Mutual respect is a key ingredient of any healthy working relationship. Sure, you could sell to people who don’t respect you, but they probably won’t come back again. Get more auto repair customers (and keep them happy) in these six simple steps.
1. Follow-up after the repair.
The days immediately after a repair can be nerve-wracking.
What if they didn’t fix it? What if my car breaks down and I get stranded again? How would I afford another repair?
You better believe thoughts like this are running through your customers’ heads. Provide a courtesy call a day or two after the repair to make sure they were happy with the service.
If you really want to make them say, “Wow,” call one more time two weeks later to make sure their vehicle is still in good shape. They will be blown away by how thoughtful you are (and you will have a repeat customer who sends referrals).
2. Make customers feel welcome.
First impressions are everything. If a new customer feels ignored, then you probably won’t see them again. Why would they come back when other auto shops would love to have their business?
All customers should be greeted as soon as they enter your auto business, no matter how busy it might be. You could even follow-up the introduction with a simple, “Sorry for the wait. We will help you as soon as we can.”
3. Offer light snacks in the lobby.
People don’t mind waiting as much when they feel comfortable. Snacks and coffee will make them feel at home. Set up tables and chairs with reading material.
Make sure to stock magazines that would excite both men and women (have one Cosmopolitan for every Sports Illustrated!). For bonus points, stock some coloring books and toys for children.
4. Be present with every customer.
Promotions and marketing campaigns draw qualified leads to your shop. After that point, you have to build your clientele one person at a time – and to do that, you have to be present.
People can tell when your mind is elsewhere. Ask questions, make eye contact, listen with intention, and use their name several times. These little actions will help you seem more personal and earn customer trust.
5. Send tips and promos VIA email.
Ask every customer for an email address (one they actually check). You can input that information into email marketing software like Constant Contact or Aweber. That will allow you to stay in touch with your customers.
Add value by advising your customers about things like being a better driver, teaching a teen to drive, keeping tires in good condition, preparing for a road trip, or whatever is relevant to them. You can send coupons or promotional materials, too (but mix those in with free advice).
6. Teach drivers how to prevent expensive repairs.
You want to position yourself as an expert in your customer’s mind. To accomplish that, you have to demonstrate your expertise.
Some mechanics are afraid they will lose money if they give away too much advice. Don’t worry about that. That loss is nothing compared to the gains you’ll receive in referrals and repeat business.