Showcase: Viti Mercedes-Benz
STATS: Viti Mercedes-Benz Service Center Location: Tiverton, R.I. Service Director: Tony Miele Bays: 24 Staff Size: 96 Average monthly car count: 1,200
1. Understanding the Layout:
As customers come into the drive-up area, they see a bold blue facade and glass garage doors.
Customers are met by a greeter in this area, and as service director Tony Miele notes, this greeter stays at his designated post at all times. Miele knows that the customer experience starts as soon as the vehicle pulls up, so he made sure there is someone to communicate with customers once they step out of their car.
At Viti, there is no express service area because of their pick-up and delivery option. There is an express process in place, Miele notes. There is no particular lift designated for quick turnaround service.
The customer waiting area was recently updated with the latest requirements from Mercedes-Benz. There is a big screen TV, refreshments, Wi-Fi and a small gift and accessory boutique.
2. Building a Strong Customer Experience:
Miele says that longevity is very important to Viti. He notes that a majority of his team has been with Viti for 20-plus years.
The service department team, especially service advisors, work on establishing good, working relationships with clients. When a customer is assigned to a service advisor, Miele said, they stay with that person for the entire life of the vehicle or the length of time they do business with Viti.
Additionally, Miele has key people at each end of his operations. He has two dispatchers that work with the loaner vehicle service and everyone reports back to him. He collaborates with his team if there is a problem, issue or question and they work it out together.
Other services that are offered at no cost include multi-point inspections, car wash and vacuuming.
3. Finding a Niche:
To set themselves apart from other Mercedes-Benz dealership service centers, Viti offers loaner vehicles and a pick-up service. The pick-up service consists of a designated driver that travels to the customer’s home and picks up the vehicle.
Customers are given the option of coming in or getting their vehicle picked up, with the option of getting a loaner car, when they call in to make an appointment or schedule service online.
According to Miele, there are approximately 110 loaner vehicles on retainer for customers to rent. He also notes that 10–15 percent of the customers that come to the service center drop off their vehicles. Miele notes that this service is offered to customers within a 60-mile radius or the equivalent of an hour distance from the dealership.
Miele notes that his service department ranks within the top five of the country consistently.
4. Servicing all Vehicles:
The doors of Viti Mercedes-Benz’s service department are open to all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, including Sprinter and Metris vans. To best service vehicles that come in, Miele notes that his service department has the tools and equipment to do so. They have computers equipped with the latest diagnostic and repair data. And, they have 10 Mercedes-Benz scan tools that reside on rolling carts for easy transport.
Since they deal with larger vehicles for certain fleet accounts, they have specialized lifts to accommodate the weight of these vehicles. They have two Hunter lifts that are used for alignments, three lifts just for Sprinter vans (one is a Hunter lift and other two are PKS) and special heavy-duty lifts for servicing Metris vans. There is also a specialty lift for vehicles like the SLS and the AMG two-seater performance cars. Miele says that there are three technicians that are dual trained and one technician that is specifically dedicated to van repairs.