Auto Service World
News   May 16, 2023   by Alan Beech

From the Magazine: Coaching: Customer service v.s. customer experience

There’s a difference between the two. Here’s what it is… 

Customer service and customer experience are two critical concepts that are often overlooked by the automotive repair industry. Many shop owners focus solely on providing good customer service. But they don’t realize that customer experience is just as important — if not more.

We’re all willing to spend a lot of money on an experience that we won’t soon forget, like a fancy dinner or a high-end hotel stay. When it comes to an oil change, however, we expect a certain level of service and a fair price. That’s it. While we may be satisfied with the service we receive, it’s not necessarily something that we’ll remember for years to come.

A satisfied customer doesn’t necessarily equate to a loyal customer. Instead, it’s the emotional connection that a customer has with a business that creates loyalty. This connection is what turns a one-time customer into a loyal patron.

How do you create an emotional connection with your customers, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, where human contact has been significantly reduced? The answer lies in creating a memorable experience for your customers.

Some shop owners believe that providing fast and efficient service at a fair price is enough to satisfy customers. This approach doesn’t create a memorable experience. To truly stand out from the competition, you need to find ways to make your service memorable.

There are several companies out there that excel at creating memorable experiences for their customers, like Starbucks, Lexus and Disney. They train their employees to connect with customers on a personal level. They collect personal information and use it to create an emotional connection.

One effective method to collect personal information from your customers is to use the acronym FORD: family, occupation, recreation and dreams. By asking about these categories, you can collect valuable information that you can use to create an emotional connection.

For example, say a customer mentioned that their son is on a hockey scholarship at Michigan State. The next time they come in, ask them how their son is doing. This will surprise and delight the customer. They’ll appreciate that you remembered something personal about them.

When a customer has an amazing customer experience, price becomes less important. Instead, they focus on the overall value they received. A customer who has had an excellent experience with a service provider is more likely to refer the service to others, leading to an increase in business.

The automotive repair industry must understand that customer experience is just as important as customer service. Personalizing the service by collecting personal information and using it to connect with the customer is an effective way to create an emotional connection. When a customer has an amazing customer experience, they are more likely to become a loyal customer and refer the service to others.

It is crucial for shops to focus on creating a unique and memorable experience for their customers.

This article originally appeared in the March/April issue of CARS


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