The customer service experience for auto shops often gets overlooked. Shop owners work hard to make sure their technicians are skilled and knowledgeable so that vehicles get fixed the right way the first time – after all, that’s why the customer came to your shop in the first place, right? In order to keep customers coming back, however, there’s much more to it. By focusing on the customer service experience you’re providing, you’ll turn casual customers into raving fans. Here are four tips to do just that.
Get to Know Your Customers Right Away
The best auto shops treat their customers like family, even if they’ve just met them. The key to understanding why it’s important to make brand new customers feel like they’ve been coming to your shop for years has to do with trust. Even if you’re just performing a quick oil change for a customer with a relatively new and problem-free vehicle, you have the opportunity to make a great first impression. That vehicle will age, and eventually something big will go wrong. When that happens, you want the customer to think of your shop first. Do right by them with the small things and they will trust you with the big things. This starts with treating them like they’re your VIPs – because they are.
Get Serious About Phone Skills
How well do your service writers interact with customers on the phone? If you don’t really know the answer, you’re doing everyone involved a major disservice. The customer service experience for auto shops begins before the customer ever enters your shop. When they interact with your service advisor or scheduler to make an appointment, they’re getting their first taste of what it’s like to do business with you. Phone skills take work – even if you’re specifically hiring for service writers with significant phone experience you still need to give them opportunities to learn and improve. As awkward as it feels, listening to recorded phone calls is one of the most effective ways to identify weak points and improve them. Give it a try – you’ll be amazed at the insights you and your team can gain from this practice.
Turn Negatives into Positives
It’s impossible to completely avoid negative reviews – even the top shops out there get them from time to time. The key is to see them not as shameful or harmful but as opportunities to improve and to showcase how your business responds to complaints. Respond to every negative review with professionalism and humility, even (and especially) if you know that there is more to the story. The hardest part of the customer service experience for auto shops is keeping a cool head when a customer slams your business online, but you can come out on top if you manage it effectively. Your other customers are watching how you respond to negative commentary and will reward you for reacting professionally.
Focus on What Matters
Running an auto shop is more than a full-time job – it’s a 24/7 responsibility. How can you make time to focus on your customer service experience when there are so many other tasks demanding your attention? The secret is to find partners you can trust to handle those extra tasks so you can focus on taking care of customers. Take credit card processing, for example. This is one area of business ownership that should just work – and that’s exactly why we do what we do at 360 Payments. We take care of your credit card processing so you don’t have to – and we’d love to show you exactly what we mean by that. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We look forward to helping you take your auto shop to the next level.
PS – Check out more of our secrets to a great auto shop customer experience here and here.
PPS – Get more customer referrals with these tips.