For years, shop owners have expressed a concern about over-communicating with their customers. They say they don’t want the customer to feel like they are “bugging” them. Too often they take the route of “I wouldn’t like it if…” News Flash. YOU are not your customer. You have insider knowledge about their car your process, your prices, etc. they don’t have and it makes them uncomfortable NOT KNOWING.
The reality is — You CAN’T over-communicate with your customers. In fact, they are craving communication, especially when you have their vehicle in the shop. This is especially true of NEW customers. Over-communicating with a customer helps the customer feel like you’re working on their behalf, and this, in turn, helps to build and foster a trust-relationship with them.
Under Communicating with customers leads to anxiety on their part. For many, if they don’t hear from you, their thought process goes to, “It must be bad or they would have called me by now.” Many are already anxious that they are going to be looking at a big bill.
The proof of this shows in a customer survey done recently, with consumers saying they dreaded taking their car to the repair shop MORE than getting a root canal from the dentist (ouch!). Keeping this in mind, you’re starting out at a disadvantage as a shop owner that you’ll need to overcome. The longer it takes for them to hear back from you, the higher the anxiety level.
Far too many service advisors and owners have the thought process that customers think no news is good news. A common line of thinking for a shop owner is for them not to call a customer until they have resolved a problem. This stems from the fear that the customer will either not like their progress or they won’t like what shop owners are telling them. Thus, they they hide and under-communicate.
It is always best to manage expectations when the customer is dropping off their vehicle. Let them know when they can expect a call from you – “we’ll give you a call by 11:00 A.M.” and then call them by that time or even before if you can. Make the call even if you have to tell them, “We don’t have an answer yet, we’re still looking, but I wanted to call you, I expect to be able to call you back by 1:00 P.M.”
By staying in touch with them, you’re building a relationship with them. Hearing from you and learning you don’t have an answer yet IS better than the scenario they are conjuring up in their head.
Establishing that you and/or your staff are indeed listening to them, something they’re not used to, will go a long way in easing their initial anxiety but also in starting to establish a positive relationship with them. You start to gain trust when they know they are being heard.
A top complaint from consumers is the person they’re dealing with is NOT listening to them, whether it’s in person or on the phone. Starting the repair process on that kind of a note is NOT good, period. You want them to feel good when they are leaving after dropping off their vehicle or after hanging up the phone.
Having a positive, trusting relationship with your customer will often lead to them looking to you for help making an important decision, i.e. should I buy the top of the line tires or a middle of the road tire – putting over a thousand dollars into fixing up their vehicle or trading it in and taking on a $400.00 a month car payment the best option? You get the picture.
Most consumers struggle making decisions and would like someone they trust (preferably you) to help them make the “right” decision. You can become that person but not without doing a great job of communicating with them, from the first phone call, during the drop-off process, on a timely call back, to the pick-up and bill presentation.
If you would like help keeping your customers coming back and getting more new customers to choose your shop over the many other choices they have, contact our office to schedule a call 440-842-8938 with Dan or you can email our office at info@GreatResultsMarketing.com.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you bring “Quality” Car Count, Fast to your shop, with NO long-term commitment, GUARANTEED, click here.