As we know, customer acquisition can be both expensive and time-consuming. And that's why collision repairers should always do whatever they can to retain every customer through their doors for the long-term.
However, statistics prove that a disgruntled customer will tell more people that they're unhappy with you as opposed to a satisfied customer praising your shop. That's why you should always make sure that every customer ends up being an ecstatic and enthusiastic fan of your shop and reemphasize it again and again by using one or more of these customer retention strategies. There are four ways in which you as a business owner can do this:
1. Pick a Customer of the Month
Find a hyper-satisfied customer whose expectations were exceeded and ask them for a testimonial. In return, make them Customer of the Month and maybe give them some swag in return. Take a photo of them with their repaired vehicle and maybe even videotape their testimonial if you have the time and the budget to do so.
2. TLC Goes a Long Way
Customer Satisfaction Index studies show that the little things make a big difference. Things such as hand written thank you notes, humorous cards or emails and high-quality beverages and tasty snacks in your reception area all winners.
3. Everyone Loves a Free Gift
Do people still want to collect hats, pens, mugs, calendars, etc., etc.? Well, the answer is a definitive YES! Ad specialty companies all over the country are making huge profits and I would guess that there are at least a few body shops on all of their clients' lists. The old time-tested technique of giving your customers items with your name all over them is still a winner, because everyone loves free stuff!
4. Throw a Customer Appreciation Event
For your most loyal customers, throwing a party shows your appreciation in a real and tangible way. Some shops hold a customer appreciation event every year and really go all-out with caterers, rides for the kids, live bands and even more. If the cost of doing a customer party frightens you, don’t be concerned, because you can make it is simple or elaborate as you desire.
I would bet that there are a lot of shops out there that do all of these four things well. But, if you are lacking in any of these categories, hopefully these suggestions will help you to show your customers how much you truly care. By showing your appreciation, they will likely be thinking about you when they get in their next accident.