We all know there’s a stigma to car repair shops. They quote you above the cost of needed repairs hoping you won’t know the difference to make an extra buck or two. At least, that’s what the word on the street is. A few bad practice repair shops ruin the trust and morale of the rest of car repair businesses.
Here’s what you can do to change that:
1. Walk your customer through your assessment process.
If your customer feels knowledgeable or can understand the automotive mumbo jumbo you’re speaking, they are more likely to see the reason for the repairs you quoted. Stringing together a list of industry specific words will not earn their business. Instead, try to break down the explanation of the problem and proposed solution with mainstream vocabulary they can understand.
2. Be consistent.
More than likely, if you have serviced the customer’s vehicle for a routine maintenance such as an oil change, they will seek your services for other car needs as well. Be as customer service oriented and friendly for a routine service as you would for a high dollar repair. Oil changes may not be the source of your profits, but they are a gateway service for your customers.
3. Be flexible.
Car repairs are inconvenient for everyone. Chances are if a customer is bringing their car in for a repair or service, they are going to be inconvenienced to some degree. Being flexible with your customers can go a long way to ensuring loyalty in their future servicing needs. If a customer can’t be there during normal business hours to drop off their car for a repair, offer to stay a few minutes late or offer an after-hours dropbox for customers to drop their cars off overnight. Give them regular phone call updates on their repair and be patient explaining the issue and solution.
4. Make your lobby hospitable.
No one’s idea of a fun afternoon is waiting in a repair shop for their car to be back in commission. Offer refreshments such as bottled water and coffee while they wait. Invest in decent quality waiting chairs for comfort. Have magazines and a television for their entertainment while they wait. This will not only make your customer feel more comfortable, but it will keep them from pestering you for updates from boredom and irritation as a result of your lackluster waiting area.
5. Be genuine.
The best way to earn your customer’s initial business and lifetime loyalty is to be genuine. Be genuine in your business practices, pricing, and customer service. If you customers feel truly cared for, they will return to you again and again for their car needs.
While the above recommendations can seem common sense, they can get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day operations. Remember, your customers are truly the source of your business; treat them right and they will make sure you are top of mind when they or their loved ones run into car troubles.