It is not an easy task to run a successful automotive repair shop and it has several layers to it, like managing workshop operations, customer expectations, and the quality of repairs and services that you provide especially if you are running a multibrand auto repair business.
The Automotive repair/ service business is a repeat business and bringing customers back in a timely manner for any repair or regular service is key to the profitability and sustainability of this business. It’s far beyond cross-selling and upselling. This is possible only when they are happy and actually happier customers bring more new customers as well by referring to their friends and family.
“So the key to a profitable auto repair business is to retain customers for longer periods of time and make them loyal customers“
If the service you are providing to your customers is not up to the required standard, soon you will lose them to your competitors.
Here are a few insights to retain the existing customers in your auto repair business and drive profitability through them:
1. Build Trustworthy relationships with your customers
Gaining customer trust takes time in the auto repair industry. Customers are generally skeptical about auto repair shops, so first you have to work hard to build trust with them. Ultimately, your reputation is determined by the impression your customer has made.
- Give your customers honest advice, and be genuine when interacting with them. Empathize with their issue, and invest time to understand the issue. Thorough inspection, open communication, and timely service will give them plenty of reasons to stick with you.
- Provide professional repairs and fair prices: The more positive experiences your customers have, the more trust you will build, and the more auto repair customers you will attract and it will bring more profitability to your auto repair business.
- Reward repeat/loyal customers: Auto repair shops can reward repeat customers by offering coupons and loyalty points. As long as customers feel like they’re getting enough value along with some reward, discounts, coupons for their loyalty, referral bonus for bringing new customers, this way they will keep coming back and will trust you when you suggest any additional services. Every customer should be given equal importance. The quality of customer service is a big component in making customers loyal to an auto repair shop. A loyal and happy customer will not only give good feedback but most likely refer your service to their friends, families, and people they know.
“Make your customers your brand ambassadors”
2. Build customer-centric processes for Long-term Customer Satisfaction
A customer-centric process that can be followed by all the employees is the best and simple way to keep customers in the loop about what’s going on with their vehicle.
- Keep them informed: Provide them variety of communications from your garage via WhatsApp, SMS and emails etc. Send regular service reminders to keep in touch and bring them back when service is due. This will make them more likely to choose your services in the future.
- Keep the process simple and easy :It makes implementing better customer service thereby helping in improving customer satisfaction. A happy customer brings more business and profits to your auto repair business.
In many auto repair shops designing a simple customer-centric process becomes a challenge, the best way is to understand the expectations of your customers first and design the process accordingly. Further, these processes can be improved based on the customer’s feedback by tracking customer satisfaction levels regularly (at least monthly).
- Employees are the Key : Following the process consistently requires good quality workforce so be careful while selecting the workforce. It is important to choose the team of right people as inefficient workforce is one of the reasons why costs also increases and the customers do not get the required service. Hiring people just because they can be paid less is a wrong strategy as it can lead to a lot of issues especially if they fail to pick up skills fast.
The right quality of manpower helps you build a customer-centric culture in your workshop that makes your business sustainable and profitable.
3. Leverage technology to rule the Digital Era
As the business becomes big then monitoring and tracking the process and customer manually becomes a challenge and that delays the decision-making and affects the further growth of the business.
- Use technology to automate the process– It is important to automate the manual work to increase speed and efficiency. Use of tools and software help in improving businesses. Investing in the right kind of softwares helps in increasing sales and helps in better decision making. Automation also helps in reducing cost with the decreased dependence on a lot of workers. Such Auto Repair shop softwares can also help in communication with customers through regular messages and notifications about offers and status of the work. Automation is an absolute necessity to make an auto repair business profitable and also help being relevant.
- Have a solid digital and social media presence– With social media presence increasing every day, it is absolutely important to spend quality time and money on blogs, website content and social media handles to attract more new customers. Most of the customers today know about businesses after coming across information about them on social media or the internet. Businesses can make use of guest writers or influencers to talk about their products and services. Collaborations like this would help in spreading the word and grab more eyeballs of prospective customers. Investing on solid digital and social media campaigns and posts is therefore extremely important in today’s world to make an auto repair business profitable.
As has always been the case, your business’s success will ultimately depend on your ability to operate it the right way, smarter way. Technology will help you gain a reputation in your market and win over loyal customers for life and of course, increase your profits.