Just as important as the quality of the actual repair work performed on a customer’s vehicle is the experience of dealing with the shop personnel in the course of the process. Statistics show that 3 out of 4 customers leave due to what they perceive as poor customer service. From the start of the sales process until the vehicle is delivered the customer is forming an opinion. Each interaction will impact the decision on whether or not the customer will return. So each part of the process should be clearly defined and followed carefully. The following points affect customer retention in auto repair:
- Consistency – People like to know what to expect. Nothing will make a person look for another alternative than going through a different experience each time they bring their car in for service.
- Certainty – Customers want to feel confident in the repairs performed on their vehicle. So front line personnel must communicate confidence and a positive attitude when interacting with customers.
- Consideration – Making a customer wait sends a message that their time is not valuable. Keeping the customer informed and providing accurate information on when to expect the various stages of the repair process to be completed is essential
- Communication – When the customer feels they’ve been heard they develop trust in the relationship. Listening is an essential part of service sales. If a customer doesn’t feel that they’re getting their message across they’ll most likely look elsewhere.
- Vehicle Drop Off and Pickup – Dropping the vehicle off and picking it up can be the most time consuming part of the process for the customer. Offering off-hours drop off, shuttle service, loaner cars and valet service will make this part of the process much easier for the customer.
- Care in Upselling – Upselling is a normal part of the auto repair sales process. Making recommendations can be beneficial for the customer if suggested at the right time for the right reason. If having a service performed will result a greater period of time before the next visit is required the customer and the shop will both save time. Recommending services that aren’t really needed is a sure fire path to losing business.
- Personalization – Each person is different. For example, some people may want a detailed explanation of the repairs performed and others may not. Some may want to be contacted by phone while others would rather be contacted by email or text message. Adapting to the customers preferences will ensure a positive experience.