by Jeff Stankard
A solid customer base is not something that grows overnight. It takes time to cultivate a database of vehicle owners who return for service time and time again, and who also recommend your shop to others. Several factors work together to enable you to earn their trust and respect, which translates into satisfied customers and highly sought after repeat business. Things like high-quality parts, top-notch service and genuine concern for your customers’ vehicle safety top the list, but other subtle aspects of the way you do business can significantly impact your shop’s ability to earn their lasting loyalty.
With the goal of providing you with ideas to increase customer loyalty, Babcox Research asked a sample of shop owner readers for their ideas on this topic. We received dozens of great responses, so thank you to those of you who responded.
10 Ideas to Increase Customer Loyalty
- Listen to your customers and make them feel like they are the most important person in your shop. Show them that you have their best interest at heart.
- Put service first under promise and over deliver. Always complete the repair as it was explained to the customer and verify that the problem has been solved.
- Use only top-quality parts, and let customers know you can provide the same level of repair and service as the dealers.
- Adhere to your shop’s original mission statement (i.e. personable service through quality repair) and always keep the customer informed. Be sincere, courteous and respectful, and thank customers for their business.
- Be honest and credible, and your customers will put their trust in you. Loyalty comes with trust.
- Make sure customers leave your shop happy and follow up in a few days to ensure they are satisfied with the completed repairs.
- Create customer “rewards” programs, such as e-mail specials for regular customers.
- Promote that your shop provides outstanding service that’s second to none, and be sure to deliver on that promise.
- Do the job right the first time, pay attention to the details and stand behind your work.
- Ensure that your service advisor makes customers feel comfortable by being friendly and personable, as well as knowledgeable about the repair work for which their vehicle is scheduled.
If you would like to offer additional ideas on this topic, just send me an e-mail and we’ll add it to our listing on the website.
Stankard is the publisher of the Babcox Tech Group, with responsibility for ImportCar, Underhood Service and Brake & Front End magazines, as well as Tomorrow’s Technician, TechShop Equipment, Tools and Supplies, Driving Sales and Servicio Automotriz.