Latest News

3 Keys to Remarkable Customer Service

August 25, 2016

In a previous post, we talked about how to respond to online reviews, both positive and negative.  But wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to deal with negative reviews in the first place?  Here are a few ways to make sure your customers leave the shop happy, so they’ll leave great reviews online and tell their friends to take their vehicles to your shop.  It’s the cheapest marketing money can’t buy!

 

Have happy employees

It’s always been said that happy employees lead to successful businesses, but there hasn’t been much strong statistical evidence for it.  That changed in 2012 when a large Swiss study proved that happy employees lead to strong business results, not the other way around.  In fact, the positive effect of happy employees on a business’s success is statistically stronger than the effect of sleeping pills on insomnia!

One reason that happy employees lead to better business results is that happy employees are much more engaged in their jobs. For employees whose job it is to interact with customers, this means that your employees are much more engaged with your customers.  They are more likely to care about whether your customers are satisfied, making the rest of these suggestions much easier.

 

Take the time to answer customer questions

Think about the last time a you called a giant corporation for help (such as your cable company, cell phone company, or your bank) and didn’t get your problem resolved.  What was more irritating: the wait, or the fact that the person that finally picked up the phone couldn’t help you at all?

While there will always be customers that expect the impossible, most will understand if you’re busy helping other people.  But once you’re helping them, they want your mind to be focused on them. They want you to take the time to answer their questions, and maybe ask them some questions that will help clarify both their problem and the solution.  If you make them wait, only to seem uninterested, unfocused, and unable to help them, they might shift from ‘somewhat patient’ to ‘angry enough to tell anyone who will listen about how much they don’t like you.’  It could take you months to recover from the damage that this customer can cause.  Here’s an examples of what this can look like:

One way to make sure customers are getting results when they contact you is to ask yourself “What was the customer’s problem, and how much closer is it to being addressed as a result of this conversation?”  In most cases, you should have a good answer for this, such as “I told them we could fix it on Friday”, or “I told them we could give them a quote within an hour if they bring it to us”.

If you can’t come up with a good answer, the answer is probably “none at all”.  You should acknowledge that to the customer and apologize you couldn’t do more to help them, or possibly recommend another local shop that can.

 

Convince your customers you genuinely want to know if they’re unhappy

For every customer that bothers to tell you they’re unhappy, another 26 unhappy customers won’t tell you anything at all.  That might seem like 26 customers you’re probably going to lose without knowing why – but it’s much worse than that.  On average, unhappy people tell 16 people about their experience.  So, for every customer that complains about your service, over 400 people are told about a bad experience at your shop.

If you figure out that those 26 unhappy customers are unhappy, and do what you can to make them happy before they tell people about their bad experience, that’s over 400 people who won’t be told not to visit your shop.  So, how do you do that?

The most effective solution is to focus on what’s going on in your shop from the customer’s point of view.  Stop for a second and think about a few things that happened in your shop today, or the last day it was open.  How many customers waited more than 5 minutes before talking to a rep?  How many got a surprise cost increase when you explored a problem further?  How many didn’t get their vehicle back when they expected it?  Did you acknowledge the impact of these things when talking to the customer?  If you’re not acknowledging these inconveniences to your customers, they may not think you care how it impacts them, and that’s going to hurt your reputation.

Whoever has the last in-person contact with your customer needs to ask about their experience.  This question shouldn’t be scripted: the customer should feel that the person asking the question really cares.  For circumstances where the customer is unhappy because of something that is the ‘shop’s fault’ (such as a delayed repair) the person asking about their experience should either be empowered to do something about it, or should forward the information to someone who can call the customer quickly and address the problems.  This doesn’t mean you should give unreasonable customers whatever they want so they won’t complain about you on social media. Reasonable accommodations for customers who didn’t receive a great experience will go a long way to turning unhappy customers into happy ones.

Finally, some customers simply won’t complain in person because it’s too uncomfortable.  To capture these customers’ complaints, you should be emailing an online survey invite to every customer who visits your shop.  If they rate you poorly on your survey, you may be able to resolve their issues before they rate you poorly on Google, Yelp, or somewhere else where it is likely to be highly visible and difficult to improve once posted.

A Shop Locator Isn’t a Website!

August 16, 2016

We’ve had many customers ask us if they need a website since they’re on a Shop Locator page.

There’s a big difference between a shop locator and a website, and it greatly affects how easy it is for potential customers to find your shop online.  A shop locator would work very well if a car owner went to the website of the company that owned the shop locator and searched for shops in their zip code.

As an example, if you go to BG Find-A-Shop’s website and search for a repair shop in the 27105 zip code, you’ll find Whiteheart and Sons Automotive, along with their contact information.  Although you wouldn’t learn about what they do, their hours, or many other things, you could at least get in contact with them.

BG Find-A-Shop Site Locator

Unfortunately, most people don’t go to BG Find-A-Shop to begin their automotive search.  They go to Google.  And if they search for auto repair in the 27105 zip code, many sites will pop up, but none of them are on a shop locator page.  Anyone relying on a shop locator will likely lose everyone searching for auto repair in Google.

Fortunately for Whiteheart and Sons, they have a website with Repair Shop Websites.  Because of this, Whiteheart and Sons does show up on the first page of results for auto repair in the 27105 zip code.

Whiteheart on Google

And unlike a 1-page shop locator page, their website provides all the details someone needs to know they can handle their particular problem – from hours, to services offered, and even testimonials from their customers.  None of this information is on a Shop Locator page, but it’s all on their website.

Whiteheart Website

So don’t be fooled!  Shop locators have value, but they won’t help new customers find you on the web.  For that, you need a website.  If you have questions about how to make sure your repair shop gets found online, please give us a call at 866-665-1605.

more news >

Featured Shops

The Engine Room – The Best Automotive Shop in La Verne, CA

October 28, 2015
shop_generic_icon

The Engine Room is the best auto repair shop in La Verne, California. Since 2003, they have been providing the best automotive services to the La Verne area. Their technicians have years of experience working on all makes and models. Schedule your appointment today by calling 909-593-8881 or by visiting our website.…

Glisson’s Automotive – Your One Stop Auto Repair Shop in Syracuse, NY

October 22, 2015
napa_logo

Glisson’s Automotive is a full-service preventive maintenance and auto repairs center in Syracuse, New York. Since 1969, they have been providing the best automotive service and repairs to the Syracuse area. Their expert automotive technicians have years of experience working on everything from import to domestic vehicles. To schedule an appointment, just call 315-44-6712 or click here.…

Entwistle’s Garage Inc. Offers Best Auto Repair Services in Leicester, MA

October 20, 2015
auto_service_plus

Entwistle’s Garage Inc. is an auto repair shop in Leicester, Massachusetts. Since 1947, they have been providing the best automotive services to the Leicester area. They understand the need need for a reliable auto repair shop that the public can depend on to take care of their vehicle. Their technicians are friendly, caring and professional. For superior automotive service, come on by 800 Main St or call them at (508) 892-9621.…

Nereson’s Big Lot Service Center – The Best Auto Repair Service Center in Moorhead, MN

September 28, 2015
ACDelcoLogo_138px

Nereson’s Big Lot Service Center is an auto repair center located in Moorhead, Minnesota. Since 1990, they have been providing quality automotive service and vehicles to the Moorhead area. Their technicians can work on everything from oil changes to transmission work. For the best automotive service, come on by 2500 2nd Ave N or call them at 218-291-1682.…

more shops >