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Found 8 results

  1. 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!
  2. By Bob Cooper We all know that there are many things you can do when it comes to customer retention. Follow-up calls, sending out service reminder notices, ongoing advertising campaigns that keep your name at the top of the customer’s mind, and scheduling the next visit at the time of car delivery are just a few. Yet there are some timeless rules that are often forgotten. During these competitive times I feel I can best help you by reminding you of the 6 most important rules when it comes to customer retention. Rule #1. Create a principle-centered culture. All great companies realize that getting to the top, and staying at the top, is dependent on having a culture that is based on principles. As a business owner you need to ensure that you have a clearly defined Mission Statement, you need to share it with all of your employees, and you need to constantly keep it at the forefront of their minds. Remember, your “goals” are what you are going to accomplish, whereas your Mission Statement is what you will be doing along the way. For example, a Mission Statement could read, “It is the mission of Elite Auto Service to deliver extraordinary service to our customers and opportunity to our employees, while never compromising our ethics or our responsibility to society.” Rule #2. Offer and deliver a good value. I am not suggesting that you be the lowest priced, or the highest priced in your community. What I am suggesting is that you deliver a good value in return for the money you charge. Companies that charge more than they should just because they can typically discover that their profits will go up in the short term, but that they lose their customer base at the same time. Great companies are competitive, not greedy, and that is why they become, and remain, great companies. Rule #3. Hire the Superstars. The success of your company, and your ability to retain customers over the years, will be dependent on the people who work with you. As I am sure you will agree, just being good is no longer good enough, so you need to have employees who truly are superstars. I can only hope you bear in mind that whenever someone buys a product, they will always remember the product, but whenever they buy a service, they will always remember the people providing the service. Simply put, your customers’ impression of your business will only be as positive as their impression of the people who work with you. Rule #4. Provide consistency in the experience. Great companies such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and Nordstrom all understand the importance of consistency in service. With any of these companies, before you step into their stores you already have an expectation of what the experience will be. The top shops understand this rule, and that is why they have clearly defined procedures for everything they do, from handling the first-time caller, through car delivery. When customers feel there is no consistency in service, they will typically look for an alternative service provider. Rule #5. Deliver on your promises. Hopefully you can see how this rule ties into your Mission Statement. If you want your customers to continue to return, then make sure that all of your employees choose their words carefully when they are making a commitment to your customers, and then ensure they move the earth to deliver on those promises. Rule #6. Never put money ahead of people. All world-class business owners understand that money is the result of doing the right things for the right reasons. When you embrace this rule you will also discover why the world-class businesses will never take their customers for granted. They understand that it’s the trust their customers have in them and their people that is priceless, not their credit cards. In closing, there are a number of things you can do to improve your customer retention, but the one promise I can make you is this: These 6 rules are timeless ones, and if you apply them to your business, you will not only see more repeat customers, but unlike your competitors, you will be building a business that will last for generations to come. Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite, a company that strives to help shop owners reach their goals and live happier lives, while elevating the industry at the same time. The company offers one-on-one coaching from the industry’s top shop owners, service advisor training, peer groups, along with sales, marketing and shop management courses. To learn more about Elite, visit www.EliteWorldwide.com.
  3. Does your shop run on the Scott Systems MaxxTraxx Shop Management System? Their latest release, available now, includes two new myCARFAX Shop Tools. Participating shops can now signup customers for myCARFAX in one-click! myCARFAX is new no-cost customer retention tool that helps keep your customers coming back for their future preventative maintenance services. Consumers who use myCARFAX get their vehicles serviced 20% more frequently than non-users - getting you more service business! myCARFAX will remind the customer about their next oil change, tire rotation, and state inspections - always telling them to go back to YOUR shop. To take advantage, from the server station, select "Setups" dropdown menu, then choose "Carfax Setup". Check the box next to "myCARFAX Shop Loyalty Services", and press OK. Once you've accepted the Terms and Conditions, the myCARFAX Customer Signup button will appear in two windows: the vehicle page of any repair order, as well as the Pay screens. Click the myCARFAX Customer Signup button in either screen, and you'll be able to instantly enroll the customer and their vehicle. When complete, the button will turn green to let you know. Additionally, the CARFAX Service History report has been updated to allow you to print a hard copy, better inform customers of any open, un-fixed recalls, and make better service recommendations faster. Simply look at the "Last Reported Maintenance Items" section at the top to quickly find out when the last oil change, tire rotation, and 14 other preventative maintenance services were completed on the vehicle. It's formatted in a customer-friendly format that can help you build trust with your customers! The CARFAX Service History button is available on the Repair Order screen, as well as the vehicle record. Many other myCARFAX Partners are in the process of integrating these features - look for more announcements soon!
