For years, our motto at Solid Start has been, “Our best customer is an educated buyer!” Training, service, values, knowledge, learning, and skills all play a role in how we help educate or how we are educated ourselves. Think about it, when making a decision, wouldn’t you want to make an “educated” decision? Customers should trust and believe in you. They should not feel they are being told what to do or given one-word explanations. A customer deserves to understand the value.
Imagine this typical customer interaction:
Tech: “Um, ma’am… Your air filter is dirty. Would you like it replaced?”
What reason does the customer have to say yes? Because she was informed that the filter is dirty? Not likely. To get to yes, we need to ask ourselves a few questions. Does the customer understand what “dirty” means in context? I think it’s safe to assume that the customer knows what the word means in general, but not to assume they understand the full benefits of having a clean air filter in their vehicle. Most likely, in this instance, the customer declined the service because she did not understand the value offered; that is, she did not understand what the service is or why it is beneficial.
We have to remember to give the customer the why, what, when, where, and how when discussing service recommendations for their vehicle – they deserve to understand the issue. Then, let them reply. When we ensure our customers understand, we gain their trust. When we have their trust, we hear yes more often.
Make education a culture in your shop.
Make it your policy to train, educate, and build a foundation of value and service. If you do, your employees will live it, and your customers will see the difference. Their attitude will be positive, and their no will turn into yes. There will be a difference in the level of service offered if it is a policy to train on service, value, and education. Remember, employees have to be educated on policy and services before they can educate the customer.
Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Think about your favorite customers who trust you because they understand what you are doing. This customer comes in, and you are so comfortable with them, you feel like you can offer them anything because they believe in you. You are their hero. You keep their vehicles on the road. You take your time with them to explain the services and ensure they understand. When you consider the phrase, “Our best customer is an educated buyer,” would you not want your customers educated on what they are going to purchase? When your customers trust you and believe in you, they are making an educated decision to come to you to have their vehicles serviced.
Anything is possible when you believe in yourself.
Believe in yourself. Do not let the word no dictate the next customer and how the rest of your day goes. Continue on and remember to ask every time. Through the services you offer, whether it is an oil change, oil system cleaner, engine treatment, or a fuel system cleaner, you are protecting your customers’ investments and helping to keep their vehicles on the road longer. I am sure you are familiar with the saying, “Maintain it now, or repair it later.” With the average age of a vehicle on the road today being almost 12 years old, it means it’s cheaper for your customer to maintain their vehicle than it would be for them to have a car payment! Believe in yourself. Believe in what you are doing. Believe in the services you offer. Educate your customers, and they will believe in you, too.