Delivering end user knowledge is the most critical learning tool of all.
Educating your customer is as important as making sure your technicians and employees are the best they can be. The automotive industry has almost become like our phones and electronics— constantly requiring updates as a result of technology. As if customers didn’t already struggle to know enough about the massive pieces of metal that they use for transportation—today they require regular software updates and calibrations.
It’s our job as technicians and shop owners to take pride in what we do on a daily basis. It is also our job to provide the right information to consumers whether it may be good or bad news. We are service providers, and people will come to you for the right advice or at least an honest opinion, much like how we ask doctors and dentists for theirs.
Consumers are one of the biggest assets in the automotive service industry. This is the reason that educating them with information they know nothing about will help retain and gain trust.
It becomes as simple as having your technicians write down everything they possibly can from brake and tire wear to minor sweats and leaks. When service providers note little things during routine inspections, this enables the consumer to question and, in turn, provide an education period where we get to educate on what part does what and why it is the right choice to replace it.
We must tread cautiously here because some customers may take the advice with a grain of salt while others may become offended. This is where visual aids can accomplish a better understanding of what part is defective and the role in which it plays during everyday operation of the vehicle.
As service providers there are plenty of visual aid tools out there from our parts reps and providers. Something as simple as a deskpad with a diagram will go a long way towards educating the customer.
We have all been to the doctor or dentist and heard fancy words as part of their diagnosis only to be dumbfounded and ask for the diagnosis in more layman’s terms. When we do, they continue to tell us our issues in a language we can understand. As service providers in the automotive industry, we have to act the same way. Most people drive vehicles but often have little knowledge of what does what and why. It’s easy for us to understand because we are around vehicles and parts every day, but having the patience and time in offering our best advice is what goes furthest.
You don’t need to have an education degree to have the ability to teach, but you do need knowledge. That being said, some people are not meant to teach because of their lack of patience. In the end we must remember as service providers that people choose us as advisors because we are patient and thorough in our explanation of what needs to be repaired on their vehicle.
And because vehicles have become so complex, much like technology itself, being able to deliver those explanations effectively requires constant learning and updating, both for ourselves and for our customers.