What Do Customers Want From Their Auto Shop Visit?

Although quality auto repairs are the lifeblood of your shop, what you’re really selling is the full customer experience. From the second they walk through your doors, you want your customers to see how your shop stands out from the rest. They should feel valued, supported, and wholly satisfied with the experience – or you risk them going elsewhere. But how can you ensure all your customers get everything they want with each visit to your shop? Simply use the following tips to streamline your process.

Offer a Warm Welcome to Each Customer

As each customer walks through your doors, always give them a warm welcome to acknowledge their presence. If you’re not busy, pay attention to who pulls into the parking lot. If you have someone bringing in their Yukon at 10:30am and see a Yukon pull into the parking lot in that general timeframe, quickly look at your schedule to see their name. Go hold open the door as they walk up and greet them by name to provide red carpet service.

Even if you’re busy with another customer, it only takes a moment to say hello and let them know you’ll be with them in a moment. With your friendly greeting, you let your customers know they are valued and keep them from wondering what to do with themselves in the meantime.

Then, once you have a moment to dedicate to your next customer, stand up or come around to the front of the counter to address them. If they’re new to your shop, offer to show them around and tell them more about your technicians, services, and procedures.

You can also offer them refreshments if you have them on hand. And show them where they can sit and wait for their car if they only need an oil change or other quick service. Always do all you can to help your customers feel right at home at your auto shop and they’ll keep coming back and even refer you to their friends, family, and coworkers.

Always Complete a Full Inspection on Each vehicle

Even if your customers come in to have a specific problem fixed, your techs should perform a full inspection on their vehicle. Preferably, you’ll have them use DVI (digital vehicle inspection) for this process, but a paper form can work until you upgrade.

Either way, make sure your customer receives a copy of the inspection results with their work order. While looking at that document, they should be able to tell what immediate repairs their car needs and any regular maintenance services that are due soon.

With that information in hand, your customers can feel like they have a handle on their car care needs. Plus, it will help them plan for any service or repairs that are needed to keep their vehicle safe and in good running condition.

Create Repair Orders That are Accurate and Easy to Understand

In addition to an informative inspection sheet, your customers should receive an accurate and easy to understand repair order at every visit. As you write up these orders, remember that they are legally binding and need to stand up to scrutiny if any disagreements arise.

To create your repair order, you’ll need to collect your customers’ contact info, including:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Phone number

Beyond that, put their vehicle’s year, make, and model plus the VIN and license plate number on the form to identify what you’re working on.

Then, speak to your tech and review the inspection sheet to see what repairs are due. Once that’s done, you can call your customer to see what work they’d like to have completed that day – unless you’ve already had that conversation, of course. After figuring that out, type in all the services you’re doing that day plus the cost breakdown to let your customer know what’s due.

Perform a final check to verify everything is spelled correctly and is easy to understand before printing it all out. Attach it to a copy of your inspection sheet for delivery to your customer when they arrive to pick up their vehicle.

Provide Wow Worthy Service at Each and Every Visit

No one likes having to return to the shop again and again to get their problem resolved – or waiting a long time to get their car back. So, your techs should aim to go above and beyond in resolving the issue in full and by the deadline.

You can help by:

  • Allowing a reasonable amount of time for diagnosis and auto repairs
  • Sharing any information your customer provided at check in
  • Give your techs access to all the top automotive reference systems
  • Quickly provide all the parts they need to get the job done right

In addition, always sell diagnostic services, not time, when you check your customer in. With that move, you help them see the value provided at their visit, so they’ll feel like they’re getting their full money’s worth.

Even after resolving their complaint in full and on time, you’re not quite done providing a wow worthy customer experience. You’ll need to follow through by sending a thank you card, especially for new clients.

Repeat clients should get a card on occasion, thanking them for their loyalty to your auto shop. If you have really great clients who come in often with multiple vehicles, consider sending them additional incentives, like movie tickets and restaurant gift cards.

Need Help Dialing in the Customer Experience at Your Auto Shop?

By following the tips listed above, you can ensure your customers enjoy the best experience possible with every visit to your auto shop. If you’d like to take your customer experience to the next level but are not sure how to get the job done, reach out to your trusted auto repair coach, Chris Cotton, at AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching. With a call to 580-491-3519, you can get all the support you need in elevating the success of your auto shop.

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