How should the reception be in a workshop ? In the first place, it must have means that provide optimal conditions to serve the client . A well-configured reception area, equipped with the tools and aids the receptionist or service advisor needs, is the foundation for success.
Do we want to obtain profitability and quality in our workshop? Good equipment is necessary in the productive area of the workshop. Also, the reception area is essential, where we carry out customer service. In this case, it is the “first impression” to achieve good business results.
The workshop’s ability to generate an optimal experience for its customers will be a differentiating element from its competition, so it is essential to properly manage this aspect. This forces us to analyze all the interactions or points of contact that the client has with the workshop, one of the most important being the moment in which he goes to its facilities.
An appropriate methodology to improve this experience is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. It’s about thinking like he would, determining his needs, instead of focusing solely on his vehicle during the course of his visit.
The first requirement that the client always has when he arrives at the workshop facilities is to park the vehicle in a suitable place until it is attended to. Having designated parking spaces reserved for the exclusive use of customers is appreciated, especially if it is not easy to find a place to park nearby.
These spaces will also serve to prevent vehicles from accumulating at the entrance of the workshop, a circumstance that can significantly impair its operation.
It is a good idea for some of these spaces to be as close as possible to the vehicle reception posts or even to form an area together with them, so that both types of posts can be used indistinctly for the two purposes. .
Thanks to this, versatility is obtained, and certain tasks are facilitated, such as, for example, transferring the customer’s belongings from their vehicle to the replacement one.
Next, it will be necessary to specify the intervention to be carried out, collecting all the necessary data to make the budget, in addition to checking the operation of the vehicle’s systems and its general condition. To do this, reception posts must be available with the necessary means to actively carry out said inspection.
Setting up a workshop reception
This work area must have minimum dimensions, since the inspection of the vehicle must be carried out jointly with the client. At least one of the positions must have a lift, to easily access the underside of the vehicle. Scissor lifts, due to their characteristics, are the most suitable.
Likewise, there must be means to examine and diagnose the condition of the vehicle. Among other equipment, a shock absorber condition checker, a pressure gauge, a tire tread depth gauge, a paint thickness gauge, or mirrors so that the advisor can verify, without help, the operation of all the system’s bulbs lighting and signage.
Provision must be made for the existence of electricity and compressed air service outlets at these posts. Thus, we will also have the possibility of making small touch-ups or corrections, without having to put the vehicle in the workshop.
As close as possible to the reception, the customer service area must be found, where all their data is taken, the details of the intervention are discussed and the documents related to the service are formalized and provided to the client, such as budget, receipt deposit, courtesy vehicle assignment contract or invoice.
Within the configuration options for this area, the most widely used are based on the existence of a counter, or high tables with stools, whose advantage is that they can be integrated into the vehicle reception positions, or the typical tables office with chairs for customers, conveniently separated from these positions. A combination of both is also common.
Cockpit concept in customer service positions; that is, everything you need is within reach. They must be equipped with a computer, printer and organizers for documents that are used daily.
In the customer service area, a waiting area or room must be set up. To try to make this wait as bearable as possible, a “TV” can be set up where a promotional video of the workshop, up-to-date magazines, as well as beverage machines and suitable furniture can be played. In certain workshops there is a children’s play area and even an open WIFI network for customers.
The reception must be integrated into the workshop and have adequate communication with the rest of its areas, especially the productive one. If the constructive characteristics of the building allow it, it is advisable to resort to partially glazed enclosures between these areas so that customers can have a general view of the workshop, but at the same time, prevent access to its interior. The installation of fast-acting vehicle access doors is the best option to communicate reception and workshop.
One aspect that must be taken into account is the signage of the different areas. It must allow them to be quickly located by the client, and that they know where to go based on their needs.
As for floor and wall finishes, there is a wide variety of qualities to choose from, which must be in line with the corporate image to which the workshop must adapt. In any case, light tones are recommended that provide greater luminosity, and matte finishes on the floor to favor its durability and state of conservation.
It is essential to technologically equip the posts. Shop Management Applications, or DMS, are used to open repair orders and capture all data. This is not the only help that this application can provide, since all of them have functions to manage the advisor’s agenda, which allows the implementation of an effective appointment system. This makes it easier to dedicate the precise time to each client.
It is also essential the existence of computer tools to prepare budgets. These applications, such as Audatex , GT Estimate or the CESVIMAP Scales , allow access to time data, prices of spare parts, or painting materials, and quickly prepare the budget.
Cross-selling support materials should not be missing in the customer service area. Posters informing of the services offered by the workshop, closed price menus for said services, commercial offers, or even models showing the “before and after” of a repair or the influence of the wear of certain elements, facilitate this task. commercial.
And this area is also the ideal place to show customers all the aspects that differentiate the workshop and its efforts to improve the service it offers. In this sense, it is advisable to place the most recent training activities in a visible place, and especially the certifications granted by companies that accredit the automotive after-sales sector, since it is the best way to clearly inform customers about the quality of repairs. in the workshop.
All the media mentioned must always be kept in perfect condition. The customer’s experience of his visit to the workshop begins when he opens the door and enters and, on many occasions, the small details have a great weight in his evaluation of the workshop. Therefore, it is essential to take care of aspects such as order, cleanliness, lighting, temperature and the proper functioning of all the means available at the reception.
It is time to pay attention to the entrance area of the workshop, since it is the place where your income will always enter. The workshops with the best commercial results are clear that their management model must be based on customer orientation, they give due importance to the means available at the reception and see them as resources that provide benefits.
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