Posted by: johnocunningham | August 25, 2010

Five Legal Service Lessons From My Car Dealer

Ever notice how auto service and repair is like legal service?

You really don’t want to have to do it, it is often very expensive, the people who perform the services often say they can’t control or predict delivery times or costs, they talk in their own specialized lexicon, and unless you are familiar with what they do, you have no idea if they are giving you a good deal.

Having said all that, I must confess that I LOVE my car dealer, and I particularly LOVE the maintenance and repair services my dealer provides.  So, for the benefit of my lawyer friends, I have decided to share five reasons that I feel this way (because I believe lawyers should be loved too).

First, my auto dealer’s service department allows me to make appointments that suit my convenience – early mornings, nights and weekends included. They know and understand that I have other priorities during the week, and they make an extra effort to serve me when I want.

Second, my dealer has trained their people how to make me feel at home. They all greet me by name every time I visit and they know what I want as soon as I arrive (so I don’t have to re-explain the whole thing to a desk worker and then a tech worker and then who knows). When I first call, they record my service issues and/or requests in a database, which every worker then accesses prior to interacting with me. They also escort me to a waiting area with food, coffee and reading materials, plus a work station with Internet service. I feel like they live to serve me whenever I arrive.

Third, my dealer’s service people are trained to provide me with an estimated wait time (which is almost always accurate within minutes) and an estimated cost or even an exact quote prior to service. They reformed their own culture so that mechanics and their supervisors were forced to standardize service times and delivery costs for various needs.

Fourth, when something unexpected comes up, or some kind of repair is needed, the technical expert comes to the waiting area to greet me, explains what is needed and takes the time to show me in the service bay if necessary. The whole diagnosis and repair process is thereby demystified for me.

Finally, after the service experience is finished, I always receive a call or e-mail asking me how the visit went and how they could improve on their fabulous service. I also get periodic surveys for my opinion and I always get a request for feedback when I buy or trade a car.

But here is the real kicker – they actually listen to the feedback. The proof is the way they incorporate that feedback into daily operations (I made a suggestion and they decided to use it).

Lawyers take note: If I can love my auto service people so much that I brag about them, then your clients can feel that way about you too!


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