Here’s a clip from our Clear Counter Communications webinar, in which Brian and the class discussed the concept of the Black Dot. This is a method Service Advisors can use to mark lost customers.
Tracking Lost Customers
Brian opened the clip by asking the group what a “black dot” could mean in the context of auto repair. Kim correctly explained the concept. Lost customers are those who may have either ghosted their appointments, or have not returned after one visit. Through call reviews, we can often determine how that happened.
How did these prospects become lost customers? Could it be because our Service Writer team is not saying “yes” enough? The first step to finding out is giving their record the black dot mark. Next, you need to put your customer service under the microscope.
Poor Customer Service Causing Lost Customers
Brian stressed the point that poor customer service is often the cause of shops losing customers. For example, a customer receives a coupon in the mail, and responds by calling to request an oil change appointment. The service advisor, rather than trying to fit them in same day, suggests a next day appointment. Customers hate that. Before the service advisor knows it, the call is over, and the now lost customer is looking for an appointment elsewhere.
Brian and Jim recalled an experiment in which they called other shops in order to test their customer service. This proved their point, as the service writers were rude and cut them off. The obvious lack of phone scripts and systems were major turn offs. Nobody would want to do business with a shop exhibiting behavior like that. More lost customers, thus more black dots.
Are you selling all of the jobs you possibly can? Can your customers see the passion you have for servicing their vehicles? A Sense of Urgency (SOU) can really make the difference in creating lifetime customers.
Learning a Sense of Urgency for Customer Service
Whether you’re a Service Advisor working front of house, or a Mechanic working in the back, a sense of urgency is key.
Brian opens up this segment with an analogy about walking into a local restaurant. Their staff instantly bowls you over by bending over backward to serve you. The host or hostess greets you with a smile and quickly directs you to an open table. Your Waiter rushes to your seats to take your order. How do you think that affects your buying mood? Aren’t you more likely to start with an appetizer or order a dessert afterward?
It should come as no surprise to you that many auto repair clients become repeat customers because of how friendly a shop’s staff are. When front counter staff are quick to greet you politely and take a genuine interest in you and your vehicle, you are more likely to want to come back.
Brian provided evidence of this by using an example of one of his Service Advisors at the shop he once owned in Georgia. Since this employee demonstrated a sense of urgency, as well as an eager to please attitude, it made a huge impression on his clients. They even remembered him years later!
There’s no reason why this can’t work for your shop! When you encourage the traits of friendliness and speedy service in your Service Writers, Managers, and Technicians, everybody wins.
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How much can we influence buying mood when we increase customer comfort? From our members only Clear Counter Communications Series, here’s some great advice for your Service Writers on how to make customers feel at home. If you really want to make auto repair sales, then you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and do whatever it takes to make them feel comfortable in your shop.
Customer comfort factors: restaurant analogies
Brian opens up with an analogy about restaurant service. You made plans with a friend to meet for lunch at a local taco restaurant. You show up, walk inside, and you have to wait to be seated. The staff seems to be ignoring you! When the host finally shows up to seat you 2-3 minutes later, they don’t even apologize for making you wait! In this environment, how likely are you to spend extra money on cocktails or dessert after your meal?
In much the same way, you must make the effort to get acquainted with customers when they walk in the door. Engage with them by making small talk, or even complimenting them. Nobody likes having to spend extra money for repairs. Beginning the process with a friendly Service Advisor will make it less painful. You’ll be surprised when you start getting more “YES” answers, just from implementing this simple step.
Could you increase customer comfort in this situation?
Influencing your customers’ buying mood through personal connection
Many customers have made buying decisions before they’ve even walked in the door. Like it or not, factors outside your control may have influenced them negatively toward paying for necessary service. As a front counter worker, you will be the first person clients see when they walk in the door. Can you go above and beyond to break the ice?
Ready to take it to the next level? Get Your FREE Strategy Session!