Mechanics: 7 Reasons Why You Should Treat Your Customer BetterPosted January 23, 2015 by Bobby Gaglini
The other day I gave 7 reasons why customers should treat mechanics better. Now it’s time to flip it up. Let's go through 7 reasons why mechanics should do the same for their customers.
Most mechanics are good people who treat their customers with courtesy and friendliness. But like all businesses, there are some that are extremely defensive, inconveniencing, or rude to their customers. If you think you might be one of them, here are 7 reasons why you should start treating your customers better.
1. Most mad customers have a stereotypical view of repair shops.
It’s tough working against a stereotype. Most mechanics are honest and hardworking individuals. The bad apples are few and far between, but that’s not what all customers think. For the customers that believe most mechanics are dishonest, it’s up to the mechanics themselves to try and change that perception. While it might be hard to not get mad at a customer that is constantly hovering or who argues irately about price, being patient and calm is the first step in showing them that you’re one of the good guys.
2. Negative reviews are a pain in the butt.
Bad reviews can absolutely kill you by scaring away potential business. Most of these reviews come from customers who have had poor experiences with either the service, or with actual people at the shop. This is where having a better demeanor can really pay off. While it might be tempting to lash out at a customer if they’re getting you riled up, it’s better to keep your cool and try to defuse the situation. Regardless of whether the customer was in the right or the wrong, a bad review is a bad review.
3. You can turn them into returning customers.
Changing the way you treat your customers can keep them coming back time and time again. Granted, some customers are so bad that they’re just not worth keeping. But for those that maybe require a little extra effort (i.e. they want continuous updates on their car or they always want to talk about, “why the price is so high”.) they're worth being nice to and keeping. Plus, it’ll make staying busy easier.
4. Many customers don’t know what’s going on.
Most of the time when a customer asks a lot of questions or gets mad over something, it’s that they don’t fully understand the issue at hand with their vehicle. Instead of barking back, let them know that you’d be happy to walk through what the issue is and why it’s costs the amount it does to fix. Sometimes all that a customer needs to calm down is a little TLC. If possible, showing them the exact issue is also a good tactic.
5. They’re spending a lot of money on your services.
A car is expensive, and sometimes, it’s the nicest possession the customer owns. When they’re putting a lot of money into it, they probably want to be sure that things are going the way they want it to. Even if they’re calling you every 30 minutes to check on their car, be sure to try and assuage them that their car is fine and is being cared for. When you show them that you back up your demeanor with your work, they’ll be back again, and will probably more relaxed next time.
6. You never know their backstory.
You never know why a customer might be hesitant about paying or keep their car a mess. I once heard a story about a mechanic who asked the owner of a car to either clean their car (which was always messy) or not come back. The owner of the car let the guy know that his wife and he had purchased the car right before she died, and he didn’t want to let that piece of her go. Now not all stories are this dramatic, but it just goes to show you that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover when dealing with customers.
7. Most of the time, this is not where they want to be.
Okay, so no one gets to do everything they want all of the time, but unless it’s routine maintenance or an inspection, people probably aren’t at the auto shop for a good reason. Maybe this puts some customers in a bad mood right away. That’s why having a friendly demeanor right from the second they enter until the time they leave can go miles in making your interactions better.
Am I off base on anything? Let me know in the comments!