Necessary Auto Maintenance in Fairfax Station, VA, and a Cautious Economy, Offer Important Customer Service Lessons
Due to the protracted recession, we keep our cars longer and try to pay off our loans. Most owners put off vehicle repairs as long as they can, and I am sure many do not make cosmetic repairs like dents. Car repairs are a sore point for us - maybe because they cost so much.
According to the 2013 CarMD Vehicle Health Index the average vehicle repair cost rose 10 percent to $367.84. Don’t know about you, but I expect to drive my car for a long time without many repairs, at least not the ones that lead to a breakdown. I do perform regular oil changes and use manufacturer-recommended replacement parts, which is reported to reduce overall maintenance costs and prevent major repair expenses.
In 2007 Virginia vehicle owners, 4,267 customers in all, spent $2,382,016 on vehicle maintenance. A random poll of one Facebook community was asked what they thought would help get more customers into car repair shops. Here are three themes and lessons for just about any business:
Credibility and Reliability Determine Auto Maintenance Performance in Fairfax Station, VA
Kathy G. thinks one of the most brilliant pieces of marketing was from a woman-owned repair shop targeting women. Women often feel taken advantage of by repair shops. In her opinion, car repair shops should find ways to reduce perceived risk, by demonstrating that putting off repairs is riskier, or by extending warranties on repairs or extending credit.
Making Your Customer Feel Special After Auto Maintenance in Fairfax Station, VA
Aileen S. did not mind the wait at the dealership she visited recently and loved the fact that they served fresh, hot chocolate chip scones. She also drove 35 miles, over an hour, to a dealership for honesty and quality of service — despite the closest one being 5 miles away.
Terry B. drives to another town because they show her the issue with the car and have a discussion, with her husband included on the phone. They work with her on price and she repays their good service by telling everyone about the their service.
Local restaurateur Kumar I., owner of a restaurant in South Riding, says a simple car wash/mini-detail thrown in would work. Inexpensive for the auto service center yet valuable for the customer. "For me, car cleaning is forever scheduled for 'tomorrow.' Certain vehicle repairs have to be done; if my ride is cleaner in the meantime, I might start scheduling for non-essential repairs too.”
Discounts and innovative financing options
S. Cooper found a shop that financed repairs, which she thought was unique. Say the transmission was $5,000 — you put down $2,500 and they finance the rest.
Adele M. owns an older car, and would love to be offered a discount over different dollar levels spent in a year — more than, say, $1,000 would result in 15 percent off her labor costs. Her other suggestions include reminders by text or email about key maintenance milestones, and a special for frequent customers (free winter wiper blades with your winter tune-up, for example). She also says the option to purchase quality used parts is appreciated.
For me, credibility and reliability are on top. With one of my cars, I visit the same dealership and talk to the same service manager, because I trust him. For my older car, I use my local vehicle repair shop, again because of trust and price.