Why customer service is important in the automotive industry

A company is nothing without customers. More people coming through the door means more profit – which in turn pays staff and keeps the doors open. The customer is king (or queen) and management will (often) do their best to ensure the best possible treatment in order for them to return again.

Before a customer will even consider having their vehicle repaired at a particular workshop, social media and website reviews are often the first point of call to gauge overall workmanship and satisfaction. A workshop can have the best technicians but if staff have no client-facing skills then the brand’s reputation will be negatively impacted, as a result.

Customer service goes beyond having a friendly face at the front desk. Other facets include constantly updating the customer with any additional work that needs to be carried out or when the vehicle is ready for collection. ‘How long do you think the repairs will take to complete?’ is one of the most common questions by customers to the workshop manager.

Social media has become a popular medium for potential customers to reach out so keeping a finger on the pulse with regards to responding to any queries as quickly as possible, sets a benchmark amongst most competitors.

Action and accountability

Also, it is inevitable that sometimes operations won’t run smoothly for whatever reason and this can possibly push back completion times. It then becomes the responsibility of the workshop to inform the customer and they will most likely not be impressed, but if the matter is resolved promptly and professionally, it will go a long way to quell any immediate frustrations. On the other hand, should the matter be handled without any accountability or consideration, the wronged customer will make the bad service known on platforms like Hellopeter, for example, and possibly never return.

While mechanical expertise is a non-negotiable in any automotive environment, upskilling staff might seem insignificant on paper but is equally as pivotal where customer service is concerned. The responsibility then falls on management to identify and action the relevant steps/processes in that regard.

A perfect example of customer service in the auto industry is a pre-owned dealership. A sales consultant’s main objective is to get you to buy a vehicle from the showroom so naturally, they will be on their best (and sweetest) behaviour in order to get the ball rolling for a potential deal.

Sometimes customers have already made up their mind when choosing a service provider but negative customer service can immediately turn them off and prompt them to take business elsewhere.

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