Car Count Daily
Hi shop owners, and welcome to another edition of Car Count Daily. My name’s Ron Ipach, but you can call me Captain Car Count because that’s all I’ve done over the past 20 years is help thousands of shop owners just like you to get and then keep all the top quality customers that your shop can handle.
Today we’re going to cover probably the most commonly asked question that I’ve gotten. It’s a question that if I’ve gotten it once, I’ve gotten in 10,000 times:
How to get more referrals.
I mean it’s a good question. After all, a referred client is somebody that is much easier to sell to. They already trust you because somebody else that trusted and loved you gave you their name, and sent their friend over to your shop. So they’re a great customer to have in the shop. So you don’t have to go through, jump through all the hoops of trust building and rapport and things like that because a lot of times that’s all implied when they first walk in your door because of that referral.
The problem is, it’s very difficult to get a referral. The first way to kind of overcome that hump of getting referrals is to answer this question, are you referable? In other words, is your shop a place where I would want to send my own mother to? Is your shop, and the service they’re going to receive, and the outstanding customer service, and all the little extras going to be so outstanding that I’m going to be happy to tell everybody I know to come to you to do business okay. A lot of cases that just simply doesn’t happen. The place that it happens the most is probably the best way to kind of figure out a way to come up with a plan to get more people to refer you is simply look at what good old Mickey Mouse is doing.
You can be at Disney World or Disneyland, depending on where you are in the country, on the most miserable, hot, rainy, busy day, and at the end, after the kids are soaking wet, they’re tired, they’re cranky, you go back, you sit back in your hotel room and think wow that was an amazing day. That was a magical day. Now when you think about how in the world does that happen? Everything is stacked against them. There’s long lines, it’s very expensive, the kids are cranky, you’re tired, yet people walk away feeling good.
Well it’s because of all the little things that are done that are done properly. It’s a clean park. The people are happy. They’re doing things that make people feel good all of the time. There’s probably 10,000 different things if you really looked at you could see that they’re doing right.
Well now look at your auto repair shop. Do you have your own little mini Disney World happening there? Is it the happiest place on Earth? Is it a place where people are going to walk in and say wow, I’ve found a home, I found a place where I want to tell everybody I know about, and I want them to come and do business with you. It’s starts with the customer service. Is it outstanding? Is it the sales process make people not feel like they’re being pressured or sold things that they don’t understand? Is it the follow up? When they bring their car into you, is the car being returned to them in a much better state than it was when they drove it to you? In other words, is it maintained and fixed? That’s what most people pay attention to. I’m more talking about cosmetically. What does the car really look like when they get it back? Did you vacuum out the interior?
Did you clean the windows inside and out, and including the sides? You want to get all that dog slobber and fingerprints, and everything off the side windows. If the facility’s permit, did you wash the car? You know sometimes, if you can wash the car that’s fantastic, but sometimes something as simple as cleaning the windshield inside and out all the way around the car makes the car feel really, really clean. I mean try it sometime. You know what it’s like. Clean the inside of your windshield then clean the outside of your windshield. The car could still be dirty, but for some reason you feel better driving that car because it feels clean. Are you leaving little gifts on the seat when somebody goes out to the car? A little thank you gift, or a little note. Are you sending thank you notes to them? Are you
Are you doing something that is really outstanding that gives them something to talk about? Not just setting the bar real low, which is what most shop owners do. They don’t really pay a whole lot of attention to anything other than the repair. I’m going to tell you it’s a lot more than the repair or the maintenance that you’re doing. It’s how you make them feel. It’s all those extras that you do that promote you to the top of the list when somebody says you should go check these guys out because they’re phenomenal.
Look around at the great customer service that you’ve gotten before with other businesses. If you’ve ever been to Disney World or Disneyland, look at all the cool things that they do and see what you can apply to your business so that you become the preferred, and the referable shop that you’re really looking for your customers to be sending everybody to.