While visiting 250 dealerships in the last three months, I drank a lot of coffee. It's one of the perks of visiting dealerships these days, is that everyone has coffee.
But, while some dealerships just have coffee, others make coffee... and offer everything from fresh baked goods to sandwiches as well.
The average customer, like the average consultant, expects two things while waiting in the lounge -- TV and Coffee. How the dealership handles these aspects of customer expectation reflects highly on the dealership.
If someone is getting service done at the dealership and the experience in the lounge isn't just right, do you think they will be back?
Here are some points that impact the image:
Is the coffee hot?
Is the coffee fresh?
Are there plenty of cups, creamers, sugars?
Is the area clean?
Several of the dealerships that I walked into actual was charging for coffee. Plain coffee, from a machine for 25c. The expectation of a customer is that you have TV and Coffee in your lounge -- and that they both are free. Most customers feel that dealerships are making tons of money, at least more then the customer is.
I can imagine that a customer that is charged 25c for coffee is disgusted by this fact and won't return for service if given the option.
In a competitive service environment, the lounge experience needs to be exceptional. Self-serve coffee from individual PODS is an ideal system to start with and it only goes up from there. Some dealerships actually have mini coffee houses inside the dealerships, offering customized coffee experiences with scents that permeate the entire service area. Isn't the aroma of coffee better then oil and smoke?
The clean, well organized and stocked coffee area is a direct reflection of the dealership and translates to sales. The entire staff must be responsible for keeping the coffee area clean and cluttered free. It just makes sense, and provides another way to help your dealership leave a lasting impression on the customer.
A bad coffee experience can indeed stain your image.
What does your coffee say about how you feel about your customers?