ARE YOU BUILDING LONGTIME CUSTOMERS?
Sales sustain a business, but the job shouldn’t be considered done once a sale is finalized. At a car dealership, repair shop and parts store, building and nurturing customer relationships is crucial. That way you and your team aren’t constantly targeting a new customer base. Here are some ways to turn new customers into returning customers.
Lead with Honest Service
It’s no secret that a majority of customers are skeptical about labor costs. Be as transparent as possible with customers when explaining fees; an itemized list may help. If applicable, offer a more economical or efficient alternative to an expensive part or repair. Customers will appreciate the options and you’ll build their trust.
Listen to Customers
Sounds simple, but it’s easy to overlook. When a customer says they have a certain budget to stick to, don’t show them a new car that’s out of their price range. And remember, not all customers communicate the same way. Some people want a full explanation of repairs or a comprehensive walkthrough of a vehicle lease contract. Then there are those who just want a quick summary. Take the time to know where your customer falls.
Keep Up Appearances
Your business could have the best service in town, but if it looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in months, nobody is going to take the time to find out. Greet customers with a professional look, which includes logo floor mats at the lobby entrance and pattern mats leading to the reception desk or sales floor. Crisp, branded uniforms specific for each job function also present a cohesive image and let customers know you care about your brand and business, and ultimately their customer experience.
Small amenities go a long way. Longer hours and weekend availability make it easier for customers to do business during non-work hours. Providing a car rental or shuttle service is a huge perk for those who can’t take time off work for car repairs. Also, an online appointment scheduler is a handy feature.
Be Considerate of Customers’ Time
Everyone is juggling schedules and priorities. Let customers know you value their time. Realistic estimates of how long a repair will take are always appreciated. If a part needs to be ordered or if the job is stickier than anticipated, call with updates. If a customer is waiting onsite while their vehicle is being serviced, providing Wi-Fi and refreshments allows them to multitask.
There are many ways to keep customers coming back. Once you’ve built a solid relationship with a customer, reward their loyalty with incentives. Maybe it’s a percentage off scheduled maintenance or a free oil change after five purchased. For dealerships, offer deals that will encourage them to purchase their next vehicle with you. And remember, a satisfied customer will often spread the word to colleagues, neighbors and friends so keep investing in your client base.
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