Level Up Your Lobby
You’ve built your customer base, established a strong partnership with a reputable supplier and mastered the art of automotive, residential and commercial tinting. As you reflect on your accomplishments, you sit in a space with the potential to transform your customer experience. But where do you start?
“Today’s customer can be your high school kid who has just saved enough money to get his windows tinted or a female who needs to feel welcome [and avoid the feeling of] walking into a ‘man’s workshop,’” explains Carlos Avila, CEO of Premier Tint Pros Corp. in Oswego and Aurora, Ill. “You could also have an elderly customer who needs to understand that tint is more than darkened windows. Our lobby makes every customer feel welcome.”
Clayton Summerall, owner of Mint Tinting in Bryan, Texas, credits his wife, a former school teacher, for creating a children’s center featuring toys and a table for children to play at. “My clients love that their children are entertained for the entirety of their time there, whether it be one hour or three hours.”
586 Tint Factory is based in Clinton Township, Mich. Owner Shawn Winters says you don’t have to spend a million dollars to construct a great shop.
“A good lobby needs to be clean, comfortable and welcoming,” Winters says. “We designed our lobby by looking at the available space in our current location and then deciding what we wanted our customers to walk into. We settled on a simple yet striking design. A fresh coat of paint, TVs, comfortable chairs and a shot of espresso is all you need.”
Tou Lo, owner of Yelo Autosports in Little Canada, Minn., adds, “I think a good lobby should answer a client’s questions without us having to say too much about our services. The client should be free to explore the space and feel as though they understand what we do and who we are. When they come into our space, they should feel as though they are welcome to talk to us about anything.”
Above and Beyond
“I believe in comfort and entertainment for my clients and their families,” Summerall says. “My clients usually only stay if it’s under an hour, so I want that hour to be as comfortable as possible. I have a TV with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ for clients. Some customers have told me they were excited they could finally finish a movie they’d been watching.”
Kevin Burke, owner of KBCustoms in Grand Rapids, Mich., offers similar amenities.
“Most automotive shops we have visited had the same kind of feel all around—dark and dingy and not very comfortable or welcoming,” Burke says. “We have comfortable and stylish seating along with coffee drinks, water and even snacks for everyone to enjoy while they watch TV or use free Wi-Fi.”
Editor’s Note: What separates your lobby from the rest? Share your setup by reaching out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.