Ron Bouchard, a consultant for Miller/Zell Inc., an Atlanta firm specializing in dealership design, has these tips for providing a customer-focused reception area
Provide booths with telephones, electrical hookup and Internet access so customers can conduct business while their car is serviced.
Provide adequate lighting; pleasing graphics; fresh paint; and modern, comfortable furniture.
Offer separate areas for readers and TV watchers. Make sure you have a supply of current periodicals of interest to men, women and children.
Consider locating a parts boutique off the service area so people can browse for collectibles, memorabilia and monogrammed apparel. Some dealerships display vintage cars. BMW developed an innovative 'M-Cafe' in its dealerships - a no-selling zone with transparent fabric panels between sections. The tables are made of glass-enclosed engines, wheels and transmissions. The children's play area features magnetic race vehicles. The kids sit on mini BMWs.