Auto Service World
News   May 4, 2023   by Adam Malik

Tips to stand out with customers

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There are simple ways automotive repair and service shops can stand out in the minds of customers, according to a shop coach.

Vic Tarasik, founder of Shop Owner Coach, called these “sticky points” during an AutoLeap-hosted webinar. These are ways to stand out and help you connect with anyone coming into your shop.

The first is greeting the customer. This can vary depending on the setup of your shop. In the shop Tarasik owned, he had a big window that let him see the customer pulling in. His staff would open the door for them and greet them right away, welcoming them to your shop.

Approach this the same as if a friend was coming to your house — you’d open the door and greet them warmly.

“You’re glad they’re there,” Tarasik said during the webinar entitled Tactics to Keep Customers Coming Back to your Shop. “And [it’s] the same thing with the customer — you’re glad they’re there. You greet him with a really warm smile.”

Shops will also want the reception area to be welcoming. That doesn’t mean you need something on a grand scale, but stick to the basics. Keep it clean, make sure there are no foul odours and don’t have dated magazines, for example. And always make sure your bathrooms are clean.

Tarasik also urged shops to ensure their service advisors are actively listening to customers. They have an issue, they want you to listen to them about the issue and they want you to take notes. They certainly don’t want to have to tell you twice.

“It’s maybe kind of selfish, [but] they don’t want to repeat themselves,” Tarasik said. “Now, nothing can be more frustrating than having to repeat yourself because [the service advisor wasn’t] listening. You want to make an impact in the customer’s mind that [you] listened.”

He urged service advisors to turn off their “internal fixer” — where they want to start thinking of all the ways to solve the problem — and just pay attention. And, he added, don’t hesitate to ask the customer if there’s anything else they want to tell you about the vehicle.

“Now you’ve created one more opportunity for you to look at,” Tarasik said.

He also recommends giving a shop tour to new customers. Let them get a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes, away from the transactional area. Show off your space and why it’s the best choice for the customer.

“You’ve taken a lot to build your shop. You take pride in it. From wherever it was at the beginning to today, you’re very proud of it,” Tarasik said. “So now it’s a really simple way to show your customer the things that you do, what your capabilities are and what your shop looks like.”

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