Nowadays, it is a platitude to say that everyone is in the customer service business. For those of us who work in the SMOG check industry, it is easy to think of what we do as being a required service with respect to your customers.
After all, anyone who owns a vehicle in California is required, every couple of years, to bring their vehicle in for a so-called smog check. If something is required, then why do we need to worry about customer service?
Indeed, your technicians may think of themselves as a required part of the car owners life, and they may not be the most people oriented of guys or gals. However, you as the station owner, probably realize that people have quite a few choices even when it comes to SMOG checks in California, and people want to be treated with respect and grace even in an activity which they may see as a regulatory hassle.
So, in the course of this very short blog post, let’s brainstorm some ideas to help your technicians do better with respect to customer service. After all, it is the happy customer who just received his completed SMOG certificate and had a good experience, who is likely to go back to his office and tell his pals that when they need a smog check they should go to your station.
So here are the tips:
Tips for SMOG Check Technicians in California
First, and foremost, be friendly! Educate your technicians that every time that they meet or greet a customer is an opportunity to be friendly. Customers are intimidated by technical guys, often in jumpsuits, who are poking and probing their vehicle, and may come back with the bad news that the vehicle did not pass the smog check. By being friendly, even when they have to deliver the bad news that a vehicle did not pass, they can reassure the customer and help the customer to have a good experience.
Second, don’t speak down to the customers. They are not experts about automobile repairs and issues, and they are certainly not aware of the headaches that a station owner or technician may experience in terms of dealing with the Bureau of automotive repair. Explain things clearly to them, including what types of repairs may be necessary and even cost estimates of those repairs if that’s available, give them their options, and let them make their decision as an adult. Don’t talk down to them.
Third, and this is not just with respect to your technicians but with respect to your station as well, be clean. Now, you and your technicians are probably working with cars, and it’s not reasonable to think that you’ll be as clean as a doctor or an attorney. Of course not! However, to the extent possible, keep your station clean, and have your technicians wear uniforms that also convey that they take their job seriously. Your brand image is the combination of your technicians, your station, and of course, the work that you perform.
Fourth, answer the phone when someone calls, and answer the question in a courteous manner. If someone calls for an appointment, try to give them an appointment that they need, or if you don’t take appointments, explained that you don’t take appointments. That phone interaction may be the first interaction that a customer has with your station, and if the technician who answers the phone is rude, they may just go somewhere else.
These are for quick tips for your smog check technicians, not at a technical level, but at the level of growing your business by realizing that in these days in these times everyone, including a California smog check technician, is a customer ambassador.