Drivers have never been so empowered. They don’t have to put blind faith in a business anymore. They can look up reviews online before they set foot inside. Read ahead to find out how to earn customer trust with transparency and authenticity.

1. Be human.

People like to do business with real folks they can relate to. Figure out the demographics of your target market. Do some research to find out their hobbies and interests. If you have anything in common, make sure to mention it. Finding common ground will help you establish an emotional connection.

2. Own your mistakes.

No one expects you to be perfect. The important thing is to learn and grow. It’s refreshing to meet someone honest enough to admit their shortcomings. Want to see this in practice? Click here. GiveWell lists every mistake they make on their website. Wow. Talk about courage. Are you brave enough to do that? 

3. Get buy-in from your staff.

I’m not a control freak. That’s why I notify my team before I make any major decisions that affect all of my employees. This helps me prevent misunderstandings. If you don’t explain your intent, people will invent their own explanations. That never goes well.  The rumor mill has a way of distorting the truth in hilarious ways. 

4. Explain the cost of every repair.

Know what’s irritating? Paying several hundred dollars for an auto repair you don’t understand. Help drivers out by using itemized invoices. List a breakdown of the exact cost of labor and every car part involved. You could hang up a price sheet for the most common repairs in your lobby. For bonus points, list that information on your website, too. 

5. Show your customers the problem.

Before you even mention the price, take your customer to their vehicle. Point out the problem area. Explain the issue in their language (no technical mumbo jumbo!). I like to compare cars to the human body (tires are shoes and coolant is the circulatory system). Don’t assume they understand. Ask: “Does that make sense?” If not, assure them that it’s okay and word it another way.  

6. Use surveys to get feedback and continuously improve.

Put comment cards in your lobby. Collect customer emails and send them a survey every month (hint: more people will fill it out if there is a prize drawing for participants). The prize doesn’t have to be elaborate. Two movie tickets and/or a $30 restaurant gift card would do the trick. Feeling brave? Share the results (good or bad) on your blog or Facebook page with a public response about how you will implement changes based on customer feedback.

Please share this post with any auto mechanics or business owners you know who want to earn customer trust.

Are you ready to step up your business game? If so, click here to commit to higher service standards by taking the Women Auto Know pledge (you won’t regret it!).

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