In a business that relies heavily on referrals and repeat clients, customer service is king. In the repair industry, there are some basics you must meet. You need a friendly first contact and quality, honest repairs, but doing the bare minimum puts you in line with a long list of other shops. Going beyond that can help you stand out from the crowd. Here are three ways to do it:
1. Get creative.
Take some time to think of ways you can help differentiate your shop from the competition. If you have an exceptionally clean facility and top-of-the-line equipment, you might install a glass wall so your customers can see their repairs in action. Or you could think about a hobby and incorporate it into your business. For instance, 180 Degrees Automotive in Phoenix is also home to an art gallery. The key is to stop settling for what the industry has always done and instead try to think of a better way. See our chart below for a few examples to get you started down the right path.
2.Extend customer service to community service.
At its heart, customer service is about putting others first. Reach out a little further and extend that to your community. Doing so will help establish you as an others-first company, which could help grow your business. The stats show that consumers want companies to be community minded. For example, a recent study reports that, “When choosing between two brands of equal quality and price, 90% of U.S. shoppers are likely to switch to a cause-branded product.” That’s a big difference maker.
So where do you start? We mentioned incorporating your hobbies into your customer experience above. Take it a step further and make sure your business reflects your passion, too. If nothing comes to mind, do some exploring and see where there’s a real need in your community. Does your library need a fundraiser? Are food banks coming up short? Add a genuine mission to your business plan, and people will rally around it.
3. Make it a core focus.
Whether you voice it or not, there are certain things your shop concentrates on. Your employees know it, and your customers can pick up on it, too. If the message from the top is to push customers through quickly, that’s what your techs will zero in on, as well. So if you want to help your shop stand out with superior customer service, you have to make it a priority. Along with communicating your goals to your staff, you also need to back up your words with actions. For instance, if check-in has to take a few extra minutes to be sure the customer knows what’s going on, you need to be understanding of that. You should also:
- Hire with customer service in mind
- Include customer interactions as a line item in reviews
- Be open to ideas from your staff about how to make the customer experience better
A big part of this is encouraging your techs to help customers understand exactly what’s going on. Find more tips about that in our blog post: Helping Customers Understand Auto Repair Estimates.
And while you’re providing great customer service, make sure you have the right tools to make repairs correctly and efficiently. Our Lift Buyers Guide can help.