Think about your typical customer-interaction experience. Some of your customers come into your shop when their cars aren't performing well. Others receive an email or mailing from you, reminding them of an upcoming oil change or other routine maintenance.
That's the standard customer-mechanic relationship throughout the country. It works fine, so most auto shops stick with it.
But you realize by now that you need to go the extra mile in order to stand out, right? You need to show, no, prove, why you're unique, so that you can grow your database of dedicated, repeat customers.
The follow up call will help. Here's how:
Just as the name suggests, this strategy involves you calling your customers to follow up on a recent visit. We suggest you not wait any longer than 3 days after the customer has picked up his or her car, but certainly don't call on the same day.
When you call, ask to make sure that they're happy with the service and ask if the car is running optimally. Don't immediately ask them to schedule another appointment down the road. Make this call be about ensuring their satisfaction, and to offer a solution if they're still experiencing issues.
If they're happy, business will come ...
If you've done your job well, chances are your customers will be happy with the service, and will let you know it. Be sure to have your appointment book ready, because they'll more than likely schedule their other vehicles for service, now that they have you on the line.
There's an important lesson to be learned with the follow up call approach: customers don't always think about your business. That's your job.
That doesn't mean that the customer wasn't happy with your service. It's just not in their minds to think, "Ah, now I should schedule my other car since they did such a good job." They have other things on their minds, like dinner tonight, and picking up the kids.
The best way for your customers to remember you is to constantly remind them:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Why you're different from all the rest
You achieve all of that with a simple follow up call that typically lasts less than one minute.
Scheduling these follow up calls isn't difficult either. You can do it manually or automatically.
- Manually - Just make sure that whomever checks out the customer adds a reminder in your calendar or schedule book to call on a certain day (2 or 3 days ahead). This is an easy approach, but is also open to human error.
- Automatically - If you have the capability with your existing program, we suggest you design it so that your system automatically schedules a reminder 2 or 3 days ahead once a customer picks up his or her car.
Whichever way is best for you, we're sure you'll discover that this simple approach to connecting with your customers will improve your relationships with them, and will increase the likelihood of their coming back to you for all of their auto repair needs.