You may be surprised to learn just how much financial power rests in the hands of the person who answers the phone at your auto repair shop. As a shop owner, you put a lot of time into getting that phone to ring. The first phone call from a potential customer is your best chance to make a good impression. How is your business first represented to your potential patrons?
Customers needing auto repair have a sense of urgency when they make the call to your auto shop. Transportation is both a necessity and an investment; when they call your business for service, they want to know that their vehicles will be in capable hands. How is that first communicated to your potential clients? If your answering system involves an answering machine or an uninformed receptionist, you may be losing calls and clients by the day.
You may be the best shop with the most skilled mechanics in your local area, but if that is not communicated to your clients on the initial phone call, your business will suffer. The average auto repair ticket is approximately $300. If your phone answering system causes you to lose one call per day, and you are open 5 days per week, your business loses $1500 per week! This adds up to $78,000 annually!
Having a pre-determined script for any type of call that may come into your shop is an ideal way to assure that your receptionist handles inquires in a manner that will convert the call to sales, says Gerry Frank and Keith McCrone, co-owners of Automotive Profit Pro. When this is executed properly, 75% of calls can be converted into appointments.
Customers typically call auto shops for three main reasons:
1.They have a question or problem. This customer usually calls asking if you can fix their air conditioner or if you work on specific types of cars, such as, Do you work on Hondas? They want to know that you can confidently take care of whatever problem or vehicle that they may have.
2.Calling to schedule an appointment. This may be a current customer or a new prospect and they may be calling for either routine service or an emergency. It is important to determine all of the variables of the caller and help them accordingly.
3.To get an estimate. This person is usually labeled as the price shopper. Dont underestimate this caller; more often than not this customer is looking to establish a relationship with you and your auto repair shop.
Each of these phone calls is an opportunity to set an appointment and clinch the sale. Building a relationship with your potential clients as their auto care professional is established through their ability to trust you with their auto maintenance needs.