In a very technical, highly skilled, high knowledge and competitive field, you have to make sure you’re running a reputable and dependable business. If your customer service, ethics, equipment and technical expertise are on point then succeeding as a business is guaranteed and the customers won't ever question staying loyal to you and referring you to their mates. For a successful auto repair shop follow these 5 tips, organize, implement them into daily practice and stay ahead of the game.
1. The right tools
A complete inventory and having the most specialized tools for the job is crucial here, typically by standard industry practice, health and safety regulations and to do the job properly. Make sure all of your tools and machinery are registered and cataloged. This means you should know exactly where they are to save time when looking for the right one.
Know your tools in and out, if the customer asks, you should be able to reference the particular piece of equipment and replay your knowledge. This generates confidence and trust between you and your client. Make sure the tools in all work areas are clearly labeled and organized, this oozes professionalism.
Think of it as going to the doctors, if they express little knowledge in the field and are not sure about a diagnosis you will absolutely look for a second opinion.
Looking to stock up on the right tools and equipment? Check us out!
2. Put the customer first
There is truth in the saying ‘the customer is always right’, or at least make them think they are! The customer should always feel comfortable and confident about choosing your services.
Make their journey or experience easy, from the moment they drop off a vehicle or call to schedule an appointment. Don't forget they're probably a little stressed as they are likely trying to organize their day around a damaged or broken vehicle. Even if it's just for a safety revision people rarely enjoy having to go to the Auto repair shop, so do all you can to make the experience a pleasant one.
Here are a few tips to win repeat business and keep customer happy:
- Arrange a comfortable waiting area with a TV, coffee, water and Auto magazines to keep clients occupied while they wait. This creates a wholesome experience from the moment they walk in the door.
- Offer a pick up and drop off service for your customers, it could include calling a local taxi service or providing one yourself.
- If you have the resources available, delegate a customer service advisor whose sole job is to make sure their experience is pleasant, organized and easy. Having great customer service skills for this role is a no-brainer, and being able to handle conflict management.
- Communicate often, reassure your customer they are important by sending personalized appointment reminders and status updates by whatsapp or text. Make sure they aren't the ones following up with you.
Excellent customer service will prove invaluable in the long run and is actually a rare quality, so make sure you stand out from the competition.
3. Increase your mechanics productivity
So, not only the quality of the customer's experience but also the quality of service will set you apart and determine your financial success in the future. This is linked to the professionalism, proficiency and efficiency of your employees.
Staying productive all the time is not realistic, but you can create the right atmosphere for it, here are some tips to deliver the best auto repair turnover and boost your technicians output:
- We all know that the climate affects our mood, and not just outside, but inside too, so make sure your employees are comfortable. Working under pressure and heat is the perfect environment for stressed and unproductive workers, so invest in some fans, aircon or heaters if necessary.
- Track performance and also profitability for each technician, give performance feedback and suggest room for improvement.
- Make sure they are well rested and rewarded for their hard work. Demanding physical labor can cause repetitive injuries and just general exhaustion, so, holidays, bonus pay and enough breaks are crucial here. An appreciated mechanic will make an effort to do an outstanding job! Don't forget to say thank you and always give positive feedback.
4. Reduce technician turnover
High employee turnover will compromise your reliability and quality of service. Consistency is super important in generating confidence and trust, both between you and your technicians and between you and the customers.
You will waste time hiring and training new employees and run the risk of having inexperienced technicians on board. If you apply the above advice then you will create a thriving and positive work environment, your employees will perform well, be highly productive and will have no reason to quit, or you to fire them. Experienced and knowledgeable technicians are invaluable in the auto repair business.
If customers see that your employees are loyal and happy this is a huge bonus and will help build your relationship with them.
5. Use social media to grow your business
Bringing more clients to your shop is a constant challenge but necessary for growth. Using social media as a lever is not only necessary but very influential. Follow these tips to bring in new customers and keep your old ones happy and loyal:
- Make sure your website is up to date, easy to use, transparent and that customers know how or where to get hold of you.
- Use social media to reach out. That means creating and keeping a constant presence on Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. Work on a basic marketing strategy to reach out to, and engage with your customers. Make sure the links are on your business card and encourage customers to follow, like and share your content. Use the platforms to promote, share updates and your expertise in the field.
- Encourage customers to leave you reviews on google, yelp and social media accounts to enhance your brand identity
Be patient, it can take time to run and build a successful business but if you implement the above tips into business practice, growth and success are inevitable.