3 Ways Car Repair Programs Win Your Customers’ Trust

Did you know 1 in 3 drivers delays fixing their cars over worries about talking with a mechanic? A 2021 survey shows drivers don’t want to expose how little they know about  cars and what it costs to fix them.

Now, that’s better than a 2016 AAA survey that showed 2 in 3 drivers felt that way. However, we have a long way to go. And your car repair programs within shop management software is one tool to bridge that gap.

When drivers put off repairs, they end up facing higher bills. This lead to more complaints and ultimately makes them reluctant to come back for repairs again.

So, how do we break that cycle?

Bridging the gap between you and your customers

Of course, some people didn’t grow up fixing their car in the driveway or studying auto shop at high school. However, they don’t want you to know how nervous or ill-informed they are. Despite this gap, using the right tools in your shop management system can win back their trust.

First of all, you want to tap into what’s really going on before you use your car repair programs. For example, their car is making a weird sound and they need you to fix it. They worry about getting to work or picking up their child from daycare on time. Also, they want to know if they can afford the repair that they don’t really master.

According to Angie Barnett, CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland:

  • 94% of shoppers are loyal to companies that run with transparency.

  • 73% of customers will pay more for products and services from companies who are ethical.

  • 66% of consumers will switch brands for ethical companies, including 91% of Millennial and Gen Z consumers.

  • Best of all, good customer service experiences will win back 89% of consumers.

“Every customer interaction builds (or diminishes) trust. Just one is all you need to inspire long-term customer relationships,” Angie concludes.

Next, let’s talk about how to bridge the gap between their concerns and how you can alleviate them.

Man talking on a cell phone in front of a car with its hood up

Three ways for car repair programs to help

Above all, the AAA survey highlighted three concerns from two out of three drivers paying:

  • too much

  • for work they don’t need

  • for poor service

On the upside, the same number of them say they found an auto repair shop with technicians they do trust. Once you meet them, you can gauge how much they want to know about how their vehicle works.

Is the estimate too high? Show how you built it.

According to this blog on trust from RepairPal, “Anxiety around visiting the technician generally stems from car owners’ awareness of the relative lack of knowledge.” In short, people feel ashamed to admit they don’t know how to fix a car.

When they come to you for a repair, that lack of technical skill puts them in a vulnerable position. They worry that they will overpay when a tech finds out they are in the dark.

In fact, some people will even pay too much, rather than admit they don’t have a clue. That’s why it’s vital to use car repair programs to clear things up.

On the up side, auto shop software shows them how you come up with the actual cost. Even better, you can attach the quotes for each part then add the number of hours the job will take.

Once you send it by text or email, they can show it to a friend to check that it’s fair. As a result, they get what it takes to get their car back on the road. This openness earns their trust.

Likewise, when a customer hears they need a new tie rod or flange bolt, they may panic. When shop management software shows images of the parts from a trusted source, it makes more sense to them.

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Do they need this work? Share pictures from underneath the car.

Anyone who has ordered a hamburger and gets offered “fries with that” knows the power of the upsell. Similarly, we point out to drivers that their cars are due to oil changes or other services when they come in. However, customers may see this as a sales tactic rather than a necessity.

However, if they see the worn brake pads or the rusted exhaust clamp, they are more likely to believe you. Shooting clear photos or video from within your shop management system and sending it to them really opens their eyes.

You could explain it to them over the phone, but it takes seconds for an image to tell the story. As a result, customers will accept that they need to make this repair for their own safety. That takes the onus off the upsell and makes it a personal priority, thanks to your automotive shop software.

At the same time, a smart shop management system feeds customers a list of upcoming service needs. This creates a menu of options that they can choose now or later. When this is part of the message generated by auto repair software, customers may surprise you. If they see a chance to disrupt their days with one service instead of two, they often jump on it. That changes the onus to them and not you as a result of your automotive shop software.

When we explain why we recommend a service, we often offer more affordable options. Why not also give them the chance to invest in fixing their cars before they get in worse shape? We’ve found that Shop-Ware shops who do this get a ‘yes’ response 89 percent of the time. That leads to 20 percent more on an average repair order.

Text and Chat Within Your Auto Repair Software. Customers LOVE It!

Screen capture of steps to repair a car's fan with Show Off How Great You Are written below

Help customers understand your value with good service.

We’ve heard the stories of another shop offering a cheaper quote, then the customer coming back to you. Sadly, shops that undercut pricing for a short-term win hurt us all in the long run.

However, customers who find a reliable mechanic to fix their cars will stay for the long haul. So, you cannot be shy about putting that type of data right in front of them. That way, they can see our expertise and how it pays off.

You can use an shop management system to track every interaction between staff and each customer. With DVX’s Messenger, every text, chat and email feeds into the repair order so you know what each person said. Likewise, your software can point out when a customer agreed to a repair if they deny it later.

As always, people are more likely to complain about a bad service than rave about a great one. So, when you get a good review, make sure you share it! Encourage clients to post reviews of our work, then share the five-star ratings so others can see them.

In short, drivers trust other drivers when it comes to trying out a new shop after another one has let them down. Word of mouth is great, but a shoutout to Yelp’s full audience reaches far too.

Once you combine all these tips, people will seek out your shop as a trusted place to repair their car. Don’t let all those five-star reviews go to your head!

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