Do You Have My Vehicle Information? (Lesson 2)
Today I wanted to share one of the many stories I have received from auto workshop owners highlighting why simple access to vehicle history and information can be such an important profit maker for your business.
Kyle was a regular customer at a well-known and well-established auto workshop. He had taken his car there for every service since he purchased it and they always did a great job. He was a loyal customer and had no intention of ever going anywhere else for his auto repairs and maintenance.
Kyle’s wife was planning to use his car for a long drive and he decided that he would get a full service, just so he could be sure that everything would be fine for her journey.
He couldn’t get a booking at his regular auto workshop so he had to choose another one he had used a long time ago. He wasn’t thrilled at having to choose another auto workshop since he was used to using the one closest to his home, but this shop he had used once before and he vaguely remembered that he had a good experience with them.
When he arrived at the shop, he immediately noticed how efficient they were. Everything was orderly and everyone seemed very calm and relaxed. This was quite a contrast to what he was used to, because his usual shop seemed fairly chaotic much of the time.
He noticed the phone was ringing consistently and the receptionist was handling all the enquiries with ease, which was in stark contrast to what he was used to. The receptionist at his regular shop seemed a little inconsistent, having to ask various staff members about repairs related to each vehicle. He had noticed that she would often place customers on hold and usually looked quite stressed.
At this new auto workshop, when he asked the receptionist a few questions related to the job on his vehicle, she effortlessly pressed a few buttons on her keyboard and was able to pull up the information she needed. She knew what make, model and colour his car was, and mentioned that last time he came in his disc brakes were serviced. As he had only been there once before, about two years ago, the fact that she had this information at her fingertips was very impressive. Kyle immediately knew he had come to a professional and trustworthy business.
A few days after the service, he received an email thanking him for bringing his vehicle in. The email included a printable voucher for a discount on his next service. A few days after that, Kyle received a card in his letterbox asking if he was happy with the service and reminding him of his discount voucher.
When the time came for his next service, he used the voucher. At this point, he and his wife decided to permanently change to this new auto workshop that they were so impressed with.
The combination of the accuracy and efficiency in which his vehicle information was retrieved, along with their professional after-service contact, won Kyle over as a new happy customer.
As you can see from this story, it is critical that you have easily accessible and detailed information about your clients’ vehicles.
Just some of the information you will need immediate access includes:
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Engine number
- Model details including model code & series
… and technical information about that particular vehicle.
All of this data allows you to work out what needs to be done on the vehicle and the exact type and number of parts that will be needed for its repair.
The key is making sure the required customer information is stored correctly and is easily retrievable. If the data is hard to access or stored in different places, the efficiency of your business decreases, causing a loss of time and money while you and your staff are hunting around trying to find those details. It also looks very bad in the eyes of your customers.
When it comes to vehicle history, there is an endless list of valuable answers that are useful to have at the press of a button.
Here are a few more examples of the valuable information you would want access to:
- “When did this vehicle last have its brakes checked?”
- “When did this vehicle have a coolant flush?”
- “When does the next scheduled service for this vehicle fall due?”
Here is a common scenario to consider: What happens when a customer with a warranty comes into your workshop claiming that a repair was done over nine months ago? How long would it take you to find out whether it really was nine months ago or maybe more than twelve?
Is that type of information currently stored in an overflowing filing cabinet? Or in a pile of logbooks? Or somewhere in an out-dated filing system? Or on a computer system that simply lacks the capability to find the information you need?
It could take quite some time to find what you need. Every minute that it takes to search records for that information is costing your business time and money. It is critical that you have instant access to every customer’s vehicle history information.
A simple system will start your journey towards maximum profits
What it all boils down to is this: Inefficiency is an expensive way to run a business. Time spent searching for files and figures is a major profit leak. Without an organised approach to information access it will be very difficult to run a business that can maximise profits.
By using a simple, effective system, you will stop this revenue leak and retain customers like Kyle, who abandon their long-time auto workshops because they were won over by another running a highly efficient businesses with streamlined information systems.
Would you say that your workshop has a system that makes it easy to find relevant information quickly, or do you think your existing systems could be better? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below…
To your success,
Australia’s #1 Automotive Business Growth Expert