Say "Thank You" to Each and Every Customer

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By Ted Ings, Executive Director

According to the Autotrader Car Maintenance and Repair study, just 30 percent of car owners get their vehicle serviced at a dealership. 

Even more astounding (and painful) is that just 17 percent are returning to their selling dealer! If it seems like there’s a glaring issue behind it, you’re probably right. 

The US Small Business Administration says that 68 percent of clients go elsewhere because they feel a business doesn’t care about them. That number almost exactly reflects the defection rate at dealerships. Are you seeing what I’m seeing?

Customers Don’t Think You Care

Once they’re gone, there’s not much chance to get them back. So, to prevent your customers from leaving you for greener pastures, do this one simple task:

Say “Thank You”. 

Expressing appreciation for a customer’s visit isn’t a recommendation – it’s mandatory. If it isn’t done, seven times out of ten they will find somewhere else to go next time. Two words can go an extremely long way. Say “thank you” to each and every customer when it seems appropriate during their visit, and absolutely when they are picking up their car. 

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I get it. A service advisor is perhaps the most hectic position in the dealership. With an average daily RO count of 15 to 20, it’s a tough position to occupy. But, it’s your job, and your future success depends on the customer you have today returning the next time they need service or repairs. 

How to Say “Thank You”

A customer knows when it’s just empty words. There’s a way to say thank you so your customers know that it is how you truly feel. 

•    Look them in the eye. Eye contact is a great way to make a connection with the customer.

•    Smile. Don’t make it a wide, cheesy grin, but be lighthearted and warm. 

•    Say “thank you for____”. Fill in the blank. “Thank you for trusting your car to me today.” “Thank you for your amazing loyalty.” “Thank you for making my day better.” Be specific about WHY you’re grateful for the customer. 


It’s a small thing that makes such a difference in customer loyalty and satisfaction. Be intentional about saying those two magic words to every customer you see. 

And Thank You for making CPI a part of your day.

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