Changing the Game

Changing the Game
Technology is allowing far greater transparency in the service bay. (Photo: Mopar)

Today’s CRM solutions allow us to create transparency and trust like never before.

Customer retention management has become one of the most consistent tools used in the automotive industry today.

A simple flyer, an advertisement in the paper or cold-calling customers to notify them of sales or special deals is no longer an effective strategy for interacting with your customers.

Today, we live in a world that’s infatuated with personal, handheld devices— machines that have the power of a desktop computer within the palm of our hand. And it is these devices that are now central to creating communication channels between a business and its customers.

Mobile enabled

For automotive service providers, simple customer retention tools that are mobile enabled must be something our shop management systems incorporate. Many systems now have the ability to offer text-to-chat options when discussing vehicle service and repair.

Something as simple as sending pictures via text or email of a leaky hose or broken suspension component add a great deal of reassurance and trust for customers when choosing to engage with a business or service.

Even the ability to show a PDF file of the invoice through a simple email creates satisfaction and transparency—allowing customers to see the final bill before they walk in to actually pay for repairs.

The ability for customers to send a text or book an appointment online is becoming ever more important as Millennials and Generation Z become an ever-larger part of your client base.

Some may argue that having a website with a contact for appointment button that directly notifies the business through an email takes away personal interaction, but others will counter that it still brings traffic through the door—the point where interaction between customer and shop staff becomes undeniable.

Simple and streamlined

Because consumers seek out convenience and ease of interaction when engaging with a desired service, the only way to achieve it is to make the process as simple and as streamlined as possible, especially if you want these customers to retain your services in the future.

Beyond booking appointments, getting consumers to your business has largely become the domain of social media. Today, tools exist that allow us to create social media and business pages that can target specific audiences within a specific area or radius. Metrics allow us to see how many people view and act based on a specific online promotion at a fraction of the cost of traditional print or radio ads.

The hardest part of this, however, is ensuring you’re able to develop and maintain fresh content so your pages don’t become stale or unattractive to potential customers.

Today, customer retention management should be at the forefront of your business strategy since not only does it provide ease of advertising and promotion, it also offers a streamlined and efficient interaction process as well as helps to generate transparency between the service provider and customer like never before.

As an industry that has long suffered from a stigma regarding trust and pricing over vehicle service and repairs, today’s CRM solutions are allowing us to completely change the game—creating a new era where trust and transparency are an integral part of a service provider’s business strategy and operations. Why would we function without them?

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