One of the first things in business most people learn is that you can’t make everyone happy—and if you can, you probably don’t have very many customers.
But that sure doesn’t mean you can’t try to make everyone happy. In fact, it’s a great goal to have. What would it mean for your business if every last person that walked out of your dealership or auto shop did so with a smile on their face and a great story to share?
Customer loyalty and satisfaction is perhaps the best marketing you can possibly get in the highly competitive auto industry. Word-of-mouth advertising is alive and well, especially now in the age of Yelp reviews and instant Google searches.
You don’t even have to be a tech-guru to get those positive online reviews (or good old fashioned face-to-face recommendations). You just have to inspire customer loyalty.
Second only to the actual quality of work provided, you’ll inspire loyalty through great customer service. Let’s take a moment to look at three really impactful ways auto service providers like you can improve customer service to stand out from the crowd.
#1 – Fully Review Your Communication Strategy & Improve Where Necessary
Think about how valuable your time is to you. You’ve got things to do with your business, your family, and with your personal interests. So when you’re working with a company for something you need and they don’t deliver by the date they promised, you get frustrated… and it’s even worse when they don’t notify you ahead of time that there’s going to be a delay.
Obviously, the same goes for your customers. If you want to really shine compared to your competition, you’ll make it a real point to up your game with regard to communication. For example, if your dealership or shop is providing a customer with repair work, do your best to give the customer an accurate date of completion.
This can be made easier by looking at some of the data you’ve probably already collected. How long does this repair take on average? That’s a great starting point, but to get better with delivery accuracy, you should also look at time-sensitive variables.
For example, how busy are you at the moment, and will the repair take longer than usual? Are any of your employees expected to be out? Have you been facing any challenges that might delay the process?
In the event that you need to extend a completion date—and it will happen from time to time no matter how perfectly you plan ahead—make sure that you alert the customer. There’s nothing worse than “dead air.” Even if you know the delay will be disappointing, let them know. Most people are surprisingly understanding when you show that you’ve made an effort to do everything you can.
#2 – Improve Customer Documentation Wherever Possible
Whenever there’s a piece of data you can collect about your customer, try and do it—the more you know, the more you can improve their customer experience. Review your document management system (DMS) or whatever system you use to track customers and see where you might have room for improvement.
One of the most important questions you can ask is how a customer prefers to be communicated with, whether that be phone, text, email, or smoke signals. When you can communicate with your customers in their preferred mode, you’re more likely to reach them about time-sensitive issues.
Plus, they’ll just appreciate it. Once you start asking this question you might be surprised how many people will be a bit surprised and then say, “Oh, just send me a text then.” This is more convenient for them and saves your establishment time. Fewer will request email, but time savings are to be found there too.
#3 – The Surprising Connection to Employee Retention and Customer Service
The cornerstone of so many dealerships and auto shops advertising efforts are based around family values and consistency of service. So, naturally, when customers see that you have a high turnover rate of employees, they’ll be put off—they came back, so they trusted whoever they worked with initially. When that person is gone, they’re put back into “skeptical mode.”
Customer service is an oft-forgotten benefit of employee retention. You’ll of course reap the benefits of fewer training days and a more reliable staff, but don’t forget that your customers will also notice the level of consistency.
Bonus Tip: Provide Your Customers With the Right Products
You knew we had to mention this: you can improve customer service by improving the quality of the products you offer. Take a look at the BG product catalog to see where you can enhance your customer’s experience, because after all, the happier your customers are, the better your business will do in the long run.