Taking your car to your local garage should be a matter of trust.
The local garage I now own will be coming up to its 25 year anniversary in 2014. Believe me I really don’t know where all the time has gone, but it sure has. Many of today’s garage owners are reaching the end of their time as regards the complete everyday running of the business and leave this to a manager or sometimes to one of their family members.
In my case the Halifax garage and tyre bays are managed by by sister in-law Debbie, and our online and battery business is now run by my wife Michelle, I am now concentrating on our web-sites to try generate new business online.
local garage(as they used to be), instead of a nice modern Auto-centre, that I had been more familiar with in my previous garages. To me this is the start of creating the trust that you must build between your local garage and the customers. Most people are of a clean and tidy order, and expect the same of us garages when repairing their cars. So a nice clean garage, where the customers can sit in a reception area and watch TV or have a coffee, whilst their car is having a job done to me, is the first stage of gaining the customers trust in your local garage.
When they first enter your nice clean reception, they should be greeted by a happy smiling member of your staff. In my view this should be all your staff. If you have any grumpy or miserable staff working for you, you should get rid of them as in my opinion they will become a liability, and the customers will pick this up and loose trust in them, even your mechanics and technicians should be of a happy and friendly nature.
The next thing is when your customer is greeted, they should be made to feel at ease when dealing with the problem of their car. Try to speak to them on there level and use visual aids to point things out, we use our Autodata system to show diagrams if possible, or show them the actual faulty part under their cars bonnet (hood). This also gives your customer confidence in your local garage and also trust in your garage and staff.
Another step that I took to create trust in your business is join some good trade associations, that can help your garage become more stable and secure in the fact that these trade bodies can increase your garages customer confidence, due to the fact that these trade bodies have to vet your garage premises and business practices in order for you to become a member in the first place.
Adding quality of service will once again add trust between your customer and your garage.
As with many other Auto-centre owners of long standing, I could go on and on about this subject. Also there is no need to throw a lot of money at it, in most cases a lick of paint would be all that’s required and a nice happy friendly smile from your staff.
One of the best things I ever did was to call around a number of garages and tyre depots in my area, incognito so to speak. I was blown away by the amount of bad service and even bad
language. This even applied to some of the big boy’s depots, where they spend millions on staff training, but the general picture and standards was appalling. I now know why we have done so well over the years and created so much trust between the garage and our customers.
Article Written by Eric Roberts…www.mot-halifax.co.uk
Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell tyres online from our website by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.Members of POINT-S