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Boy, I haven’t seen that customer in a while!


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The other day my manager, shop foreman and I got into a discussion about a long time loyal customer we had not seen in a while. We checked our records and the last time this customer had his car to us was last August. Before that he never missed an oil change service and was a customer for over 10 years. I decided to call the customer and ask him where he has been. He told me that he decided to get a new car and that the dealer gave him 2 years “FREE” maintenance. (He bought a Nissan Altima).

 

He went on to tell me all the horror stories about his visits to the dealer and that he will be back, but just can’t pass up something free. He did tell me that, they try to sell him things, and he declines every time. So, I’m thinking that when he does come to me, the car may not be in the best shape.

 

This started me thinking and I ran a report and found that there are many other customers that I have not seen in a while, probably for the same reason. Just yesterday another very good customer arrived at our service counter and told us, “I am done with the dealer, I got all the freebies from the dealer, I now need the 30k service on my Sienna, I think I need tires and brakes too, so here are my keys, call me later”

 

The lesson I learned is that I need to pay more attention to my good customers. Many people will be back once they are done with their free services, but are there others that get caught up in the habit of going to the dealer?

 

Something we all need to think about.

 

BTW: I started a "We Miss Campaign" and sent post cards and emails to all the customers that we have not seen that were regular loyal customers

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Yea, I've seen the same thing at my shop Joe.

 

People will always go for a deal before loyality.

 

The other thing that is happening in my area is some of the tire shops are giving out free repairs for anything less than 100 bucks. It's a way to fill their bays up with cars. But, then I've heard that because of the work load of freebees... they had to send half the techs home because they couldn't afford to keep them on during this sales attempt.

What a joke... give away repairs for free, but send the techs home because you can't afford to have them around...even though your bays are full... go figure.

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