Follow-up communication is key to any successful customer experience, yet many businesses drop the ball or fumble it up right at the goal line.
In the Dealership environment, it is common for advisors to get into a “checkbox” mindset when it comes to a repair, especially when it gets busy. Their concentration naturally focuses more on the next job or vehicle that pulls in more than the current or previous one. Inevitably, when the Service Department’s focus is on completing jobs, customers are forgotten about after they’ve been sent off with their vehicle. This scenario is very common and understandable, but that doesn’t mean following up shouldn’t be a priority.
The reason for establishing a follow-up communication is two-fold. First, you want to make certain that you did a good job so that you won’t have to worry about a bad review. Second, customer feedback (good or bad) should be welcomed because it can provide insight into where and how to improve in lacking areas. Plus, the process of following up sends a clear message to your customer—“They really care about me!” Providing personal ongoing attention to your customer keeps the relationship fresh and reassuring.
Studies and polls over the years prove that following up with customers improve retention rates. Direct contact helps to strengthen the relationship and starts a solid foundation for ongoing interaction. Knowing the Dealership Service Client's attrition rate can also help to apply corrective actions and reduce lost revenue.
Here are some ways service departments successfully leverage having a follow-up process:
Post Repair Follow Up: Following up with your customers immediately after a visit is valuable because their experience with the repair lifecycle is still fresh on their minds. If the customer is happy with the service you provided, a prompt follow-up message, especially via text message, will surely reinforce their positive feeling about the transaction and the relationship. Even with unhappy customers, any problem can be dealt with immediately and possibly be rectified before the issue escalate or a survey is sent out.
UpdatePromise understands the importance of our partnered dealers to have a follow-up process, so we created an automated same-day follow up system. Our clients have access to real reviews by verified customers with positive feedback and build their customer brand loyalty with any negative feedback by addressing the situation prior to getting a potential ding in their CSI scores.
Last Service Visit Follow Up: Based on their warranty, maintenance schedule, or other factors, a subsequent visit from a client can be expected within a certain period of time. Typically, this time frame is between four to six months for dealers. If you are not keeping your customers in the loop about their vehicle the odds that they miss their maintenance due date increases. Thus, creating a gap in follow-up communication and retention.
Assessment and Correction: Some businesses only embrace their positive reviews and choose to ignore the negative ones, perhaps over the fear of tainting their reputation. This method does not foster growth or improvement for the Service Department. Following up with dissatisfied customers can actually help understand areas where a better solution may be required.
UpdatePromise’s best practice is to acknowledge negative feedback and set a process for change to ensure service customers will have a better consumer experience next time. We not only coach our partnered dealers to do so for success but we practice this principle ourselves too!
Relationship Building: Staying in touch with a customer before, during and after the repair helps to maintain the relationship. The old saying “Out of sight, out of mind” will always be true, so don’t forget about your customers even during busy times.
For this reason, UpdatePromise created AI-Driven Status Updates to help our partnered dealers keep their service customers in the loop when their advisors aren’t able to. Never drop another ball on CSI for communication again!
Keep it Personal: Reaching out to a customer directly by common preference, via text or email, means a lot more to them than the bulk correspondence they receive, such as next service reminders or birthday and holiday wishes. The best relationships are the personal ones and by connecting to your customers on a personal basis, you’re continually building a strong, growing and robust customer base. This will not only increase retention rates but the Service Department’s reputation.
Everyone likes to be thanked and appreciated; what better way to do it than following up post service? With that, automotive repair shops across the nation are getting better at customer communication during every stage of the experience by leveraging today’s ever-changing technology. Are you leveraging the proper Consumer Experience tool to drive your business forward?