Blog: Is your business receiving the rewards of customer service?

Do you know what the #1 complaint is from people looking for a service from a trade business?

When I speak to potential customers, people in local networking groups (people who are searching for trade business services), they all have the same complaint.

I can see their body change when they tell me. “They don’t call me back!”

Many customers will contact an automotive shop numerous times to find out if their car is ready, get a status update or to find out if it’s been tested.

They need to plan their day(s) without their vehicle.

Their expectation is that they are important and that your team cares.

Now when you read that, if your first thought is: These customers don’t understand I’m busy working,

I have other vehicles in my shop or customers don’t understand the time a job takes. STOP!

This is not about you or your business. It’s about your customers and providing them with value that others are not. You see your business from your view, but customers see it from theirs.

Have you ever had a bad customer service experience yourself? Of course, you have, and you’ve probably told that story more times than you can count.

When you have a bad customer service experience it boils down to one thing. They didn’t care about you. You were just a number.

You don’t want your customers to feel that way.

When day-to-day activities get in your way and you start reacting to the pressure, customer service can go bad.

  • Not setting clear expectations (Vague statements, not setting realistic times for each step of the job process or when and how you will contact your customer.)
  • Tone when speaking (When you’re rushed or you just finished a stressful call, the next person you speak to senses it.)
  • Technical jargon – (Using it to impress a customer with your knowledge, years of experience or forgetting to make it simple to understand.)

The rewards of great customer service can impact an automotive shop making it a healthy business.

  • Profitable (Clearly selling the value you offer.)
  • Sustainable (A steady flow of returning customers.)
  • Enjoyable (A pleasure to go to because of the quality of the team and customers.)

Your customer service is making an impact on your business. It can show up in reviews, repeat business and referrals.

Is it the impact you want? Is your business receiving the rewards of customer service?


Your customer service team member sets the tone for communication through face-to-face, email, text and by phone. Are they representing your company in a professional manner? Has your shop customer service team member been properly trained? Do they have the resources needed?


Your company personality should be clear to the customer service team member. Allowing them to be creative to best serve customers. They are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to customer challenges and frequently asked questions. Ask your team member what thoughts they have on improving the customer experience.


An appointment to bring their vehicle in is a sale. Meaning a metric to measure. Even converting a failed to authorize job because you took the time to find out what their biggest challenge was, and you then solve it. Listening to potential customer concerns prepares your team member to best serve customers by understanding their needs. When people know you care about them, you start to earn their trust.

Take a look at the Brand, Fun and Sales areas in your auto shop for the customer service role and see how they are working for your business.

I’m sharing my Customer Care Checklist with you.

Learn the skills needed to reap the rewards of customer service.

Maryann Croce, a certified partner of Todd Herman’s 90 Day Year™, is a business coach and owner of Small Biz Vantage. Her company specializes in leadership development for trade business owners. She is an auto shop owner since 1999. You can reach Maryann at (203) 913-7741 or Maryann speaks on leadership and mindset.