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5_ways_1.5.2015It happens to every shop at some point: You and your employees get so caught up in doing the actual work of your daily jobs that interactions with customers begin to slide. But there are a few proven ways to retain customers and even exceed their expectations, and it starts with sharpening your customer service skills. Here are five everyday best practices to ensure your customers keep bringing their business back.

1. Communicate effectively—and accurately. There are few things that drive customers away faster than finding out halfway through the repair process that the costs or timeline will be changing significantly. That’s why communicating the ins and outs of each job clearly and correctly is critical to maintaining their business. They expect a straightforward estimate of the work to be completed, and while they likely don’t necessarily want to know every detail that goes into the process, they want to have at least a broad understanding of the problem, what caused it and your proposed solution so they can feel comfortable handing over the keys. Going over their estimate – and taking time to patiently answer their questions up front – can prevent problems later. That said, there’s a delicate balance that must be struck between explaining something in layman’s terms and not talking down to them, and every employee in your shop must be able to achieve it.

2. Remember that appearance counts. Your customers don’t expect your shop to be as decked out as a high-rise office building, but first impressions do matter. Your shop needs to be clean, comfortable and safe, from your reception and waiting rooms to your restrooms and work areas.

3. Keep your promises. You may not be able to control the stipulations or exclusions in a manufacturer’s warranties, but do your best to honor what you can, explain what you can’t and guarantee your shop’s work.

4. Reward their loyalty. You know how much you appreciate feeling like a valued customer. Ensure your repeat customers feel the same way by offering perks, programs or coupons for maintenance discounts. This is also a great way to keep you at the top of their mind the next time repairs or maintenance are needed – and it increases the likelihood that they’ll refer other customers to your shop, too.

customer_testimonial5. Deliver speedy service. Creating realistic, achievable timelines and sticking to them is key to keeping your customers happy. Providing faster service shows your customers that you understand their needs. You recognize that they’re busy, and getting them out the door and back in their cars demonstrates that. Emphasize efficiency throughout the process – from fast scheduling to a quick payment system – and they’ll keep coming back. Products like our ShockwaveTM lifts can help. Shockwave’s patent-pending DC power system and other tech-friendly features allow for a rise and descent that’s twice as fast as normal.

Want to learn more about Shockwave-equipped lifts? Get in touch and we’ll answer your questions.