I have written before about the difference friendly staff make to the service experience.  I am writing this from my local auto dealer to share just how it changes things.

My satisfaction level has never been more than a 7 or 8 on the follow-up surveys from the dealership.  I could never put my finger on exactly why until today.  When I arrived for the appointment there was a whole new vibe at the dealership.  People were smiling.  My service writer greeted me by shaking my hand.  He actually seemed glad I was there, something that was not true in previous experiences.  I was working on my laptop and the battery was getting weaker so I started looking for an outlet.  One of the parts counter people came over and showed me an area to work that was quiet and had a nearby electrical outlet.

Does a smile really matter that much?  The restaurant industry has known that for quite a while.  A server who smiles, introduces himself or herself, and, in general, demonstrates and interest in the customers’ satisfaction earn higher tips (http://andrewvs.blogs.com/files/seven-ways-to-increase-servers-tips.pdf).  While I will not be tipping my service writer I will be rating my experience much higher simply because I was made to feel welcome.  See, a smile really does matter!



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