“The waiting is the hardest part.” – Tom Petty
You’d think with all the practice we’ve had, all of us would have mastered waiting by now. Instead, as a society we seem to be focused on reducing any and all waiting to as little as feasibly possible.
With online shopping, we expect to have just about anything we want delivered within a couple of days, at the longest. Lines, even at the DMV, are practically archaic. Hailing a ride shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.
Like all businesses, dealerships recognize the importance of reducing waiting time to improve the customer experience. A certain amount of waiting will always be intrinsic at a dealership, but this doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Many dealers are transforming that time into something meaningful and even fun for customers.
Peltier Subaru: Pet-friendly
We all know those people (maybe you are those people) who don’t like leaving their dog at home unless it’s absolutely necessary. These customers are in luck at Peltier Subaru in Tyler, Texas. They can take their four-legged pals out to play in the greenspace dog park, complete with benches and shade trees, then circle back inside to cool off and check on their car.
Yeah right, they come back inside for the complimentary treats for both them and their pooch! Comfy lounge chairs and a cozy dog bed make it feel just like home …
Marcotte Ford: LugNutz Café
Customers who schedule a morning service appointment at Marcotte Ford in Holyoke, Mass., are treated to a complimentary breakfast at the dealership’s famous LugNutz Café.
“My dad started it, and he’s always going over how much bigger we can make it,” says Mike Marcotte, President of Marcotte Ford. “It’s like, ‘Can we still fit a car in the showroom?’ It’s a wow factor.”
This isn’t cold cereal, either. We’re talking made-to-order omelets, fresh-baked croissants, waffles, seasoned potatoes … a hearty, home-cooked meal.
Lexus Santa Monica: Electric bikes
It can be tough for busy people to fit service into their schedule. The Lexus Santa Monica team picks up their customers’ cars for them.
In addition to loaner cars, the team offers a second option for busy service customers: They’ll take an electric bike out to the customer’s office or home, leave the bike, take the car in for service, and then return the car once service is complete.
The team also arranges Uber rides for customers who prefer that.
Island Lincoln: Plentiful perks
Pac-Man is just one of the games that help time fly in the arcade room for customers at Island Lincoln. Anyone who buys a new or used car at the Merritt Island, Fla., dealership is given a membership in the exclusive Island Club. Other perks include access to Carbucks Coffee, the Cougar Fitness Center, and Gus’ Barbershop.
Prime Motor Toyota: Billiards and brunch
Nothing like a little friendly competition to make waiting more fun. Customers can pair up for a free game or two (or three?) of pool at Prime Toyota to help pass the time. Or play with one of the sales people. Or just practice trick shots on their own.
For the noncompetitive-types, the dealership café provides an alternate form of distraction while they wait.
How is your dealership going above and beyond to serve your customers?