A successful bodywork garage makes sure that its clients enjoy a quality experience. From the very moment in which its clients arrive at the facilities, the garage will want to make a positive first impression. This will be the base upon which to build a relationship, and, with some luck, make it progress and even be recommended amongst the client’s contacts. In order to offer excellent service for the client, the garage must understand, in the first place, the main concerns that clients have when they look for the right bodywork garage.
Undoubtedly, bodywork repair is changing. The success of these businesses requires not only the right experience, but also the capacity to provide excellent service to the client. Each step of the repair process gives them the opportunity to build a good reputation that will improve customer loyalty and even gain some new potential clients.
Regarding this matter, the garage has 10 ‘tools’ at its disposal to create a positive experience, so that the client will choose them as their to-go garage:
1. Open 24h. Nowadays, clients always want to get the best service, available all the time. This is why they must be able to reach out to the garage 24 hours a day. In order to make this possible, having a website is essential, where our client can learn about our work, our services, make an appointment or ask for a quote. Maybe even track his/her car’s repair process online.
2. Take care of facilities. First impressions always count and since 90% of the information that we get from our surroundings comes through our eyes, it is very important to have clean, tidy facilities and to be as ‘friendly’ as we can. From the reception to the waiting room (if there is one) to the repair area. Or, do you think that if things are visible, the client will not take a look?
3. Exquisite treatment is essential. From the “Hello, good morning (or good afternoon)” good manners are fundamental. Likewise, showing empathy (remember that he /she could be taking the vehicle to the garage because they had a crash) is a good way to create an atmosphere of trust. Before going into details regarding the accident, try to make things less stressful for the client. Offering a comfortable chair and water, coffee, tea or a soda helps make the client feel more relaxed.
4. Active reception. Taking a walk around the car with the client provides a personalized treatment, in addition to showing an image of professionalism. This inspection helps us detect all the damage related to the accident that will be taken into account by the expert or representative from the insurance company.
5. Offer cross-selling. This first inspection will allow us to see the general state of the vehicle. If we put it on the lift we can check the condition of the tires, shock absorbers, exhaust, if there is a leak, which will open up the possibilities of offering additional operations. However, it is important to do it with subtlety (the client must feel that we are concerned about his/her car, not his/her wallet) to prevent it from going against us and causing rejection.
6. Always find the best finishes. Productivity does not mean lack of quality. This is why we must always try to put extra care into every repair so that it is top quality. Regarding this, the bodywork garage must have the best materials and tools to accomplish the best jobs. What the client wants is his/her car to be out of the garage in a better condition than before it went in. Consider that a job well done is the best way to have satisfied clients.
7. Inform at all times about the state of the repair. Controlling each stage of the repair process will allow us to keep the client informed about the state of the repair and also let him/her know when the car will be ready. If we do not have online tracking tools (via app or web) as the ones available, a phone call or SMS can be enough. The goal is not making the client call us to know what is going on with the car. Proactivity on the garage’s part is very valued.
8. Offer additional services. Does our client need a courtesy or substitution vehicle and it is not provided by his/her insurance company? Does he/she want the car to be returned to their home or workplace? All of these additional services that make life easier will be greatly appreciated.
9. Last impressions also count. The pick-up moment is as important as the reception. Returning the car clean is a good way to show off the work done and the client will be thankful for that. Likewise, in this stage of the process we have to show the same impeccable manners as we did at the beginning. The goal is that the client leaves our facilities smiling. If this is the case, we will have taken a great step towards his/her return.
10. Find out about their satisfaction after the repair. A phone call (better than a short email survey) a few days after the vehicle is repaired will let us know the degree of satisfaction with the treatment and the received service (and will help us find out areas to improve), but it will also make the client feel more appreciated.
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