No matter what type of business you run, customer experience is extremely important. One bad experience can lead to the loss of not only that customer, but potentially anyone the customer tells of the bad experience.
Therefore, it’s very important to strive for a great customer experience every time. One way to do that is by engaging the customer throughout their experience with your shop, including before, during, and after the repair—and even online. Here’s a fictional example of a great customer experience despite a difficult situation.
Engaging customers before a repair
Late one afternoon, you’re contacted by a customer named Dave, whose check-brake light just came on. The first step toward creating a great customer experience is to listen to Dave and empathize with his situation. He was inconvenienced by this unforeseen issue, so you take the time to hear his frustrations. You advise him that you think he needs new brakes and ask when he would like to bring in his vehicle. Dave says he will drop it off the next morning and catch a ride to work with a coworker.
When Dave arrives the next morning, you greet him immediately with a smile. You estimate how long it will take to complete the work and give him a written estimate. You then assure Dave you won't do any additional work without consulting him and ask for his preferred method of communication. Dave prefers to communicate via text, so you note his preference and advise him that you will keep him updated on the work.
Engaging customers during a repair
As you are putting new brakes in Dave’s car, you notice his right front axle is on the verge of breaking. You take a picture of the axle and send it to Dave, along with the estimated additional cost and time needed to make the repair, an explanation of why the axle may have broken, and emphasize why it needs to be repaired rather than ignored.
You keep working on the brake replacement until you hear back from Dave. He’s obviously surprised about the axle, but advises you to make the additional repair. He also notes that he appreciates how clearly you explained the importance of fixing the axle right away rather than waiting. You proceed with the brake replacement and replace the broken axle as well. When the work is complete, you send a text letting him know his vehicle is ready, along with the final cost.
Engaging customers after a repair
Later that afternoon, Dave picks up his vehicle. You greet him and explain in simple terms what needed to be repaired, what repairs were done, why the repairs had to be made, and what may have caused the damage. In this case, his brakes and axle had simply worn with age, so there wasn't much he could have done to prevent these issues. You also let Dave know that he probably has one more season left on his tires, so he should start thinking about a new tire purchase. Finally, you remind Dave that he is due for an oil change in another 2,000 miles.
Dave appears to understand the work you did and why. After he pays for the repairs, you thank him for his business and kindly ask that he like your shop’s Facebook page and consider writing a review. Dave says how impressed he was with the customer service and assures you he will leave a positive review.
Engaging customers online
The next day, you find that Dave posted a nice review of your shop on Facebook. You write back to thank him for his review and being a loyal customer. A few days later, you send Dave a text asking if his vehicle has been working properly after the repairs. He responds that everything is working great and he will see you in a few months for an oil change.
In this story, the mechanic kept the customer in the loop throughout the repair process. The mechanic also tried to make things as easy on Dave as possible by using his preferred method of communication (text), being upfront about the additional repairs, and checking in with Dave a few days later. In exchange, Dave left the shop a positive review online and confirmed that he will be back in a few months for an oil change.
Imagine how the scenario could have been different if the mechanic kept Dave in the dark about the additional repairs! Dave would have come back to the shop to learn he had to wait longer for his car to be ready and that he would have a bigger bill to pay, likely leaving him frustrated. A good customer experience made the repairs more palatable.
How does your shop ensure a great customer experience? Leave a comment below!