As an auto shop owner, you have to focus a large portion of your time on getting new customers. At the same time, it’s equally important to consider ways to keep and improve relationships with the customers you already have. You can do this by increasing your availability, letting them get to know the people behind the counter and working under their cars, making customers feel like they’re a part of a family, and offering knowledge – not just services.
To get away from running an auto shop that’s all about repairs, and closer to one that’s about helping customers have a better auto repair experience, consider these helpful points:
- Be available. Availability is really important in keeping customers happy. Make sure you have your contact information visible on your website, and make answering your phone or returning phone calls promptly part of your daily shop routine. Provide alternate ways for contact, such as email within your shop’s voicemail greeting. Greet customers as soon as they enter your doors and be considerate of any time they have to spend waiting on repairs.
- Let customers get to know you. Customers are more likely to stay loyal to an auto repair business when they know the mechanics and manager personally. With many people doing business over the internet, personal interaction is a valuable business asset. Use that to your advantage by giving your time to your customers, and making the transaction about hearing their concerns and meeting their needs.
- Reward customer loyalty. Everyone loves the feeling of being part of a close community and being on the inside track. Build a sense of community by offering special deals to longtime and loyal customers, having an open house and customer appreciation days.
- Offer your knowledge. What you do is valuable, and once people realize this, they’ll come to respect you as a source of knowledge on auto repair. Use scheduled repair appointments as a chance to educate your customers. Instead of completing the repairs, swiping a credit card and handing them a receipt, give them a quick overview of what was completed, how their vehicle is doing overall, and how they can take great care of their car at home.
Customer retention is an issue all businesses face, not just automotive businesses. People acknowledge time and time again that the best way to win their loyalty is through great customer service. While these steps seem simple, research shows that making customer service a priority revolutionizes the way a company handles all areas of their business, and keeps customers coming back for more.