When auto repair shop repairs fail customers react in three basic ways. In all cases there is a very high likelihood you will lose the customer. With proactive follow up communications dissatisfied customers can be uncovered, problems fixed, prevent future service failures, and if you recover well, you can prevent losing the customer.
Service Failure Reactions
When auto repair shop customers are unhappy, for whatever reason, three things can happen:
- The customer is silent. This is not good. When they do return they will have a negative attitude, almost impossible to please, and are prime candidates for being stolen by your competitors;
- The customer goes to the competition in silence. Even worse. It takes a while for you to realize they are gone and by then there is little chance to correct the service problem and win them back as a customer;
- The customer tells you why they are unhappy. It can be stressful but this situation is the best result for both you and the customer. You find out what upset the customer, you get a chance fix the issue and recover your reputation, the customer gets their problem resolved, and there is a good possibility you can retain the customer.
Service Failure Solutions
Long term repeat business is built on a trusting relationship between your company and the customer. Service failures can ruin relationships without you even knowing. Don't wait for unhappy customers to contact you. Maintain consistent, proactive contact with customers. Follow up every job with a phone call or email. Identify service quality problems, find the causes, and fix them as soon as possible. Let your customers know that you stand behind your work. Show your customers that you value their business.
A focus on building trusting, long term relationships provides all of your employees with measurable objectives such as:
- preventing customer misunderstandings by providing individual information, assistance, and guidance before and while services are performed;
- ensuring that silent customer unhappiness is as low as possible;
- determining the cause of complaints so they are not repeated;
- recognizing customer needs that are not being addressed.
Service failures will happen. How much damage they do depends on how you respond. Show that you stand behind your work and care about your customers. Be proactive. Value your customers.
P.S. Here are a some ways to build auto repair shop customer loyalty and keep repeat business happening.