Customer care in the garage business

Andy takes a look at the importance of customer care. Never forget: If you don’t care for your customers, someone else will take them away

Published:  03 October, 2018

Customer care is vital to the survival of most companies. Without customers we do not exist. This is extremely important in the independent repair sector as we are the
service providers.
In the face of ever-growing competition, it is very important for us to portray the image of a professional efficient business that cares about its customers. If you deal with customers and you represent your garage, it is vital that you look after all of your customers, all of the time.

Positive relationships
Without positive relationships with our customers no business can survive in today’s competitive marketplace. Just consider the number of customers you have had up until now, imagine what things would be like if they all disappeared overnight!
Customer care has changed immensely over the years. Customers have become less tolerant and more demanding. It is a huge challenge for us to meet these demands. However, the answers are within us all.

We all know that customers who are happy with the service we provide are more likely to purchase again and recommend us to others. You may even know that customers that are very impressed with our service rather than just satisfied are willing to pay higher prices for our service. You will certainly have awareness of the fact that when you treat customers in the correct way and display a positive and pleasant attitude, you will usually receive the same back from them.

The best form of advertising
Businesses that have developed an excellent level of customer service will usually find themselves in a situation where customers become advocates for their business. In many cases this becomes their best form of advertising. The alternative is a situation where customers feel they must let people know of their negative experience and are quick to do it. The implications of this can be extremely damaging and many businesses struggle to overcome the negative label.

The basics of customer service are actually very simple. We know that being polite, smiling and making the customer feel good about themselves and their service/repair purchase is at the core of creating a good customer experience. However, tthese days that is no longer enough. Customers have become much more discerning, they have a much greater awareness of what is going on in the world, what they should expect from a garage and that it is very simple for them to take their business elsewhere when their high standards are not being met.

Customer care breakdown   
Customer care includes the following elements:

  • Appearance (if applicable)
  • Manner
  • Courtesy
  • Efficiency
  • Integrity

Now let’s look at these elements in greater detail:

  • Appearance (if applicable)
  • Looking smart shows respect for your customers and gives them confidence in you and the garage you work for
  • Manner

Being helpful and approachable is an important part of your role.You are an ambassador for everyone with your garage.

Being courteous shows, you respect the customer and are prepared to listen to what they say. Customers should feel important and that the business cares about them – treat customers as you would wish to
be treated.

Customers love efficient businesses as it means less hassle for them.
Do your job professionally and you will contribute to the image of your business.

Be aware of what you say, something which could damage our customers image can be hard to rectify. If you have an issue talk to your boss, manager a team member.

First impression
First impressions definitely count, and they go a long way. Always identify yourself to the customer with a warm and friendly welcome:

  •  Using their name – it goes a long way and shows your interest
  •  Deliberately use the words 'I', 'You', or 'We' statements this shows that you believe in your service and organisation
  •  Understanding their situation – put yourself in their shoes
  •  Smile (it does help, even on the phone)

Connect with customers, gaining rapport and understanding, this can be done by asking questions, listening to the response then repeating and answering their statements/concerns. If the customer is unsure of your processes/repair help them in a manner which promotes trust and confidence. Repeat the customers’ needs/request to ensure your understanding. Take ownership of any problems.

This is not an exhaustive list on customer care, but it shows that with some attention to the detail you can make your business stand out from the competition, and keep your customers happy too.

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