by Amber Kossak
Have you prepared for your “First Impression”? Being prepared will help you stay on top of your appearance, confidence, communication, and what is the best value-added service to offer. If you hesitate then you may lose out on a second opportunity.
We are all human and generally draw conclusions from what we see with our eyes. Personal appearance can say much about us. When we are clean and well-groomed others will likely be more drawn to us. Not only do our personal appearance matter but the entire store’s appearance matters when we are dealing with customers. If we take pride in caring for ourselves then we will most likely take steps in caring for the store and the customer.
Without a doubt, we all have employees that we want to respect and appreciate us as the employer. However, we need them to understand, without the customer they would not have employment. Meaning every customer is valuable; no matter the situation every customer is important. I ran across this quote the other day which I believe is fitting, “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” – Henry Ford
If we want to respect and appreciate customers we must first respect ourselves. Customers actually feel the difference when dealing with someone who takes pride in their work versus someone who does not. By holding our head up high, looking them in the eyes, and, of course, being presentable, we convey confidence and confidence is the key when communicating.
Communication and body language is one and the same. We communicate with our eyes, our body, and with our lips. However; before we communicate we must also be a good listeners. If we do not understand what our customers’ needs or requests are then we may miss everything. If we get to know our customers we may be able to find out the trips they are planning, how many vehicles they own, or better yet how many friends and family members that may have their vehicle serviced too. Get a good understanding of your customer’s vehicle and be prepared. What you say and how you say it matters.
What is an investment?
Have you ever heard the saying you have to “Spend Money To Make Money”? It is true, sometimes there is value in spending a dollar versus saving a dollar. When you make this decision you are choosing to invest in your employees, customers, quality, and growth.
“Price is what you pay, Value is what they get”
The question is: Is there a difference in saving $1 versus spending an extra $1 for a service? What is “Value-Added”? I believe there is value added in spending an extra $1 for a service if the customer understands what they are paying for. “Quality, Trust, Education, Convenience, Popcorn, Coffee, Free Vacuum, Free Window Clean, Free Top Offs, Cleanliness, Professional People, ASE Technician?” What “Value-added” services are you offering?
I once read “Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained and loyalty is returned.” How true this is and of course if you want to work with someone like this or have a customer reciprocate loyalty then you have to practice these things. If you treat your customers with dignity, respect, and appreciation they will most likely be a customer for life. Realizing the importance of appearance, confidence, communication, and being prepared has helped many gain, and retain, customers in today’s competitive market. It has been said, “People may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel”.