Creating Customer Loyalty in Automotive Service CentersBy Sam Komeha
Automotive service centers, like all businesses, can benefit greatly from customer loyalty. Between routine maintenance, like brake and oil changes, and major repairs, like timing belt replacements and engine rebuilds, just one loyal customer can provide an automotive service center with a lot of valuable business.
To be more exact, AAA estimates that a new car will cost about $1,186 per year for maintenance and repair. With numbers that high, it’s clear that having loyal customers is very important.
But how can service centers keep their customers coming back for every squeaky break and blown gasket? There are many ways to build a loyal customer base, but the following three tips cost almost nothing, are incredibly easy, and are incredibly effective.
Keep in Touch
Life gets busy sometimes and the last thing on many customer’s minds is their car maintenance. Forgetting about oil changes and other routine maintenance until the last minute can lead service center customers to go to other businesses, such as quick-lube shops and large chain service centers, out of desperation.
Rather than throwing in the towel and assuming a customer has been lost, service centers should make it a habit to contact current customers when their vehicle is close to needing maintenance.
To do this, service centers can keep a running list of current customers and their upcoming service dates. By looking through this list and contacting customers to remind them they are due for service, customers are more likely to book an appointment and continue their loyalty to the service center. By dedicating just a few minutes a day to calling customers, service centers can greatly increase their return customers.
Be Honest and Transparent
Customers who don’t understand the costs of their automotive repairs or maintenance are likely to feel as though they’ve been ripped off, even if their repairs or maintenance were done well. Service centers who are honest and transparent with their billing will be able to attract more customers and will retain these satisfied customers by making them feel like a part of the process.
Automotive service centers that provide an easy to understand, itemized bill and train employees to explain the bill to customers, are much more likely to have customers return.
Another great way to bring customers back to a service center is to offer incentives for their next visit. Having a customer use a service center two or more times increases their likelihood of returning for other maintenance or larger repairs in the future. This is because a stronger relationship between the customer and service center employees can be formed with more than one visit.
There are many different types of incentives that can be offered to returning customers. A percentage off a service, a free service with the purchase of another repair or service, or even a gift card to a local business, are all great incentives for getting customers to come back after their initial visit. By spending a small amount on incentives for customers, service centers can see huge returns from all the loyal customers they earn.
Earn Customer Loyalty and Increase Profits
For as long as people own cars it’s inevitable that they will need to be repaired and maintained. From small fixes to extensive repairs, having loyal customers that take care of their vehicles will be a guaranteed source of revenue for years to come. Luckily, just a few simple steps, such as those listed above, are often all it takes to create loyal service center customers.