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Auto Repair Customer Service 101


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Customer service requires the use of the long-standing principle of being nice and the "do unto others" creed – and of course a courteous attitude. Nothing is worse than bad service at a restaurant, or a grumpy and inattentive associate at a store. It is moments like these that create a bad experience for a customer and makes a customer think twice about returning. Bad experiences also get around by word of mouth twice as fast as a good experience; too many of the bad experiences being talked about puts your company in immediate jeopardy.

 

 

 

When in a service-oriented position, take the time to smile and offer assistance. This will immediately let the customer know that you are aware that they are in your store. Customers will feel more welcomed and appreciated and the likelihood of them returning is much greater. That’s exactly what you want, repeat customers.

 

Active listening is also a must for good service skills. If a person does not listen to the customer, chances are that they will not fully comprehend what the customer is trying to convey, thus leading to a potential problem that could have been solved by listening. Active listening requires a person to focus and be present in the moment. Inactive listening can cause a company to lose customers, receive a bad reputation – and depending on the severity of the issue, potentially can lead to a lawsuit.

 

There are the occasions where problems arise that an associate cannot handle for one reason or another. Be honest about this. Let your customer know that you do not know the answer, but also make sure to explain the choices available to them and to obtain the help they are seeking. This could be as simple as calling another associate or in-store manager. Maybe you will have to locate the phone number to your headquarters so that it can be offered as a possible avenue of resolving customer conflict. Just know that for the most part, the more helpful you are, even if the customer is agitated, the higher chance you stand of having that customer return – they will remember the help that they were receiving.

 

In dealing with customers of any kind, look at yourself objectively and ask yourself if you would like to be treated in the manner that you just treated that customer. If the answer is yes, then you are using good customer service skills. If the answer is anything but yes, then it is strongly suggested that whatever it was that bothered you, you change. If you don’t like yourself at that moment, then what makes you think anyone else will like you?

 

Smile, greet, offer assistance, be courteous and find creative ways to solve conflicts. Attend any conflict resolution classes offered as well as other additional service classes. Don’t make assumptions about people by the way they dress or don’t dress, as this is nothing more than a stereotype and more often than not in today’s world, stereotyping will backfire on you.

 

As an added incentive, take an extra 20-30 seconds to go out of your way to help a customer. Maybe you can lead them in the right direction for what they are seeking, or find out, before a lot of time is wasted, that you don’t carry the product being looked for. Maybe simply helping them to sit down, stand up or out to their vehicle is what is needed. If that is the case then just do it. Those minimal seconds in your life can impact another person’s life in a variety of positive ways.

 

Lastly, when a customer leaves, tell them to have a good day or night. I myself tell them to have a better one. I believe that if their day has been crummy then the better day comment will have more effect. It stands out more and in little ways shows that much more of a caring personality behind the associate tag, which of course comes back in positive waves.

 

 

 

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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