Owner Will Addy explains to CarVue why sometimes it’s good to have a good old-fashioned chat to his customers at Racecourse Garage in Totnes.
And whilst the cloud-based Carvue system may be cutting edge, enabling garage owners to manage their business remotely from invoicing to logging a car’s service history, Will prefers to communicate with customers the old fashioned way. That’s right, he actually talks to people!
If you keep up with industry news, you would no doubt have read that customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, expecting to communicate with businesses where they buy their products and services (not necessarily just car servicing) in a multitude of ways including emails, website enquiries and Facebook. So when we hear that one of our clients simply rings all his customers when their MOT or service is due, it is really rather refreshing.
The proof of the pudding is always in the eating and Will retains around 95% of his customers by having a chat on the phone and booking in their vehicle. There’s also something very reassuring as well as delivering a message that a customer matters when the owner of the business takes the time to talk to you direct. Of course, you’re more likely to make a booking. We know we certainly would!
“It’s so easy, I run off the reports from Carvue which tells me straight away which customers are due a service or an MOT and I give them a call. The last thing I want to do is remind them their car needs servicing by letter, email or text message and for them to decide to take the car elsewhere. This way I stay in direct contact with customers and invariably they will book there and then. I think it’s a nice touch when the business owner makes the effort to give you a call. I can confidently say 95% of my customers book their service or MOT when I call them. At first I had to input all my customer data into Carvue by hand and that took some time, but a year on and everything is on the system so it is really easy to run the reports and give my customers a call.”
The family business, which takes its name from the town’s racecourse having been built on its former location, has been providing an independent garage service to motorists in and around Totnes for more than 20 years and has established a formidable reputation in that time as friendly, reliable and trustworthy.
However, no matter how good a business’s reputation, it needs to meet current customer expectations so when Will decided to upgrade his previous system towards the end of 2014 he simply took to the internet to research the products which were available and found Carvue.
“I liked the look of the interface and the way it was laid out,” said Will. “It does everything you want it to and covers everything you need to run a garage. The only problem we thought of was if we lost our internet connection. Luckily, that hasn’t happened yet. Even then, we have mobile phones and data connections that mean we can keep accessing the app. A power cut would be way more catastrophic to our business on older, computer-based software systems. With CarVue, we know that we can get into the system on any connected device, and we know our data is safe and backed up without the worry.”
Carvue is accessible anywhere from any device making it super flexible, especially for small business owners who can run reports or even book in vehicles from the comfort of their home in the evening.
As Trading Standards approved under the organisation’s ‘buy with confidence’ scheme, being able to operate with old fashioned values at its heart whilst delivering a quick, efficient and professional service is important for Will.
“Carvue makes running your business very straightforward, it’s very user-friendly and I particularly like being able to look up a car’s service history in a matter of seconds so you have all the information you need in front of you when you’re speaking to the customer.”
When a business is run according to traditional values of knowing your customers and treating them extremely well, it stands to reason that the people running it would expect the same level of service from their suppliers. We’re obviously delighted to hear that the people at Carvue are just as approachable and helpful!
“I have found the Carvue support team to be very good, they respond quickly and make every effort to help you out. I have used the online chat and the Carvue advisors provide you with a concrete response that’s easy to understand.
“The only issue I have is that I am probably not using the system to its full potential because I haven’t had the time to really get to grips with every aspect.”