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Waiting area ideas ?


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So I have an opportunity to rent out more space at my shop that will be located right on the main road (my shop is currently set back behind the main building). It's is a pretty large area which will be used as my waiting area and main entrance since I do not have one now. My question is how is everyone's waiting area set up ? Is it strictly lounge type area ? I'm thinking of maybe using part of the space and a little show area to sell products maybe wheels, hid kits. Basically aftermarket accessories. Just trying to get an idea of how people are utilizing there waiting areas and extra space in there shops. Thanks !

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Oh that's exciting! I love getting a new space and planning it out. The top things our customers love about our lobby is: counter next to window to get work done on their laptops, coffee machine, and TV with Roku. Want to start selling race gear but waiting to build second floor for more storage.

 

EDIT: you can see some photos oif our lobby at the bottom of this page

Edited by meowpox
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Peace and quiet is nice. I prefer a place of peace and quit for people waiting a short time for a courtesy ride. I prefer giving my customers courtesy ride options so they are not waiting for larger jobs to be finished. It's harder to make a profit it it was a two hour wait but billing time is 4 hours.

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I agree, the area should be relaxing, not to mention clean and organized too! But I think most shop owners miss the opportunity here.

 

Your waiting room should be a place to passively showcase how good you are! Pictures of you and smiling customers, you and local celebrities (like the mayor or whatever), happy customers with their reviews posted next to their picture... it's all about building TRUST. After all, that's the biggest hurdle you face. The familiarity of being seen (a lot) helps build trust.

 

Also, don't forget that when customers come in, it's usually an inconvenience to them. They're not in the best mood. So do what you can to make it comfortable and don't miss the opportunity to build trust with simple things like pictures and TESTIMONIALS.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Matthew Lee
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I agree with the warm atmosphere of the waiting room. The customers get to relax and hide from the world for a while – they then connect your shop to “warm and comfortable.” I also like the idea of testimonials and “family” pictures as static displays to build trust.

 

But it’s also the perfect time to build the bigger, deeper trust of the personal connection. Get to know them as a person, not merely a car owner. How is their family? The kids, vacations, things going on in their lives, etc. We do business with who we know, like and trust. You now get to know each other a bit more and they will be more comfortable with you at their next visit.

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newport5, you bring up some good points. Making the personal connection is huge. Think about it. If you're looking for something... and you know somebody in that business... don't you go there first?? There's a better trust with people you know - even if it's not on a real deep level.

 

The other thing I know most shop owners miss (and this is huge) is putting their picture on their website. No matter what you think, people do business with PEOPLE, not companies. I know you don't get up in the morning and see a scary monster in the mirror, but the new customer... well, that's a different story. Show people you're a real person. Big warm, welcoming smile - right on your website.

 

In addition, when you're talking with customers, any time you can 'be like them'... like the guy who tells you about his fishing trip and you tell him that you're just like that because you like the blah, blah, blah... you're setting yourself up to be more like him. People trust people who are like them.

 

One last point. I don't think a lot of shop owners really get it. When a customer has to get his car in for service, it's an INCONVENIENCE! Even worse, he/she is probably inconveniencing others in their family too! You know, need a ride, borrow the other half's car... so they're already pi**ed off when they get there.

 

The other thing to remember... all this is free to do. You're not spending any money to be nice! ;)

 

Hope this helps!

Matthew Lee

"The Car Count Fixer"

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I agree with the warm atmosphere of the waiting room. The customers get to relax and hide from the world for a while – they then connect your shop to “warm and comfortable.” I also like the idea of testimonials and “family” pictures as static displays to build trust.

 

But it’s also the perfect time to build the bigger, deeper trust of the personal connection. Get to know them as a person, not merely a car owner. How is their family? The kids, vacations, things going on in their lives, etc. We do business with who we know, like and trust. You now get to know each other a bit more and they will be more comfortable with you at their next visit.

 

exactly, some of you guys seem like you hate your customers, join us in the 21st century and like the fact that people are coming thru your door, engage them, be friendly and then IF something happens it wont be as bad. A customer that has been friends with you for awhile wont be as upset at a mishap as the one that you shun or make them feel like they are cattle.

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  • 6 months later...

Wanted to share this:  We just remodeled our store area and made a customer friendly waiting area. 

The one change from the picture is we put a picture frame up with our logo, our catch phrase "Setting a new standard in service" and that we are family owned since 2007. 

The picture that is shown is a picture from about 1959-1960.  It is the "original Brainerd car club" and has 4 cars and their owners standing next to their car.  One of the guys in the picture is the shop owner's dad, one of the other guys is a local car "legend" and one guy still owns the car in the picture, he lives elsewhere and had our engine builder work on it when he lived in the same town..... not knowing it was the grandson of one of his buddies. It is a great conversation piece.  This change has been one of the best changes we have made to the shop.  Cost:  Furniture $250 at Habitat for Humanity Restore, Rug $162, everything else was scrounged from our house or was in the old waiting area (TV & Coffee table and Keurig).  Result: happy customers and our question during the whole remodel "is this woman friendly?" helped to guide us.

 

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      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
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