  4. Does your shop run on Janco's Stocktrac Shop Management System? Their latest release, available now, includes a new myCARFAX Shop Tool. Participating shops can now signup customers for myCARFAX in one-click! myCARFAX is the new no-cost customer retention tool that helps keep your customers coming back for their future preventative maintenance services. Consumers who use myCARFAX get their vehicles serviced 20% more frequently than non-users - getting you more service business! myCARFAX will remind the customer about their next oil change, tire rotation, and state inspections - always telling them to go back to YOUR shop. To take advantage, open the CARFAX Setup menu in the Configuration window. Check the "Use myCARFAX" box. After accepting the Terms and Conditions, the myCARFAX Customer Signup button will display in invoice screen. Simply click the myCARFAX Customer Signup button to the top right of the estimate window. When complete, the button will turn green to let you know. Many other myCARFAX Partners are in the process of integrating these features - look for more announcements soon!
  5. Does your shop run on the YES! Pace Software Shop Management System? Their latest release, available now, includes new myCARFAX Shop Tools. Participating shops can now signup customers for myCARFAX in one-click! myCARFAX is the new no-cost customer retention tool that helps keep your customers coming back for their future preventative maintenance services. Consumers who use myCARFAX get their vehicles serviced 20% more frequently than non-users - getting you more service business! myCARFAX will remind the customer about their next oil change, tire rotation, and state inspections - always telling them to go back to YOUR shop. To take advantage, simply click the myCARFAX Customer Signup button to the bottom right of the Totals and Payments screen. When complete, the button will turn green to let you know. Additionally, the CARFAX Service History is not integrated into the standard YES Service History screen - there is now an additional "CARFAX History" tab to the right that helps you make better recommendations faster. Many other myCARFAX Partners are in the process of integrating these features - look for more announcements soon!
  6. Does your shop run on the Bay-masteR Shop Management System? Their latest release, available now, includes two new myCARFAX Shop Tools. Participating shops can now signup customers for myCARFAX in one-click! myCARFAX is the new no-cost customer retention tool that helps keep your customers coming back for their future preventative maintenance services. Consumers who use myCARFAX get their vehicles serviced 20% more frequently than non-users - getting you more service business! myCARFAX will remind the customer about their next oil change, tire rotation, and state inspections - always telling them to go back to YOUR shop. To take advantage, simply click the myCARFAX Customer Signup button to the bottom left of the Status tab in the Estimate Summary screen. When complete, the button will turn green to let you know. Many other myCARFAX Partners are in the process of integrating these features - look for more announcements soon!
  7. Be Careful of Who’s Greeting Your Customers? Have you ever walked into a store, restaurant or other establishment and the person greeting you treated you as an inconvenience, rather than a valued customer? Sure you have. Well, who’s greeting your customers? More importantly; how are your customers being treated whether on the phone or in person? The people you have greeting your customers and on the phone represent you and your business. Sales can suffer with the wrong people taking care of your customers. This is especially true for first time customers. Every point of contact; from scheduling an appointment, to write up, to car delivery, are critical steps in the customer experience. These customer touch points can be either have a positive or negative emotional experience. Negative experiences will hurt customer retention; positive experiences will help grow your business. The best repairs, using the best tools and parts, done by the best tech means nothing when the customer is treated poorly. If you want to improve the customer experience, which will help increase sales, then take a long hard look at how the customer is being treated, in person and on the phone. Make sure that every point of contact with the customer triggers a positive emotional experience for the customer. So, your greeting your customers?
  8. Do any of you use Demand Force marketing tools? Our managemnt system is working on integration with DemandForce. I saw a demo, I like most of what they do. Its kind of expensive but it gives us some added contanct avenues with the customer that we desire yet don't have the tools to implement though our management system alone. Who is using it and what kind of results are you seeing? What managment system are you using and how well does it integrate with DemandForce, primarily from recommendation management and customer self scheduling? Thanks for the input!!!


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