Connect With Me or Lose Me! (Lesson 6)
With new innovations in technology, customers now expect to be communicated with on a constant basis in real time. Customer expectations from service providers in terms of how they are communicated with have never been so high.
This expectation has created a communication void between many workshop owners and their customers, because the workshop has not implemented proactive communication methods to keep their customers updated on a regular basis.
Tools such as email, text, and smart phones have now become the mediums in which your customers expect to hear from you. Your customers will appreciate a text message that reminds them of their booking. Not only does it remind them to bring their car in, it will also prompt them to let you know if they can no longer keep the booking.
This prompting gives your staff the opportunity to book another customer into the open space, in turn keeping your shop running both efficiently and profitably by ensuring your booking level is maintained.
Communication is now so simple it is critical that your auto workshop uses it to the full extent of its capabilities. From bookings to promotions, digital technology is a key asset to your business success.
The advantage of this shift in communication may at first seem daunting, but it actually can be leveraged to your advantage. If you are not connecting with your customers on an ongoing basis you are not adequately maintaining your relationship with them, which will impact both your short and long term profits.
In my previous articles, I have spoken about how a customer named Kyle was lost by one auto workshop and won by another thanks to better communication. This highlights the importance of communication to your customers and to your business.
Below is a true story that demonstrates the incredible opportunities effective communication can create.
Danni has three children that she raises alone as well as a full time job. She is extremely busy and operates her life on a very tight budget just to be able to get by. Her car really is one of her most important assets. It is crucial to her life – without it she would not be able to keep her job and she would not be able to take her children all the places they need to go.
Tim, who manages the auto workshop shop Danni uses, has a very simple yet fully integrated information and communication system, that makes it easy for him to see when his customers are due for a service.
Danni had received her reminder notice telling her that her next service was due, however money was tight this particular month and she decided to skip the service. She knew how important a service was, but she just couldn’t find the money.
Tim decided to send a follow up reminder to the customers who had vehicles that were overdue for a service. He decided to make a special offer with this reminder to see if he could bring in additional revenue. He couldn’t afford to discount the price so, instead, he offered the opportunity to pay the invoice in two instalments. Danni realised this offer made the service affordable for her, and she booked in immediately.
This cost Tim nothing, yet brought him in a return customer he otherwise would not have won over this time around.
Your workshop operations can be set up to enable email, SMS, fax or mail notices to be produced and sent to customers.
You may currently have systems that can provide the information you and your customers need, but you might find that this information is stored in various locations or systems – very little integration often exists. This lack of integration is what fragments your systems and makes communication from your auto workshop to your customers seem difficult. One streamlined system makes communication easy and opens up new opportunities for businesses to grow.
Without an integrated and simple system Tim would not have been able to communicate with Danni in a way that would win her business.
Have you offered similar specials to your customers before? Is there a system that you use to identify opportunities like the one mentioned in this article, and if so, what do you use?
To your success,
Australia’s #1 Automotive Business Growth Expert