Customer Lounge: Friend or Foe?

Nicole Marcellino

You’ve had one customer on a test drive, your next appt just showed up an hour early, and somehow you were the only “available salesman” when a family just walked into the dealership… what do you do?

That answer is easy, you start juggling! Get them comfortable in the customer lounge, tell them to enjoy a warm or cold beverage, or snack, and here is the remote for our Satellite TV with over 2,000 channels!!! Now here’s the rub, have you ever taken a minute to see what is being watched on your waiting room televisions?

For the vast majority reading this it’s probably news, morning talk shows, sports, or if a child has control maybe even the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Right about now you’re thinking “what’s the problem?” Nothing, right?

Wrong! Soap operas these days are essentially soft porn and that programming isn’t agreeable to everyone. Same for political shows, religious shows, and even left/right slanted news networks. In today’s reality, it’s just too risky (and too easy) to offend everyone somehow.

Now here’s the worst part, you do realize that you’re actually paying to advertise your competitors’ commercials to your clients, right? Your competition is literally in your showroom and whether it’s another store or another manufacturer, this is a huge red flag! Not to mention it could be your own manufacturer’s regional lease special on an “LS” and you just closed a deal on an “LT” and now they’re wondering why their payment is $100 more than the ad says it could be… LT > LS but they don’t know that. The alloys and sunroof they said they wanted aren’t offered on LSs. Or perhaps you don’t have any LSs in stock? So think about this the next time your customer is “waiting to get into finance” as they’re being offered a ton of different information, some could ruin the deal, some could offend them and some may even set them in a foul mood and that’s never a good thing for F&I or your delivery!

So, even after you sold the car the right way and ran through options, and structured everything correctly for your client’s situation, your competitors’ commercial comes on and offers that “same” new vehicle you just had detailed for delivery and they ask you “why didn’t I get that bonus cash or 0% APR?” Now you have to re-close and re-explain everything because the professionally crafted commercial worked, it creates reasonable doubt and the worst possible time!

We work very hard to earn a customer’s business and the last thing we need is someone or something else adding confusion to what for most is already a very stressful and time-consuming major decision in our lives. Check out Ninja Network, dealer-specific customized content keeping business at your store while still providing relevant channels and content for all ages while at your dealership. Take control of your TV, your programming, and your customer content!

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Nicole Marcellino

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