In the automotive industry, an auto body shop is given one opportunity to exhibit proper customer care service. From the very beginning, the initial moment the phone is answered can have a tremendous impact on a new client’s experience with an auto body shop. Be sure to answer the phone in under three rings and do so politely, this first interaction can have a lasting impression. When a customer enters your shop to get an estimate, how they are greeted and treated is most impactful on their potential relationship with the shop. In addition, be sure that your waiting room is clean and appropriately presentable.
Hospitality is a great way to leave a positive impression on people, so it is always a good idea to offer your customer a cup of coffee or water as part of your introduction. How much time a person spends waiting to be attended can also influence their desire to want to do business with a shop again. Be sure to implement an appointment schedule on busier days of the week to assure that everyone is being attended in an appropriate time frame. You see, customer service in a collision repair shop is much more than taking their car in and repairing the damage, it is about customer service and care. Return customers make up a large portion of a successful body shops clientele and the best way to have an ever-growing clientele is by providing transparent and efficient customer service.
KNOW WHAT THE CUSTOMER EXPECTS
The first element is to know what the customer expects. While some have been in an auto body shop before, for many this will be their first time. Therefore, you need to be prepared to meet the customer’s needs.
- Most customers have no idea what’s involved in repairing their collision damage
- Be prepared by having a short 5-minute slide show, or even better a video to show them step what is involved. Before and after photo galleries are very useful
- Customers want to know how long it will take to repair the damage. Be completely open and honest with them and give them the best possible time frame.
- Customers may want to know if a rental car is available. Although many customers prefer to rent their own, it is a great idea to have a reliable rental company on standby as a customer service gesture.
- Wow them with your customer service and care genuinely take an interest in assisting them, accidents and damage repair costs can cause stress on a person, be sure to assure them help is here to make the repair as easy as possible for them
- One way to do this is to offer step-by-step photos of their actual repair job. Most customers spend a large sum of money on their car maintenance and are really worried about the process and prices.
- Sending emails with photos of their car in the repair stages will reassure them and is a good way to keep them involved with updates on the time frame retrieving their vehicle will take. Always try to be upfront and honest with customers about the process and time frame. If the job will take 4 days to repair a vehicle, they will be thrilled if the process is completed in three days. However, if the opposite occurs, a two-day jobs is pushed to five days be sure that open communication with the client is implemented to help reduce the level of discontent in the client.
OTHER ESSENTIAL FACTORS
One thing is that it crucial in an auto body repair shop is that there be good communication between the insurance company and the shop. Studies have found that 90 percent of the delays in repair are due to delays in the insurance company sending over an estimation of the repair cost.
Many estimators are relatively good at staying in a prompt time frame however occasionally it has been a trend to see that the insurance companies will take longer than average to send over an estimation of the total repair damage slowing down the entire repair process for the client.
Customers will want to be kept in the loop and will stay in touch with their insurance company.
A frequent event that takes place is the insurance company will insist on the use of substitute parts rather than genuine factory parts. Naturally, this is cheaper for the insurance company, but not necessarily best for the customer. We always let customers know immediately if their insurance company is not supportive of the idea of using factory replacement part so they can insist the on factory-authorized parts or be made aware of their decision to opt out for substitution parts instead. Essentially keeping the customer as involved as possible is a great way to avoid future disagreements and increase customer retention.