Auto Service World
News   May 2, 2023   by Adam Malik

What customers want from you

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The easier you can make it for a customer to access your automotive repair services, the more likely they’ll get those services from you.

So shops need to look at ways to break down barriers that are impeding customers from choosing them when they’re in need of an automotive service professional, said Sara Fraser, vice president of business development and client services at Haas Performance Consulting.

For instance, booking an appointment with a shop should be as easy as booking a doctor’s appointment, she said. Patients can go online and book appointments on their doctor’s website. Customers in need of vehicle service should be able to do the same with their shop.

“The easier it is for me to make my appointments to bring my vehicle in for service, the more often I’m going to do the recommended maintenance on the vehicle,” Fraser said.

That was one of several recommendations she gave during AutoLeap’s virtual conference Amplify. Another was giving quick responses to customer inquiries. So if a customer books the appointment but doesn’t at least get a confirmation in return, they will likely move on to another shop.

“I typically say within the same day, if possible, to get responses back to people,” Fraser recommended.

Customers also want their problems resolved efficiently and effectively. There needs to be trust instilled that they’re not going to have to worry about their vehicle. “They want to know that when they leave, the issue has been taken care of; that they’re safe and they’re comfortable to drive their vehicle again,” Fraser said.

They also want to deal with friendly people. They want to see personality from the people they deal with and have a personable experience. There’s a lot of technical jargon that can be thrown at them — but most don’t understand very much, if any, of it. Most people won’t speak up because they don’t understand all the technical talk. They’ll nod and smile instead.

Fraser recommends emailing information so customers can review it on their own time because they’re not going to retain everything you told them while they stood in front of you.

And don’t forget to follow up with them after their service. “This is something that should happen not too long after they’ve been in,” Fraser said.

She told a story of a client’s customer who had an iffy experience but wasn’t going to say anything. They were going to just take their business elsewhere next time. But because they got a call with an opportunity to speak up, they did.

“Had they not done that, they probably would have lost that customer,” she said. “So I think that the post-service feedback and follow-up is really important.”

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