Customer Contact Key to Capturing Preventative Maintenance RevenuePosted 12/13/2003
By Manish Rai
The automotive service industry has a huge problem on its hands. Despite the industry-wide effort to educate consumers on the benefits of preventative maintenance, automotive repair shops are still not taking advantage of an untapped $60 billion in potential service revenue.
The problem is better understood when we realize that consumers easily forget that regular maintenance on a vehicle is necessary, and actually getting it done is a lot easier than they may think.
A realization must be made: in addition to trying to further educate the car owner, shop owners must also make sure they're up to date on the most effective marketing tools for their business. It is by these means that shop owners will begin to reap the benefits of tapping into one of the largest automotive gold mines out there.
Today's busy customers want to know when service is due and exactly what the manufacturer recommends. In addition, scheduling an appointment for these services has to be as easy as possible.
As a shop owner, when was the last time you reviewed how you manage your customer relationships?
A vast amount of resources for customer relationship management (CRM) are available that cater specifically to the automotive repair industry. These services not only have the potential to build customer loyalty, but many also offer customers information in a timely manner. Internet-based services even allow consumers to schedule online appointments with one click at any time, transforming a shop into a 24/7 business.
It is clear that using CRM products offers a variety of solutions. Regardless of the services you choose, the bottom line is to find a process that will put you in touch with more customers for less money.
Since most shops - and a growing majority of consumers - have Internet access, it may be time to add online capabilities to the mix. In fact, today's online services have the ability to "talk" to your shop management system, which can reduce or eliminate data entry.
And finally, follow up with a "Thank You" note after service is completed. This will not only reinforce your customer loyalty, but also provides an opportunity to present customers with a satisfaction survey. It's estimated that up to 30 percent of customers who have the option will fill out an online survey.
CRM solutions for the automotive service industry are available today at affordable prices. Every shop should consider using such a solution to capitalize on this huge opportunity.
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