Sadly, the auto repair industry isn’t known for its customer service skills. Let’s change that now! Beat the competition by implementing these four simple customer service tips for auto shops.
1. Don’t forget to follow-up.
Auto repair is stressful for most drivers. If they had a car breakdown, they might be thinking:
- Did the mechanic didn’t really fix it?
- What if my engine craps out and I get stranded again?
- If another repair comes out, it’ll wipe out my savings… then what?
Thoughts like this are running through most of your customers’ minds. To relieve their anxiety, provide a courtesy call a day or two after the service. Here’s a script you can use…
“Hello! This is (Your Name) from (Your Auto Shop). I just wanted to check-in and make sure your car is running well after the repair. Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns?”
Pause to let the customer respond. After you address all of that stuff, end the discussion with: “Thanks for taking a moment out of your busy day to talk to me. Hopefully your car won’t need service anytime soon; but just in case it does, save this number and give us a call right away!”
Note: A “bonus” benefit of following this tip = the customer will save your shop’s contact info. How many other auto repair shops do you think are saved in their contact list? Probably zero. That’s a win for your shop! You’ll be the first person they think of every time they need service.
2. Make every driver feel welcome.
First impressions are integral when it comes to customer satisfaction. If a driver walks inside your auto shop and no one even bothers to greet them, how do you think they’ll feel? Ignored!
Expect your service advisers (PPA’s) to say “Hello” or “How are you?” to every driver as soon as they enter. Don’t let your crew off-the-hook, no matter how busy your service desk gets. Train your staff to say: “Sorry for the wait, but we’ll be with you in a sec!”
Keeping a clean and neat atmosphere is another good way to make drivers feel comfortable. This is especially true for women. Most auto mechanics are men. They don’t always account for a woman’s taste. If there aren’t any women on your crew, it would be smart to ask some female friends or family members for honest feedback RE: how your lobby makes them feel.
3. Provide coffee, cookies, and healthy snacks.
Nothing brings people together like food. Most social gatherings involve a meal of some kind. People have to eat. Use this fact to your advantage!
If you haven’t already, find a small corner of your auto shop. Set up a self-serve station with coffee, cookies, and some fruit for the healthy crowd. Apples and bananas aren’t too messy.
People won’t be as bothered by waiting when they feel welcome. Make sure your lobby includes comfortable seats and magazines that appeal to both men and women. Go ahead and toss in some coloring books for the kids, too. Parents will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
4. Listen (really listen!) to every driver you encounter.
The definition of listening is not: “Wait for your turn to speak.” You need to actively listen to drivers so you can understand the meaning behind their words.
Misunderstandings are a result of not asking the right questions. Teach your service advisers (PPA’s) to ask follow-up questions before your crew even begins an inspection.
- “How would you describe that sound, scent, or sensation?”
- “When is the last time you got your (insert car part here) serviced?”
- “What speed (roughly) were you driving when you noticed this issue?”
- “Does this car problem happen all the time, or only in certain situations?”
- “Are you up-to-date with your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance?”
Hint: Most drivers will say “No” or “What’s that?” when you ask that last question. This creates an educational (and long-term sales!) opportunity. Modify this script to fit your voice:
“At the end of your owner’s manual, there’s a list of auto repairs and maintenance services recommended by the people who made your vehicle. Following their guidelines can add years to your car’s life. Would you like me to help you get on track so you can join the 200,000 mile club?”
Want to help your crew step up their game? Share these customer service tips for auto shops with all of your co-workers. If your shop commits to following this advice, you’ll gain a HUGE advantage against your competition. I hope they didn’t already read this… 😉