Following up with prospects and customers can make a big difference in the amount of business earned. A follow up can help to bring in business but also can serve to identify the reasons for business loss. Either way follow ups will benefit the shop and provide an advantage over the competition. The value of following up cannot be overstated. Following are areas in which follow ups can be employed to earn more business:
- Quotes – When a quote is given to a customer a follow up phone call can make the difference between winning a sale and losing it. Particularly with a prospective new customer. A vehicle owner may contact several shops to get pricing on a needed service and will more than likely only remember parts of the conversations. A follow up call can refresh the customer’s memory and provide an opportunity to highlight the value that the shop can provide. Effective follow ups can increase a shops quote capture rate significantly.
- New Customers – Winning a new customer can take a good deal of effort and can have significant cost when considering advertising and special offers if they apply. A follow up with a newly acquired customer after they’ve been in for their first visit can make the difference between continuing the relationship or not. When a customer makes a purchase a natural part of the buying decision cycle is called cognitive dissonance (often referred to as buyer’s remorse) at which point the person begins to question their choice. A follow up can serve to reinforce the positive perspective the person had when they decided to buy.
- Repeat Business – A successful shop can retain a good percentage of their customers through email and text reminders. However a follow up by telephone can make the difference between keeping a customer and losing one. A practice often employed is to contact customers that haven’t been in for a period of time and make sure all is OK with the relationship. If all is OK hopefully an appointment can be scheduled. If not maybe things can be straightened out.
- Declined Recommendations – When a vehicle is brought in for service customers will accept a certain percentage of recommended services. The others will be declined. Some declined services can be sold through email or mail reminders or when later appointments are made. More sales can be earned through phone follow ups. Being able to communicate the benefits of recommended services verbally and answer questions the customer may have can help to win additional business.