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Sunday, December 15, 2013

5 ways mechanics can earn repeat business

Improve mechanic customer service with established marketing methods
Customer feedback helps improve business techniques
By Connor Adkins

From Chattanooga to Calgary, mechanics are working to repair vehicles every day. Auto repair specialists come in all sizes, shapes, and dispositions. Auto repair customers can be even more diverse. The auto repair industry can be fairly cutthroat, and it can be easy to lose advantage over the competition.

Most business-savvy mechanics and shop owners understand the importance of repeat customers. While it can be easy to make a quick buck from an unsuspecting innocent, it’s not as lucrative as earning their repeat business. Here are five things that you can do as a mechanic or shop owner to ensure that your customers always come to you for their auto repair needs.

1.    Hire solid mechanics and produce high quality work

An auto repair shop is only as good as the mechanics it employs. Make sure that you and your employees do things the right way, without taking shortcuts. It can be okay to streamline repair procedures, but don’t skip important steps. Make sure that the people you work with are highly knowledgeable and take pride in the work that they do.

2.    Guarantee your work

This is likely the most important thing that you can do to help your customers feel safe and secure in contracting your services. Cars are complicated, and many people depend on them for their everyday lives. Guaranteeing the work you do on your customer's used car can go a long way to build rapport and gain trust.

3.    Specialize in certain services

From a business standpoint, it is important to understand what your competitors have to offer. It is also important to understand what your customers need. The odds are good that there are market niches in your area that are just waiting to be claimed. Find out what’s missing in your local auto repair world, and find a way to offer it.

4.    Ask for customer feedback and respond appropriately

Customer feedback is one of the most valuable pieces of information a business can receive. Although it’s true that feedback can be pointless, redundant, and downright mean, there are loads of things that you can glean from it. It can be helpful to have a questionnaire or a survey that you can hand to your customers. Even the act of offering a space to provide feedback can be valuable. It is a great way for your customers to feel empowered, and for you to learn and grow as a business.

Receiving and implementing feedback appropriately is a skill that takes a long time to master. You won’t be able to please everybody. It can be tough to discern between feedback that is worth looking into and feedback that isn’t.

5.    Work on your reputation

There are lots of things that you can do to improve your reputation. If you’ve begun to implement the first four suggestions in this article, then you’re off to a great start. Take stock in your work and in your business. Treat your employees and customers with respect. Take pride in what you do. Entrepreneur.com recommends adding a personal touch to each interaction with follow up calls and holiday cards.

If you can do these things, then your reputation will improve on its own. A good reputation is not only a great way to ensure that your current customers return; it’s also a way to get new business.

There are lots of tricks to ensure that your customers keep coming back for their car repair needs. Improving your business with these five tips won’t necessarily increase your repeat business right away, but over time you will enjoy greater customer loyalty and higher profits. Just focus on areas you can fix and improve on and commit to providing quality service. The more committed you are to improving your shop today, the more likely you are to reap the benefits later.

About the author: Connor Adkins enjoys helping people stay fit and healthy and loves tinkering on classic cars in his garage. When he’s not spending time with his wife and three children, he blogs for National Transmission.

Image license: Buddawiggi, CC BY 2.0