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If there is one thing that doctors and dentists do very well, it's that they book the next appointment for their clientele. I have heard every excuse possible why many auto repair shops don’t do this. But the fact remains that everyone in your shop today will need future service and repairs. And the question is, “Are they coming back to you.” Another reason for booking the next appointment is that there are times when not all the recommended services were done today. Some were postponed due to budget and prioritizing what’s most important. So, before that customer leaves, make sure the customer commits to a future date to have the work done. After all, why did you recommend it in the first place? Car delivery is the time to review all the work done today, continue to build the relationship and to inform your customers of upcoming work and services. But don’t leave it to chance that the customer will remember. Be proactive, discuss future dates and put those dates in your calendar. Lastly, call customers a few days before the appointment as a reminder. If the appointment has to be moved, then move it.
Back in the late 1990’s, I began to get concerned about car counts and customer retention. Around that time, cars were beginning to become more reliable and many of the services and tune up components we once counted on, were going away. I also started to notice that many customers were going to the quick lubes for their oil changes. To be honest, I couldn’t blame them. There was a time when I did not offer any “wait” service and I was never concerned about the oil change business. That all changed. I began an all-out blitz to get my customers coming back to me for their next oil change. I especially made it a point to inform customers of their next appointment when we did not due their last oil change. I just informed them of their next service date and made sure they received a service reminder. The plan took time, but it worked. It increased car counts and customer retention improved. We still use this strategy to this day. Make sure you speak to all customers at car delivery about their next service. Book it in your calendar. And if the car was not in for an oil change, check the oil sticker, enter the date in your CRM reminder system, and assume that the customer wants to return to you. We need to be proactive these days. We cannot wait for the phone to ring, we have to make it ring!
Six tips to increase sales this winter! Many shops in the northern part of the country go through a slow sales period during the winter months. And while there are no ways to get back those “snow days”, when business literarily shuts down, here are a few tips we can do to maximize sales this winter: Make sure with each vehicle visit, you identify any needed service due, services never done and services due next. Speak with the customer and plan out all recommended work during the next few month Flood your customers with service reminders about any work needed in the near future. Stagger the service reminders during the winter months. And don’t forget, speak to the customers at car delivery about the service reminders they will receive. This will increase your return rate. Send email winter tips to your customers starting now and throughout the winter months. Keep your shop “Top Of Mind”, in the customer’s brain. Not collecting email addresses? Start today! Consider making phone calls during the winter to those customers that were sent service reminders, but have not responded to the reminder. Consider pushing off any long term projects, such as classic car work. Most owners of classic and antique cars do not take them out in the winter. This could be used as fill in time during those slow periods this winter. Make sure you book the next appointment at car delivery. Every car that you service today will need another LOF service in the near future. The question is; will the customer come back to you? Give them a reason, book the next appointment. If you want to add any of your tips, please do so!