Whether you run a 2 bay transmission shop or a 20 bay general auto repair business the customer is your lifeblood. Without customers we have no business. If you can fill your bays with repeat customers rather than constantly looking for new ones, it is not only more efficient but it is cheaper too.
What steps can your Service Writers be taken to ensure that each new client becomes a customer for life.
First Impressions Count
The first customer contact will normally be via the telephone. So make sure everyone is answering in the same way and in a speedy manner. No one should be above answering the phone and anyone who may possibly have to answer it should know the right way to do it.
The 2nd touch point is when the car is brought in. Whether it is the receptionist or the service writer who greets them, it must be done in a professional manner and the member of staff must look smart.
No one expects your mechanics or service writers to wear a shirt and tie to work, but they do need to be smart. Having polo shirts or jumpers branded with your company name and making sure everyone wears them at all times will go a long way to creating a good first impression.
Honesty and Integrity
Over the years many repair shops have gained a reputation for being less than honest. Everyone in the industry has to work to combat that impression. There is nothing worse than being knowingly dishonest to your clients.
If the service writer is unsure of something, ensure they admit that and offer to find the answer to the question. This is how we all expand our knowledge.
It is our job to do the required services but not more than is required. All too often a client feels they have been over charged, quite often when they have not been, and that feeling (whether justified or not) will lose you a customer for life.
Explain the tests that will be done to drill down to the problem and find the right solution. Some of these will be chargeable and the customer is paying for them, but make sure they know that in the long run it will make for a better repair and may well save them money.
Once they realize that your staff are all experts in the field they are more likely to trust your judgement and believe that you have their best interests at heart.
With good first impressions, honest interaction and some sharing of knowledge your service writers can help create a customer for life. Probably one who will sing your praises everywhere they go.