Management: Being Your Customers' Personal Shopper
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Management: Being Your Customers’ Personal Shopper

Parts shopping is a service you provide every day to every customer. It takes research and experience to be able to do it well, and when it’s not done well, the result is a comeback or a lost customer.

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By Jeff Stankard
Publisher

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If you have young children, then you know it seems like they are always growing out of their clothes. Recently my wife and 14-year-old daughter went shopping for shorts and T-shirts in preparation for the warm summer weather. While at the stores, they decided to look for a few things for my 11-year-old son. If he’s not growing out of his clothes, he’s destroying them through his general day-to-day activities.

Buying clothes for another person can be very difficult, but on this day the shopping trip turned out to be very successful — the right brands were purchased, his favorite colors were selected, the sizes were all perfect and they were even able to take advantage of some very good sale prices. My daughter was energized by this success and proclaims that she is the “ultimate personal shopper.”

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While witnessing the aforementioned events unfold, it brought to mind automotive parts and how this plays out every day in your shop. Our research shows that you are making the decision about the brand of part that is installed on the vehicle. You decide where to buy it. You decide if it should be an OEM dealer part or an aftermarket product. You decide if it is a national brand or a private brand. You decide if it’s new or remanufactured.

This parts shopping is a service you provide every day to every customer. It takes research and experience to be able to do it well, and when it’s not done well, the result is a comeback or a lost customer. Do you think your customers value this service you provide? Do you or your service writer make a point of telling customers about the brand and type of parts you put on their car? Do you tell them that there are a lot of choices today, but that you made the best choice for their vehicle?

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Instead of just fixing their vehicle and handing them the keys, take the time to tell them about the quality parts and thorough job that was done. Remember that many companies are spending millions to raise awareness with your customers, so they will identify with some of the brands you use. If you feel good about the service, they will feel better about it, too.

My son hates to go shopping. He hates having to drive around from store to store trying on all different kinds of clothes — truly hates it. On this one day though, it was all done for him and he really appreciated the service of his personal shopper. Something you do every day in providing extra value to your customers, probably without giving it a second thought.

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