It takes a second to wreck it: Customer service tips for franchisers

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Our business was built on a cornerstone of customer service. That’s why Tint World®, which opened our first store in 1982, is now the largest independent automotive customization franchise in the business. We have serviced multiple generations of cars for multiple generations of families – because we consider them family ourselves.

Here are a few keys to customer success to ensure your clients return again and again:

  • When greeting a customer, or bidding one farewell, or even when answering the phone, keep a smile on your face. Nothing generates goodwill like a good grin.
  • Treat every customer with dignity and respect, regardless of their appearance. Even the most bedraggled-looking folks could have a wad of cash they want to drop at your store.
  • Banish the words “I don’t know” from your vocabulary. Replace them with “I’ll find out for you.”
  • The customer standing in front of you merits your attention, not one calling on the telephone.
  • Don’t badmouth customers in front of others.
  • Speak clearly, avoid slang and be mindful of your tone.
  • In this technology-driven world, a personal touch counts for a lot. Consider a written note instead of an email thanking a good customer. But no matter how you do it, always offer thanks. Early and often.
  • Make sure your entire team participates in the customer-service sector of your company.
  • First impressions count — a lot. That includes the first impression of your franchise. Keep your grounds maintained, your entrances clean and inviting, and deliver a hearty “hello!” as soon as a client walks in the door.
  • Be considerate of your customer’s time. Attend to their needs on a timely basis, and make sure you deliver their product on time.
  • Look at how other companies handle customer relations, and offer continuing education and training in customer-service best practices.

Above all, remember the adage “It takes time to build. It takes a second to wreck it.

Here’s more on the Tint World® approach to customer service.

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Like father, like son: Cary, N.C. Tint World® franchise is a family affair

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Randy Silver built his career around franchises. After operating five automotive franchises for 15 years, he acquired a Tint World® franchise in Cary, N.C. eight years ago. He so strongly believes in the future of his franchise that he made his son a co-owner during a very public moment at a Tint World® franchisee convention in Las Vegas in November.

In this interview, he talks about the support franchisees receive from Tint World®; its most popular products; and the importance of working hard and plowing ahead in the face of challenge and adversity.

Question: How would you characterize your success so far as a Tint World® franchisee?

Answer: Being part of Tint World® has given me a lot of opportunity. The front office, the corporate office, they’re great. They’re responsive, very quickly. They’re always there to help you out, they always have answers. They give you guidance.

Q: I understand you made your son a co-owner of the shop during the annual Tint World® franchisee convention in Las Vegas.

A: Correct. Last November I made him a 50-percent owner, he’s worked hard for eight years, he’s all about the business, and I’m just trying to get him more involved.

Q: More involved – what does that entail?

A: Right now, he heads up my tint department (and assists with) Clear Bra paint-protection film. He does a lot of vinyl wraps. I want to get him more involved in the business aspect of it. Up front at the counter, interacting with customers more, the back end, bills and all of that. I want him to know how to run a business.

Q: What are some of the challenges he may face?

A: The biggest challenge in any franchise business is dealing with customers. That is no joke. Selling is what I’m good at, and that’s probably the second-hardest thing. You’re asking people to put their hands in their pockets and come out with money and that’s not always an easy thing.

Q: But you obviously have enough faith in the business model and the future to make your son a partner. What do you think the future holds?

A: The future is wide open. It’s growing; we’re already approaching a million-dollar location. It’s at his fingertips. He can do whatever he wants. He can achieve it. With my guidance, and the guidance from the corporate office – those guys are so knowledgeable – the industry is wide open. It’s a half-billion dollar industry.

Q: What is your No. 1 product right now?

A: The No. 1 product in Tint World® is tint.

Q: What’s No. 2?

A: I would say mobile electronics.

Q: You say you’re almost a million-dollar shop now. What has led you to that milestone?

A: Hard work. Dedication. A lot of focus. Many, many hours. I get here at six in the morning every single day. I put a lot of time in here. Just a lot of dedication.

Q: Any new products you’re offering in 2017?

A: We’re doing vinyl wraps, a lot of Clear Bra paint-protection film; we do residential and commercial tint; rims and tires. We’re doing the new ceramic coatings on cars. We’re branching out, as they come out with new products we try to get them involved in the business, one way or another.

Q: How is working for the Tint World® franchise different or similar to working for other franchises?

A: Well, automotive service is a need; you know a lot of people that want to give you $1,000 for a radiator? (Tint World®) is a want. People come in here and throw you thousands of dollars because they want something, so you’re dealing with a happier clientele. It’s more of a pleasure to work in a business like this.

Q: Why should people come to Tint World® instead of your competitors?

A: We use the highest technology; all of our film is laser-cut by a plotter perfect for every window on your car. You’re in and out in one hour; we’re the only tint shop in the entire United States that’s nationwide; we’ve got shops between New York and San Diego that honor the life-time warranty, reasons such as that.

Q: What is the No. 1 product you have that every auto owner should have?

A: Tint. Skin cancer is popping up every day. (Sunlight) shines right through the window and it burns your skin. The tint we carry is Skin Cancer Foundation-approved. It keeps out 99 percent of UV and UB rays; it keeps out 80 percent of the heat. Tint protects your interior from fading and cracking. All of the above.

Q: How did you motivate yourself through difficult times to get to the point you are today?

A: Just a lot of hard work and determination. You open up a business, you go through your lumps, and you gotta stay at it. Nothing is given to you on a silver spoon. You’ve gotta work. You’re going to make mistakes, and it’s OK to make mistakes. But you want to not make the same mistake two, three or five times. You want to learn from your mistakes, and grow.

Visit Randy and his son at their Cary/Raleigh-area Tint World® franchise. They’ll set you up with the latest and greatest in vehicle maintenance, customization and upgrades. You’ll get expert installation and friendly service – hallmarks of Tint World® franchises everywhere.

 

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Tint World® Profit Centers:

  • Auto Care & Styling Services
  • Window Tinting
  • Protective Films
  • Vehicle Security Systems
  • Audio & Video Systems
  • Mobile Electronics
  • Detailing & Reconditioning
  • Custom Wheels & Tires
  • Vehicle Wraps & Graphics
  • Performance Parts & Accessories
  • Marine Styling Services
  • Home & Business Services

Complete Turn-Key Investment From $118,000 to $198,000

Minimum Liquid Capital $60,000

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