CC: Here’s a hypothetical shopping experience. You go into a highly recommended shoe store and talk with a sales person your particular style of footwear. He takes your measurements, asks you questions and answers yours, walks to the back room and then …
After waiting around in hopes he hadn’t vanished, your worry turns to frustration and you finally get fed up and walk out. Totally implausible, right? It doesn’t usually happen that way in a brick-and-mortar store, but the online shopping experience can be downright unsettling if you don’t know where you’re shopping. Or at least it used to be. Amazon has impacted how shopping of all kinds is done today and guess what – that includes your shop.
Amazon, one of the biggest companies in the world, has completely changed how business is conducted and customer service is handled. Amazon has made business quick, convenient and personal for their customers through technology. They have also invited the customer into the process. Amazon informs the customer at each stage where the package is up until the moment the package sits on the doorstep; and even then, amazon sends you a picture of it there.
What does Amazon have to do with your automotive shop? Number one, they’ve raised customer expectations. Now, customers expect instant feedback on the shopping experience and want to be able to track their shipment from payment to delivery. How can your shop benefit from these expectations?
By implementing text messaging into your check-in procedure, you invite your customer into the process by offering updates on their car and seeking approval of services, especially since you already have permission to text them. You can send them a link to track the progress of their car throughout the day and send them a digital inspection to offer an even more in-depth look at the process.
Okay, so the shoe store story was made up, but here’s another real-world example you might relate to. My son has a car with a notorious transmission reputation. The OE manufacturer knows about the problem and, without acknowledging it’s a safety issue, has extended the warranty on just the particular component causing most of the problems.
When his transmission starting acting up recently, he scheduled an appointment to have the warranty repair done by the dealer. He took it in and was then given a litany of reasons why it would take a while to get his car back, ranging from the ongoing technician shortage to recent supply chain issues to the dealership’s vacation schedules. But because he needed to get it fixed, they said they’d let him know what was happening.
Since he dropped his car off, every communication has been initiated by me, my wife or my son. A recent email indicated that the repair was complete but was actually the result of the job ticket simply being closed out. The excuse this time? “That’s how our system works.”
I recognize the challenges facing shops of all kinds and sizes today – but the average customer probably won’t be so understanding. All it takes is a little communication to keep your customer from becoming frustrated and walking out – possibly for good. I’m Josh Troche. Thanks for spending a couple of minutes with me today.
This video is sponsored by BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY.