Find out how to manage a mechanic shop in a way that every customer feels welcome and being charged fairly
How to convince customers to trust my mechanics with their cars? How to build long-term relationships with my clientele?.. If you constantly ask yourself these questions, that’s a good sign. This simply means you care for what you do and want to do it better. Sometimes, you just need a bit of inspiration to find new solutions for old problems. That’s exactly what this article is about — ideas of how small improvements in your auto repair shop management can make a big difference in customer experience.
1. Educate People On How to Treat Their Cars Right
As doctors say, preventive healthcare is the most effective and cheapest way to stay healthy — the same is true for vehicles. Your shop as a car hospital should be promoting this approach to your customers. As soon as they take the adult responsibility of caring for their cars, there will be fewer complaints about high repair prices, complicated procedures, or “unnecessary” works.
Videos Featuring Auto Mechanic Tips
Publish how-to videos on open resources to share your knowledge with a broad audience. Worrying about losing customers because everyone would start repairing their cars at home? This just won’t happen and here are two reasons. First, many people don’t like to get their hands dirty in the car trying out things they have never done before. Second, the majority of car owners won’t do the repairs themselves because of safety concerns. And for you, showing your techs’ expertise and personality in the videos will increase trust and attract new prospects.
Automatic Maintenance Reminders
When you want to build loyalty with your customers, the smallest thing you can do is to take away the burden of planning the regular servicing. Just set up automatic reminders of any maintenance works you recommend doing routinely inviting your customers to schedule an appointment. For example, in Orderry it is possible to configure such messages to be sent as emails or SMS.
2. Personalize Experience to Deliver the Best Service and Repair
Are you good at remembering names? And your mechanics? If yes, congratulations! You are among the minority of people having this rare ability. If not, then having a CRM is a must for your mechanic business. With customer data stored in the cloud, you’ll quickly look up names, vehicle details, and repair history on any device.
Additionally, you can create custom fields for even more personalization, e.g. car nicknames. So, you’ll be able to warm up the conversation right from the start: “Hello John, how is Susie doing?”
Example of custom fields in Orderry
3. Take Care of the Appearance of Your Shop and Mechanics
Running a successful auto repair shop often comes with the challenge of dealing with all kinds of drivers: male and female, young and experienced, tech-savvy and “not having a clue”. Certainly, you cannot please all of them but your goal should be to make your workshop a convenient, friendly place where everyone will feel welcome. For example, no posters with inappropriate photos, jokes, or mechanic jargon (this topic we will discuss in the next tip). Schedule regular cleaning of the shop area along with the bays and make sure your team always wears a decent uniform.
4. Break Through the Language Barrier of Tech Jargon
Everyone likes to sound smart but that’s not a good path to go when describing issues with the car to non-technical people. Using lots of terms and phrases that only mechanics understand reduces credibility and makes a negative impression on the customer you are talking to.
Example of mechanic’s jargon
A possible solution to this could be creating a vocabulary list of the most used terms with neutral alternatives or descriptions in simple words. This way, your mechanics will be able to quickly look at it before talking to people with less technical knowledge.
5. Become the “One and Only” Shop in Your Customer Vehicle’s Life
Looking for an auto repair shop is like finding a new dentist...it’s not fun at all. Researching and comparing different options takes lots of energy and makes you feel uncertain and confused. To avoid such stress, people tend to stick to their choices for years, especially when they are satisfied with the quality of services they get.
The truth is that the quality itself isn’t the key point here. Customers may be quite happy with the work you do but if you do not provide all the essential services that are needed for their vehicles, then they’ll be on the search again, probably going to competitors that can do more.
So, another auto shop management tip here would be to look at your service list as if you were a typical car owner from the neighborhood. Think of what you would need to do to keep your vehicle on the road for as long as possible and use these ideas when improving customer service and satisfaction.
6. Beat the Stereotype of Car Mechanics Being Shady
That’s impressive how many topics about bad intentions of car mechanics are discussed on different online platforms these days. Just look at the following search results:
Questions people ask online about auto mechanics
The main concerns people have are overcharging and being manipulated to pay for unnecessary work. A good solution to this is being transparent about what you are charging your customers for. Each repair order should come with clear estimates and invoices so everyone knows exactly what is going on.
In the mechanic shop management software Orderry, invoicing customers is a matter of one button click. You can create any document you need right in the order, print it out, or send it via email.
Creating an invoice directly from repair orders in Orderry
7. Show Empathy When Dealing with Customer’s Frustration
It is so difficult to suddenly be without a car, isn’t it? And especially hard if you don’t know for how long...Uncertainty provokes anxiety which means additional stress. This is how your customers feel when something breaks in their cars. And in such a mood, they come to you.
So what to do to make the situation less stressful for them? The only way to beat anxiety is through information. You should constantly provide your clients with updates about what is happening with their cars, so they know you’re working on solving their problem and everything will be fine.
In Orderry, you can enable the automatic notifications of each step in the order processing process to boost your car customer satisfaction. And with the Orderry Camera app, your mechanics will easily take photos of the repairs they are doing and attach them to orders right on the spot.
Providing all the necessary information, showing respect, caring for customer needs, and smoothing internal processes — all this helps you to build goodwill and trust. This is a constant process and the only way to build your repeat customer base. Be ready to invest some time and effort and encourage your team to support you in this way. Orderry will take the administration part, the rest is on you.
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