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5 Ways to Deal with Unhappy Customers at Your Auto Repair Shop

If you own an auto repair shop, chances are you’ve come across unhappy customers before. They may be rude, rowdy, and quick to cause a scene. Such customers can negatively impact your shop’s environment and scare off others.
Here are some tips that can help you diffuse these situations easily.

1. Stay calm

First and foremost, it’s very important that you keep your cool. It can be difficult to do so when someone is causing a disturbance at your shop but losing your cool will just cause the situation to escalate. This is a bad scenario for any auto repair shop owner as it could needlessly damage your reputation.
Plus, did you know that staying calm can help you get your point across better?
In an argument where one party is screaming their lungs out, the party that is trying to diffuse the situation is often seen as more mature. Screaming at a customer is never a good idea—even when you’re in the right. Picture a shop owner screaming, monkey wrench in hand—it might sound comical on paper, but it’ll most definitely not leave a good impression on customers.

Make sure you speak to customers respectfully. Don’t talk down to them. Instead, try to be understanding and empathetic to their situation. Phrases like “Yes Sir/Ma’am, I understand” can go a long way in helping the other party calm down. You might want to add a note about what the customer didn’t like in your auto repair shop management software to prevent it from happening in the future.

2. Guide them away from other customers

When a customer seems prepared to cause a ruckus, escort them away from the shop’s entrance and direct them to your office. No other customer would want to see or hear that type of confrontation.
Escorting them away not only makes life easier for other customers, but it also lets the aggrieved party know that you care about their problem and are giving them importance. This feeling can be a huge step towards diffusing the situation.

3. Let them vent

Once away from the main entrance, if a customer is venting out their frustrations, let them. Don’t interrupt them. This can be a good way for you to understand the problem they’re facing and work out a solution.
Customers may rant about parts being expensive, paint jobs being done improperly, or even accuse you of dishonest practices. It’s best to let them speak their mind because once the customer has finished venting, there’s a strong chance that they’ll calm down.
At this point, you can ask them what they want. Then you can go about fixing the problem and have another satisfied customer. Converting an angry customer into a satisfied customer is perhaps one of the best ways to boost your customer retention rate.

4. Be transparent

Don’t ever lie to your customers. Be transparent and make sure they understand what you’re trying to say. Hiding things from your customers or lying to them can have very serious repercussions. Make sure you let them know everything they need to make an informed decision. A good way of increasing transparency with customers is conducting digital vehicle inspections (DVI)

If a customer brings in their own parts, it’s a good idea to inform them about the consequences from the start. A lack of transparency in an effort to increase the number of jobs you do per day is usually not a good idea. In short, it’s better to avoid using use customer supplied parts.

Remember to be very careful with the words you choose. Don’t use words that are ambiguous and try to make sure any queries the customer has are answered properly. Building trust with your customer is crucial for any auto repair shop.

5. Offer a complementary service

Adding on to the last point, if you’re at fault it’s best to apologize and even offer up a complementary service. Perhaps a free tire rotation or a complimentary 10-point inspection. Don’t roll this out as a way to calm down a customer who is angry but instead keep this offer for someone who had a legitimate complaint against you. This works as a good gesture and can go a long way in building a long-term relationship.

Closing thoughts

You’ll likely encounter a number of unhappy customers in your auto repair shop—whether it’s due to a fault on your end or not. Remember to keep these tips in mind and you might be able to win over disgruntled customers and get repeat business from them.

Auto Repair Shop Management Software

AutoLeap is a powerful all-in-one auto repair shop software that helps to keep complete track of your business – from scheduling appointments to managing technicians and generating invoices.

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