It is not enough to hire excellent mechanics, polish the windows, and hope for the best. In fact, the auto repair business is a highly proactive industry that allows shops with smart business strategies to thrive. On the flip side, there are three costly mistakes that are driving away auto repair customers and sending them straight to the competition. Do you know what they are?
Overuse of Mechanical Jargon
The average driver does not understand body shop lingo or estimator terms. Telling the customer that you are “using great HVLP with excellent flash to prevent the pinholes” probably doesn’t hold much meaning to your typical car owner.
- Using jargon is a communication mistake. It makes your customer uncomfortable.
- Explain what you are doing in non-technical language. A client who feels lost when listening to you will simply move on to another shop. (If you realize that you are talking to a fellow car guy, you can amp up the jargon a little.)
Bad Customer Service
Excellent customer service is a sum of its parts. Do you remember the last time you enjoyed such an experience at a business? The clerk greeted you, addressed you by name, handled your frustration smoothly, and did exactly what s/he promised to do.
- There is little room for error. It only takes one mistake for a client to believe s/he is receiving bad customer service. The broken promise of a like-new paint job or a failure to look up from the insurance estimate and greet the customer by name before launching into a detailed explanation of the procedures can be major turnoffs.
- Getting frustrated is another mistake to avoid. Entrepreneur has crunched the numbers and found that 89 percent of those who had a bad experience with a business will head straight for the competition.
An Unprofessional Environment
Handwritten signage, faded manufacturer posters, a grimy waiting area, and cuss words coming from the staff are just some examples of a setting that drives customers quickly out the door.
- Do not compromise on quality. If you do not have ASE-certified auto technicians on staff or fail to offer a customer-friendly 12-month/12,000-mile warranty, you will have a difficult time competing with the shop down the street.
- Whenever possible, participate in a voluntary industry certification program. It will set you apart from your competitors and demonstrate to potential and current customers that your shop is committed to excellence.
If you want to avoid making the mistakes that are driving away auto repair customers, contact us to learn more about how to make your shop stand out from the competition.