A recent survey published on WhatCar.com revealed that the overall customer satisfaction score for independent garages is 92.2%, almost 6% above the rating for franchised dealers – mostly due to customers believing they get better value for money from independents, but also taking into account how they were treated by garage staff and the quality of work.
The survey also highlighted where vehicles are serviced according to their age. They found nearly 90% are being serviced in the first year at franchised dealerships, but as cars age, increasing numbers move away from the franchised dealer network for their servicing needs, with almost half having switched to independents by the time their vehicles reached seven years of age.
So what can you do to increase your customer satisfaction in your garage or workshop?
1. A Warm Welcome
A welcoming, professional-looking customer reception area with friendly staff to greet them is a must, as this gives your customers an impression of the standard of work and care at your business. It is also the ideal place to advertise other offers and services to your customers, so don’t neglect this area!
Make sure your seating area is comfortable, child-friendly and kept clean and tidy. Maintain furniture so it doesn’t become tatty, and regularly replace old reading material. Consider providing other comforts such as having a TV in your reception/waiting area, complimentary hot drinks, water and free wi-fi for your waiting customers to help them enjoy their visit.
2. Increase Trust
Carrying out a free Vehicle Health Check on every vehicle undoubtedly increases trust between you and your customer, either to give them peace of mind and confirm all the checks were passed or to highlight any issues that the customer may not be aware of. Whilst the vehicle is with you, checking items such as lights and tyres helps your customers stay safe and legal, and saves them time and money when the vehicle’s MOT due date comes around – helping avoid fails and retest costs.
The Dragon2000 APPraise app’s VHC tool is particularly useful as you can record the condition of each item on a mobile/tablet, adding notes and photos where necessary and you can also record a video showing any issues and explaining the work required. When the video, which is sent direct to the customer’s mobile phone, is viewed, you receive an email alert so you know it is the ideal time to call the customer to discuss if they want to go ahead. Seeing videos and photos creates much more trust with your customer than a verbal explanation over the phone and has an added benefit of helping you increase workshop revenue.
3. Online Communication
There has been a massive shift to online communication between consumer and businesses in recent years, so now is the time to make sure your website can accommodate online service bookings. Allowing your customers a more convenient way of booking in their vehicle, especially if they prefer to do this outside of working hours, can help you attract new business and retain existing custom.
DragonDMS dealer management system users that also have a website built by Dragon2000 benefit from website online bookings appearing instantly as pending bookings within the DragonDMS – so no need to re-type all the information. As well as keeping in touch by phone, texts are also a great way of communicating with your customers. You can confirm bookings and send reminders straight to customers’ mobiles the day before their appointment (which also helps reduce no-shows), as well as letting them know when their car is ready, which can easily be done via the DragonDMS.
Dragon2000 have been helping car dealers and garages drive their businesses forward since 1995. Talk to our team today on 01327 222 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help your business increase its profits and efficiency, or to learn more about our Vehicle Health Check app.