By Natalie - March 12, 2021
Categories: General

I network regularly with other business owners from a variety of fields. Everyone from technical, to coaching, to the trades. What I enjoy most is talking to them one-on-one. Getting to know who they are and what brought them to where they are.

One story really got me thinking. A now friend of mine, let’s call him Jim, has done a lot of contract work. Jim would go in to do a job for 6 – 12 months, then move on to the next job. Jim told me a story of when he had moved to a new city to be near his family.

Jim had been there about 6 weeks when his former contract company reached out to him to fill a short notice contract in that new city. The person who had been filling that role, let’s call her Sue, was escorted out of the facility the day before and asked not to return.

This put the company in a bind because they had to have someone fill that position. Jim accepted this opportunity and when getting to know his partner from another company, let’s call him Ed, he asked why Sue was asked to leave.

Ed replied that Sue had forgotten she was a contractor, a guest of the people at that job site. She had forgotten she was there to serve them. Jim remembered that lesson, that he was there to serve his managers and workers at the site. This served him well and he was successful.

I began to ponder this and reflect on how I serve my customers, my clients.

With many auto repair shops having ‘service’ in their names, do you reflect and consider how you and your team are serving your clients?

Have you thought about how you can let your customers know that you appreciate them? Ways that help them to remember how amazing you and your team are that they return over and over and over again.

The term I’ve heard and read that applies here is “lifetime customer value”. How much value do your repeat customers add to your bottom line?

How do you let them know you appreciate them when a new customer comes in and mentions he heard about you from Jim? Here are some ideas so show your appreciation.

  • A discount on their next service.
  • Create a punch card for oil changes. Buy 4 and get the 5th on free.
  • Offer a military and first responder discount.
  • A gift card to a local coffee shop.
  • Partner with other businesses and offer reciprocal discounts when their customers have service done at your shop.
  • A gift card for a local restaurant so they can take their family out for a meal.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

One last idea is a page from real estate agents and vehicle salespeople play book. Capture their:

  • Birthday
  • Their spouse’s birthday
  • Their wedding anniversary
  • The anniversary of their first service with your shop

Send them a card to let them know you remember, and you appreciate them. Get creative on what you may insert in that card (see list above). This will keep you top of mind when they need that next service.