It was a poor customer intake experience that motivated me to start Driven Performance Advisors. I pulled up outside of a garage to have coil overs fitted on my Audi. I had a booking to drop my car off at 8:00am. Per Google, that was the start of their opening hours.
The shutter was shut and the front door was blocked by a car. I went inside to the reception where the lights were off. I heard some noises coming from the back of the workshop, so I called out to whoever was back there. One of the technicians, who didn’t speak much English, came up to help me.
I told him I was there to get coil overs fitted and had an 8:00am booking. I wanted to show someone the coil overs in the boot and indicate what height I wanted them set at. He wasn’t interested in following me outside.
I gave him my keys and left. No idea whether I would see my car again.
When I picked up the car that afternoon, the stance was perfect. I was really happy with the results.
Disappointing that my intake process really did not inspire confidence in consistently high-quality service.
In my work with garages, I have developed, observed, and implemented several best practices and tips to ensure customers are satisfied with the job intake process. Here are two of the most important considerations when developing your own job intake process.
As customers, we dislike handing over all our personal details to various customer service people. As garages, we can never get enough personal details to ensure points of contact are plentiful and there are abundant opportunities for upselling.
As customers and car enthusiasts, we want to provide all the job-related specifications that we care about to ensure our car will look and feel exactly the way we want. As garages, we know that not all customer requests are possible or sensible. The more freedom we have to do it “our way,” the better.
The sweet spot lies in the balance between invasive data collection and important detail capture. But what information should you consider? Here is a list of the basics:
Contact phone number
Contact email address
Car make and model
Services and parts requested
Detailed customer specifications
I invite you to pick and choose from this list. It’s far from exhaustive, but it makes for a good starting point.
Convert your request for information into a form. Make one form for new customers that includes all contact and vehicle information, and one form for returning customers that only has job details.
Depending on the “luxury” level of your customer experience, you can have a customer service representative fill out the form for the customer, or you can have the customer do it themselves.
Once properly developed, this process will take no more than 60 seconds. Your customers and your sales team will appreciate it.
Contracts with customers
When your customer drops off their car, are you certain that there is a mutual understanding of what happens next?
I have encountered hesitant answers to this question many times. There is a solution: a simple agreement that the customer can sign which lays out all important information about the forthcoming job.
Certain elements of the work to be performed and terms of your services should be confirmed by both you and your customers in advance. Putting these elements in writing and getting an agreement from the customer will provide you with many benefits.
If the work is being discussed remotely, create a digital contract and send it to the customer in advance. Keep a version for your records.
Below are some of the elements you can include in your customer job intake agreements. You can combine these elements with your job intake form for ease of use.
Initial quoted price
Estimated pick-up date or time
Terms on storage charges
Terms on authorization of additional work
Disclaimer for aftermarket modifications
This is the bare minimum you should have in your agreement with customers. Ensure that making your customers aware of these terms is included in your job intake process.
Driven Performance Advisors assesses, develops, and implements tailored job intake processes for our clients to ensure that your job intake experience is creating customer value. Your work delivering your specialty craft to customers is incredibly valuable – if you are tied up in paperwork, stress over dissatisfied customers, or inefficient processes, we can help get you back to doing what you and your customers love.
Want to learn more? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.