Where would you be without your customers? Not in business that’s for sure, so look after them so they keep them coming back and recommending your garage to their friends and family. However, your customers are also consumers in the modern age and their demands and expectations have grown exponentially as a result.
As we take our trip through the alphabet exploring the multi-faceted layers of operating a garage which meets the needs and expectations of the modern consumer as well as continues to deliver a profit for the owner, we reach the letter ‘C’ and those vital people on whom every business depends, its customers.
Today’s customer has the highest level of expectations than in any other time. We are demanding, impatient and discerning. We are time poor and expect the highest quality workmanship at a fair price. We are not afraid to question and if we think you have either gone beyond the call of duty or have fallen short, we’ll tell the world on social media and review sites. We won’t think twice about posting our comments on your ability to deliver on Facebook or Twitter and even if you don’t operate your own review service, we’ll soon jump onto sites like whocanfixmycar.com to make our feelings known, good and bad.
Getting everything right from social media interaction to the processes at work in your garage is essential to futureproof your business. Listen to your customers, deliver beyond their expectations and ask them to post on your Facebook page about the service they received, don’t forget to thank them when they do. If you have a review element of your website, ask your customers if you can include their comments and if you use a review company to undertake and post on your behalf, even better as it is perceived as neutral and is therefore more widely trusted.
Your customers are your lifeblood, here’s just a few ways you can keep them coming back and recommending your business:-
- Understand your customers’ buying behaviours and target them with relevant and compelling information and offers, but don’t bombard them with meaningless messages
- Start by sending them MOT and service reminders one month before the due date, adopt a CRM system which allows you to run reports and identify those whose vehicles are coming up for a service or MOT to make the job easy and straightforward, although you must be vigilant in inputting the data into the system in the first place
- Treat complaints positively and turn dissenters into advocates, especially if they are avid social media users
- Have processes in place which means you can easily inform customers of their vehicle’s progress through the workshop, utilising a management system makes this easy and also makes your business more efficient as well as providing your staff with the tools they need to best do their jobs
- Be social – use social media platforms to engage your customers with funny stories, photos and comments (not just sales messages) and always, always reply when anyone posts a comment
- Never underestimate the power of a cuppa, always make sure you have tea and coffee readily available for those people who opt to wait
- Operate a CRM system so you store all the information you need to about a customer and their vehicle, by simply looking up a vehicle registration you can tell people a whole host of information so they feel special and well looked after, for example, you uploaded details about likely future work the last time you saw the car so you tell the customer their vehicle is due a break pad change, you will check their tyres as you previously noted they would likely require a change or assuring them you will have the car ready by 3pm for the school run before the question is even asked, will make the best impression
In short, looking after your customers is the most fundamental part of your business. We know you don’t need us to tell you that, but there are plenty of tools, systems and applications on the market which can provide you with the means to take your customer service to the next level.
CarVue is a revolutionary cloud-based application for independent workshops, garages and mechanics. It’s a simple and smart app that removes the need for expensive servers, software upgrades or training to run an automotive business. With a simple web browser a workshop can be managed from any device, any time and from anywhere. Find out much more and sign up for an obligation free trial today at www.carvue.com