What is the “Level of Expectation”?? (Part 1 of 4)

12 Sep

We have all had the experience of going out to a restaurant for lunch.

The process is nearly the same in every restaurant.

  • First we are greeted at the door
  • We are then guided to an open table
  • We are then given a menu to choose from different options
  • We are asked if we would like anything to drink while we look at the menu
  • When the drinks arrive at the table, we are asked if we have any questions about the menu
  • We are then told about any “special” that the restaurant has on that day
  • We then place our order for lunch
  • We wait approximately 10-20 minutes for lunch to arrive
  • Before the food arrives, we are asked if we would like more to drink
  • The server then arrives with our lunch
  • The server asks if we have everything we need and asks if the food is prepared correctly
  • When we finish our lunch, we are asked if we would like a dessert or the bill
  • We then either choose a dessert or get the bill
  • The server then picks up our payment for the bill
  • The server then returns with the appropriate change or Credit/Debit slip
  • We leave a tip for the server
  • We exit the restaurant receiving a “thank you” for our business

This entire process happens pretty much the same EVERY SINGLE TIME we go to lunch! It does not need to be written down or explained. We probably don’t even think about the process much.

BUT…..what if the process was all of a sudden different?? The process was out of the “normal” order?

  • What if the server asked if you wanted dessert first?
  • What if you never got anything to drink?
  • What if you never received a menu of items to choose from?
  • What if you had to stand to eat?
  • What if you had to wait 2 hours before you got your food?
  • What if you received food you didn’t want and no one cared?
  • What if after not receiving a menu, you were charged an incredibly high price for your food without knowing about it?

As you can see, if the process was changed, we would become confused, upset, angry or all three!

This leads me into the processes you have in your dealership for the Sales experience, the F&I experience and yourService Driveexperience.

Now we know that different dealerships have different processes around the Country. Each individual dealership has its own series of processes and procedures. BUT….whatever process and procedure that you have, is it done every time, every day, without fail with no exceptions by all employees??

And since processes and procedures vary in every dealership, how does the customer know what to expect if we don’t tell them what will transpire??

By setting the “Level of Expectation” for both your customers and your employees, it assures that everyone will understand EXACTLY what will happen and in the order it will happen!! It gives both the customer and the employee an understanding of each and every step in the process.

In parts 2, 3, and 4 of this blog, we will review the steps to setting the “Level of Expectation” in your Sales process, your F&I/Business Manager process and your Service Drive process.

The restaurant experience is all the same no matter where you go in the Country. HOWEVER….the same cannot be said of what happens in Dealerships around the Country. Every Dealership has different and unique processes.

With each Dealership having these different processes, we have confused, upset and angered our customers. They do not get the same experience in every Dealership they walk into.

I am NOT saying we should ALL have the same processes implemented the same exact way.

BUT…..what if we made the customer comfortable by telling them exactly what was going to happen and how long it was going to take at YOUR Dealership?

I believe it would give the customer a total sense of comfort AND provide the perfect playbook for your employees to work with every day, every time, without fail with no exceptions.

Stay tuned for parts 2, 3, and 4 of this blog!


About the Author: From a Salesperson to a Dealer, I have a vast amount of experience in all areas of the automotive environment.

You can follow me on:

My website:  

Twitter: @jimkristoff

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Automotive Digital



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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in Archive of all blogs


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