I recently had an interesting chat over the phone with a RepairPal Certified shop owner named Chris Cloutier. As a shop owner and an entrepreneur with several businesses in tow, Chris understands how things are done in the auto repair industry. What he shared will definitely benefit other shop owners.
Digging into Chris’ Background
Through researching Chris’ product, autotext.me, I was aware that he has had some background in the tech industry, but he surprised me a bit when he told me that he has been in the technology industry longer than he has been in auto repairs, which is over 20 years.
His technology background began in college, as he has received a degree in Computer Science. He soon began entering the workforce using his tech skills, venturing into hospitality. This was where he learned the value of customer service, no matter the industry.
Realizing the Importance of Customer Service
It was when Chris worked at a luxury hotel where he clearly understood the value of treating customers right. For two years, he handled the loyalty programs in the hotel. When he moved to another job at another company, customer service was once again highlighted.
Opening a Shop that Cares for Customers
Fast forward into the almost-present time: Chris opened his own shop with the help of his brother. Chris leaped into this business endeavor without much auto experience, relying on his brother, who is a master technician. Through his work, he realized that customers make your business.
With this kind of mentality, he was able to form a team and with his brother helping him, he filled his shop with people who are capable of providing good service, while maintaining a good relationship with the customers.
Chris is not just an auto shop owner; he also has a number of tech companies that have given him the success and fulfillment that every entrepreneur strives to achieve.
Communication with Customers is the Key
A shop owner needs to communicate with the customers, which gives him the opportunity to understand what they need, what they are looking for, and what their problems are. You can have the most experienced mechanic in the world, but if you do not talk to the customers and find out what their issues and requests are, your business is not going to work.
Chris’ software solution, autotext.me, is a tool used for communication when servicing customers. He uses autotext.me to communicate with the customers throughout the day, and the program allows for a consumer to be updated easily throughout the various stages of auto repair through SMS.
Autotext.me is a great help for auto shop owners to interact in a timely manner in a form of communication that is comfortable and natural with today’s consumer. Anyone in this business knows just how customers can become anxious and concerned about their repair. Communication is not always easy, but it’s what Chris and his team want to accomplish: to serve their customers while optimizing both the shop and consumer’s time.
With a limited amount of time, it is crucial to get back to the clients as fast as possible, particularly when the estimate is ready. This gives Chris and his team less amount of waiting time to get an approval, so work is done sooner.
Chris provides an affordable service for shop owners, which is typically a kind of technology that previously only existed in larger corporations. Autotext.me was created with a simple, configurable interface. It’s predefined, so with a click of a button, the shop owner quickly sends a message to the customer. There is no typing needed.
What the Best Shops are Made Of
Communicating with customers is significant, but educating them is more valuable. Shop owners should find time to stop what they are doing and explain whatever it is that the customer wants to know. Keep them in contact whenever possible, especially throughout the repair process. It’s crucial for consumers to know what is going on – and this is exactly what Chris believes to be most important when building loyalty and gaining customers.
Chris’ system saves a huge amount of time. Without the need for typing, customer service is better and faster. Consistency is also attained with his system. The messages are predefined, so shop owners do not have to worry about typos, grammar mistakes, and misspellings when they are sent to the customers.
Consistency is a vital part of customer service. Whether it is about delivery of service or even auto text messages, many repair shops cannot provide consistency to their customers.
As a shop owner strives to provide consistency in service and customer assistance, it becomes clear that customers are actually very easy to please. From the delivery process to the delivery time, they want to know more information. Greeting them the moment they arrive, giving them attention, and tending to their car’s issues – all of these can make them feel that they are appreciated by the company if done properly every time.
As I wrap up the discussion with Chris, I learned that when the customers are satisfied, and that they know about the consistency of the shop’s service. They achieve familiarity with the shop and they are comfortable in doing business with them in the future.
To find out more about autotext.me, go to this link: http://autotext.me/