Toms Auto Service Case Study
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Toms Auto Service (TAS) would define their customer service package by providing friendly and professional employee who interact with customers, providing oil, oil filters, tires, windshield wiper blades, and lubricants. They also provide their customers a waiting room with fresh blends and assortments of coffee, tea, soda, magazines, Wi-Fi, and high definition televisions. More services that they include are discount coupons, cleaning the vehicle inside and out, reviewing service history with the customer, and explaining the technical aspects of the vehicle service or if a mechanical problem is discovered. Their mission is to make sure that the customer leaves happy and in a timely fashion. The strategy that they use is to offer friendly service in a clean and professional environment to repair and maintain customers vehicles at multiple service centers. If I were to rank their competitive priorities, it would go in this order: Product quality, Service Quality, Time, Price, Flexibility, and Innovation.
Toms Auto Service focuses on eight design features through service-delivery systems and service encounters. The service delivery system designs focus on: the facility location and layout, the servicescape, the service process and job design, technology and information support systems. Location affects a customer’s travel time and is an important competitive priority in the service business. The servicescape is the physical evidence that the customer might use to form an impression. The service process and job design is the activity of developing an efficient sequence of activities to satisfy internal and external customers. Technology and information support systems are important factors in designing services to ensure speed, accuracy, customization, and flexibility. TAS also focuses on their service encounter just as much as they focus on their service-delivery system.
A few of the service encounters that they concentrate on are: customer contact and behavior, service provider selection development and empowerment, recognition and reward, and service recovery with guarantees. Customer contact and behavior refers to the physical or virtual presence of the customer in the service-delivery system during a service experience. Service provider selection development and empowerment is where the company looks for employees who can think critically, problem solve, has outstanding analytical skills, assertiveness, empathy, stress tolerance and patience. Recognition and reward is finding ways to motivate or keep your current employees motivated through preferred parking spots for being the highest seller in the store, pay raises, extra vacation time, or simple discounts. Service recovery and guarantees is a promise to reward and compensate an upset customer through service failure, error, defect, mistake and crisis. Service recovery is the process of correcting a service upset and satisfying the customer.
There are a lot of processes that companies multiple processes that they use in order to reach their customer more effectively. Five processes TAS stores use hiring the right people, checking the customers in, meeting with their customers after they have received a service, taking surveys to reach out to the customers for better service quality, and maintaining a professional image. These processes that TAS uses are important because they help keep the business alive. Hiring the right people to run your stores are a big reason why you are in business. By hiring quality employees will help your customers come back to you because they know that the work being done is excellent. Checking in the customers is another process that they would use. By checking in your customers establishes a name and face with the employee, which helps the customer feel like they can connect to you or talk to you without hesitation.
Providing a friendly attitude and offering free services will help retain customers as you check them in for the appointment. Before TAS preforms a service they talk to the customer about the possible issues with the car and how they can fix it. Doing something like this is important because it provides a connection between TAS and the customer receiving the service. They feel more comfortable with TAS working on their car because of the connection that was established. Taking surveys is important too because it provides customer feedback and could help TAS focus on things that needs to be and what doesn’t need to be worked on. It could make or break TAS if they don’t take the customers words into consideration. Finally, maintaining a professional image and making sure that the employees hands are washed is important because a customer wouldn’t want to shake your hand with oil on your hand. Remaining as clean as possible will show the customer that they are a sanitary store. All of these processes help TAS in the biggest and smallest ways.
While looking at the analysis of the survey data, I noticed a couple opportunities for improvement with-in the company. What I noticed was the lack of skills that the service management training covered, and customer interaction skills for the mechanics working on the vehicle. One of the customers said, “ The store managers were super but the mechanics don’t like to talk us customers”. Hiring the right people is beneficial because they are the face of your business when you aren’t around and can determine the life of your business.
You don’t want a customer to say, “ I wont come back because the mechanic wont stop looking at me” or that “ I felt pressured to buy the air and fuel filters but they looked clean to me”. Without people skills ordinary customers don’t want to deal with the employees or buy a service from your store. Time is a valuable resource because you want to be efficient but you want to do great quality work for the customer. You don’t want to see the customer say, “ The mechanics seemed way to hurried while I was there”. Consumers want to buy a service that’s quick and easy, and then leave with good quality work that was provided. If TAS took the time to work on these issues then they would have more business than ever!
Although TAS is well known company and has outstanding service at times they have a few things that they could work on to help better the whole company. The first would be to hire better employees that won’t make you lose a sale because of how creepy the mechanic was acting. The second would be to make sure that you connect better with the customer. We know that the faster you are the more money you’ll make and the less money you’ll spend paying your employees; consequently, you provide the best service even if you are rushed. Taking your time and being efficient are good things to possess but it has to remain constant or else you could lose business. I think that by making these changes will be beneficial to the company. It will provide a higher service level to retain customers and can help bring in new customers.