Working with both our commercial customers and our retail customers has taught us a lot about people and what they expect from us. In business, trust can be the difference between making money and failing miserably. If our customers can’t trust us and the parts we provide then no one wins. It takes a lot to build trust when we make a sale, the tone of our voice, delivery time, condition of the part and problem resolution all play into what makes our customers trust what we do.
Whether your shop is 30 years old or 30 days old, you’ve probably got something on your wall to build trust with your customers. A diploma, ASE certificate, Better Business Bureau sign, Association acknowledgments, maybe even magazine articles. Whatever it is the purpose is to build trust between you and your customer. Often times when a consumer needs a repair done to their car it can be a stressful and intimidating experience. Our job as parts sellers, mechanics, sales people, or body guys is to lessen the stress and intimidation of having service done.
Look at those signs and certifications you have plastered all over the wall. What are they saying to your customers? Are they doing anything to give the customer piece of mind? Accreditation and acknowledgement of your shops achievements is always important but you may be missing the boat on a huge trust building opportunity. Offer your customer something they can relate to. Create a MONEY BACK policy and display it proudly in your show room.
You’re only as good as your word in business and offering a Money Back Guarantee policy can do wonders to back up the high service level you’re already providing. Use the word MONEY and the dollar sign $$, these are things people can relate to. A satisfaction guarantee is good but a MONEY $$ BACK $$ GUARANTEE is better. Create a policy that makes sense to your business, a policy that you won’t lose your shirt on if you have to deliver on it. Having a money back guarantee will comfort a potential customer and makes it easier for them to trust you with their hard earned cash.
Money Back is a scary phrase for a business owner but it’s a risk worth taking. Remember nothing is permanent and trying out a Money Back Guarantee is well worth the risk. If it doesn’t work for you then you can modify it or stop doing it all together. As technology and social media grows, people are becoming more and more comfortable sharing the experiences they’ve had at local businesses. Concentrating on the total package your offering your customers is more important than ever.
There aren’t many people left that haven’t logged on their computer and checked out sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. At some point we’ve all come across a social media site or over heard someone talking about it. Facebook in particular has infected our daily lives with links built into new PC’s and apps readily available on just about every mobile device. Facebook has created a great way for us to keep track of old friends and family without having to actually talk to them.
What does that mean to you and your auto parts business? Isn’t Facebook just for cyber stalking old girl friends and posting pictures of my kids? While doing those things can be amusing, there’s more to it now then just that. For business, Facebook offers you a great way to get in front of your customers. As a repair shop or body shop it’s really important for you to be on your customers mind when they have a problem with their car. If you’re selling cars then Facebook can be a great way to advertise what you have on the lot. Brand recognition is key in any form of marketing and Facebook gives you a great way to consistently put your branding in front of a current or potential customer.
Don’t panic though; taking advantage of what Facebook has to offer your business doesn’t take an IT guy. With basic computer and internet skills you can have a business page up and running in no time. All you need is a Facebook account; there are no additional costs for you as a business owner other than your time. Once logged into your Facebook account you can get started by searching for your business. Often Facebook already knows about your business and its address, if it does then go to your business page and click Claim Place at the bottom left of the page. Facebook will then walk you through the process of claiming the page and verifying ownership of the business.
If Facebook doesn’t know about your business yet, then the easiest way to create a page is to go to any other fan page and click on the Create Page link at the lower left of the page. Facebook will again walk you through the steps of starting a page. Once you have the page up and running Facebook does a pretty good job of giving you tutorials and tasks to complete and get you started.
So that’s it, you’ve got the page up and running now you can just forget about it right? Not quite. You’ll need to advertise your Facebook page in your show rooms, waiting area, parts counter, website etc. Anywhere you can think of mentioning your Facebook page, especially in waiting rooms where people are prone to pull out their cell phones to pass the time on social media sites. Once you build up a following you can use Facebook to get the word out on specials your running, new inventory, or just to connect with your customers. The more you get involved the more it’ll pay off.
For more info on getting started just simply go to Facebook and start doing it! If you get stuck, a quick internet search can get you moving again. Don’t give up, you can do this! Your business will thank you.