A good portion of the work performed in automotive repair shops is generated by recommended repairs. In any given shop a percentage of repairs are accepted by customers and the remainder are declined. Increasing the percentage of repairs that are accepted can result in a positive increase in sales volume. As in any sales situation presenting a service in terms of potential benefits will assist in providing the customer with incentive to purchase. Providing visual evidence of why the repair is needed will help the customer understand. Also, offering the customer more than one alternative for a needed repair will more often than not earn the sale. And finding out the reasons that repairs have been declined will provide information on improving the presentation process. Following are ways to increase recommendation capture rates:
- Communicate the Benefits of Recommended Repairs – Customers don’t purchase repairs – they purchase benefits. When presenting a recommended repair to a customer explaining the expected benefits along with the required repair can provide an incentive for the customer to purchase the service.
- Present a Visual Representation of the Problem – Pictures of worn or cracked parts do a world of good when presenting recommended repairs. A customer can relate to an issue when there’s a visual representation much more easily than only a verbal explanation.
- Offer Choices – People love to shop but hate to be sold to. If it’s possible to offer multiple options for the customer to have a repair done – it can help with the sale. The ‘Good-Better-Best’ sales method works in many situations and can also work with recommendations.
- Explain Ramifications of Not Performing the Repair – If there are potential negative consequences of not having a repair performed communicating them to the customer may help earn the sale but also is good business. A potential safety problem or increased cost as a result of postponing the repair should be disclosed to the customer.
- Ask Why Recommendations are Declined – Recommendations may not always be declined due to financial constraints. There may be other reasons. Finding out what the reasons are may allow identification of issues in the presentation process and potential for improvement. Following up with customers after recommendations are declined can provide valuable insight into the causes for lost sales.