The 2017 October issue of CarCare Business is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Associate Publisher of CarCare Business, Shirley Brown.
How’s Your PR?
I think it’s safe to say that everyone in the Automotive Aftermarket should practice good Public Relations!
If you’re a shop owner you likely have a tried and true method of greeting the customer, don’t you? A staff person meets the customer at the counter, welcomes them, looks over the work order and invites the customer to sit in the waiting room while the vehicle is checked over. And all this is done in a pleasant manner. The customer’s questions are answered and they are assured that the vehicle will receive excellent service. This is the method in which the customer should be treated.
The jobber store counterperson is the one greeting customers—most of the time by phone. And how is that phone answered? “Good morning, Elite Auto Parts, Joe speaking. How may I help you?” No one wants to hear “Elite… whatda ya need?” Or if the customer comes to the counter, they need to be greeted politely and asked how you can help him or her.
If you’re not polite, if you’re short with the customer, if you just stand there and look at them and say “Can I help ya?” do you think that customer will return?
Mend the situation
These situations can be rectified and fine-tuned to make sure the customer knows they’re important, you want their business, you want them to be happy. A client bringing their car in for service is not a happy person. They see dollars and cents in their mind, a troubling aspect. The customer needs to be assured the vehicle can be repaired and you can work out a payment schedule if it happens to be a costly repair. People skills should take over here to calm fears… explain the repair adequately and make sure the customer understands the problem and why it needs to be fixed.
At the jobber store, the counterperson needs to help the customer get the correct part for the right model, make and year of the vehicle. Their skill in this area should come across to the customer and make him or her feel they’re getting the right part for the job and it’s important to be able to help them.
Good PR isn’t hard to do… you can help your client relax, feel comfortable, take away their “worry”. It could take a little practice and if you haven’t been doing this, now is a great time to start!