If you own tire shops, you understand that if you want to have lots of customers raving about your business, you've got to have awesome customer service. But, even when striving to give your customers the best, there are times where you can make customers annoyed, frustrated, or even angry without meaning to. It happens. However, the key is knowing what could potentially trigger your customers so that you (and your employees) can avoid making a mistake and preventing a misunderstanding.
Are your tire shop or auto repair employees making one or more of these mistakes to drive away your customers... without even knowing it? Here are 6 things to avoid doing in order to maintain your reputation for excellent customer service.
6 Things That Drive Your Tire Shop Customers Away
Mistake #1: You’re Not Listening
It’s easy to shift your focus from the customer to the vehicle in the auto repair business and not really listen to what they are saying. If you’re not giving them your full attention, customers can tell if your mind is somewhere else.
Solution: Show that you’re listening by making eye contact, asking questions, using their name a few times and listening with intention. It sounds simple, but these small actions will keep customers happy and earn their trust.
Mistake #2: You Don't Answer Your Phone
We can all agree that nothing is worse than an unanswered phone. Customers hate calling and not getting anyone to pick up, or if someone does, only to be put on hold forever. They usually just hang up. If they do talk to someone, and they feel like they are being rushed or like that person on the other end just doesn’t care - it can be even worse.
Solution: Consider taking the phone away from the swamped service department and give that responsibility to a well-trained person to handle front desk operations. The front desk is typically your customer’s first impression in person and on the phone, so make sure it’s always a good one.
Customer complaints can damage your reputation, but you still have a chance to save these situations. Here are 5 Steps to Handling Customer Complaints like a Champ.
Mistake #3: You Don’t Make Them Feel Welcome
First impressions are everything. If a customer feels like you don’t care that they’re there or is just flat out ignored, you probably won’t see them ever again. Why would they come back when they have so many choices, and other auto shops make them feel welcome and value their business? Nothing is more annoying than walking into a shop and waiting around for help or for someone to even meet your gaze.
Solution: We can’t stress enough the importance of greeting your customers immediately when they walk in your door. If you’re busy, at least say hello and a simple, “Sorry for the wait. We will help you as soon as we can” will go a long way. You’re acknowledging their presence. It’s your job to show customers that you care and to make them feel comfortable.
Mistake #4: You’re Not Being Honest
Guess what? Customers can spot a phony just as easily as you can. We’ve all encountered that person that adhere to this sage advice: do what you say and say what you mean. They exaggerate, sugarcoat the truth and don’t meet their commitments. They aren’t self-aware and it’s incredibly annoying.
Solution: ALWAYS be honest and sincere with every single customer.
Mistake #5: You Take Way Too Long
Most customers expect speedy service and under-performance isn’t an option. People don’t really like servicing their vehicle. They want it to be an in and out situation.
Solution: Make sure that your staff is trained properly to handle all service issues and the customer’s needs. Set expectations right up front. If it is going to be a longer wait, make sure the customer is informed of this and prepared. Your tire shop waiting room doesn’t have to be an inconvenience for customers—turn it into an integral component of your marketing strategy to boost your bottom line!
Mistake #6: You’re Not Communicating Status Updates
Sometimes things do take time and there will be some waiting involved. If that’s the case, let the customer know! Picture when you’re sitting in traffic. If you can’t see what’s causing the traffic, anxiety goes through the roof. If you get an update or there’s a sign notifying you of delay, you can instantly relax a bit and know what to expect. Few things cause more anxiety than the unknown. An indefinite, seemingly never-ending wait could be detrimental to customer satisfaction
Solution: Continuously communicate the status of their vehicle so they are in the know and not left in the dark.
If you want happy and loyal customers, avoid making these six mistakes. Remember that we’re all human and try to put yourself in their shoes. Avoid these customer service mistakes to get more auto repair customers (and keep them happy!) After all, fantastic customer service can quickly take your business to the next level.
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