptance and feedback, and input on features or comforts a vehicle may be missing that your shop can provide for drivers of these vehicles.

Think about it – much of the leg work has already been done for you! These references will tell you which cars don’t have Bluetooth™, heated seats, or navigation systems, all of which you can suggest to the consumer when they arrive. Go one step further and make a list of the ‘Best Buy’ rated vehicles in Consumer Reports, and have 3-4 options for upgrades for each, and be sure your staff knows the integration options for each very well. Do you homework and put together a package of the parts so you can offer a ‘package price’ to consumers who simply come in desiring a feature, rather than getting into some of the more complicated discussions of options that turn some customers off.

This is just one example of doing a bit of homework up front that can reap rewards when the customer arrives at your facility. Your expertise in the subject is magnified significantly because there is no bumbling around on the Internet trying to find out what you can do, and no puzzled looks when they rattle off something that they want.

Next on the list – leave your shop at the end of the day, and come back the next day not as the owner or as an employee, but as a customer. Take a look around your parking lot – does it look safe and clean? Look at your signage – is it clearly visible from the road, up-to-date, and fresh looking? A dirty parking lot, or one that has weeds and other debris in or around it doesn’t entice a customer to park their new, or newly modified, vehicle there. Dirty, missing, or faded signage, or just a sticker on the door, makes it too hard for the customer to find you, and doesn’t give an impression that you care about your business enough to update it and stay up with the times.

Take a walk in the door and look around – is your showroom floor a mess? Are your product displays confusing, or missing components? Does everything on the display board work? Keep in mind that these displays give an impression of how the product may end up being installed in their vehicle. If your displays are dirty, customers will expect you will leave their car dirty. If your displays are not working, what can they expect for long-term reliability from your products or your installation? If your displays are confusing or just randomly placed around the showroom, what does that say about your installation planning or organizational skills?

Walk into your bay(s) and look around. Would you, assuming you don’t work there, send your wife or mother to this shop to get her vehicle worked on? Would she feel confident in the technicians treating her with respect, and that the vehicle would be finished on time and that her property is in good hands? Is it clean and neatly organized? Remember that your installation bays are not just a means-to-an-end to getting the product in the car. They can actually be part of your sales process too if they are neat, and your guys are treating every car with the utmost care.

Keep in mind that once a month you should do an evaluation of your facility – how does it look, are you representing well to the customer, and are you delivering and exceeding the expectations of your customers? Make it easy and comfortable to do business with you, and you will experience great success!


Preparing Your Business to Advertise DISH in a Kiosk

Are you interested in advertising DISH at a kiosk in your local mall or shopping center? If the answer is yes, take a moment to review DOW Electronics’ Co-Op Kiosk Training Video.

This training video will help ensure that your kiosk is both pre-approved and co-op claim ready!