Enticing new customers to your business

In this article: Customers are the lifeblood of any business, but how do you attract new ones – and keep them coming back?

A good customer experience is key for any business, and, to deliver it, you need to be customer-centric. That means focusing on what your customers value most and why each customer chooses your garage rather than someone else’s. This information should drive your business strategy and brand promise. Then follow these eight steps:

1. Be accessible

Make it easy for customers to connect by ensuring your website is mobile- and search-optimised.

2. Be contactable

Make it obvious how customers can get in touch. Offer a range of options and let them choose which they prefer.

3.  Keep it simple

Use friendly, jargon-free language. Remember: you’re talking to individuals with little knowledge of vehicles.

4.  Be responsive

These days, customers expect a quick response. You should respond to every query (especially if it’s been made publicly), regardless of channel, so don’t offer a channel if you don’t have the resources to monitor it and respond quickly. Do what you can to reach out and check queries have been satisfactorily answered.

5. Be empathetic

Empathy isn’t about fixing a problem or providing an answer. It’s about understanding why that problem is annoying and sympathising. Empathy is expressed in language and tone.

6. Be a team

Companies that work in silos may find it difficult to work cohesively and therefore respond to customers effectively. For example, service or repair enquiries may go to different people in the business and, unless you have good internal communications, messages and answers can get lost. Try out some form of internal communication platform and get employees to positively engage with it.

7.  Be unified

Sit your teams together. When you’re trying to run a cross-channel approach, it’s crucial that different teams and channels are working cohesively. At Brunswick Garage we used to encourage technicians to work in reception, take calls and order parts, so they could experience life at the front end.
08 Focus on the people

The most important factor is people – both your employees and your customers. A successful business depends on staff at every level being positively engaged in a culture of customer-centricity. It’s up to you, the owner, to ensure that this culture exists, whether through training or continual encouragement.

Andy Savva is an automotive aftermarket expert, and offers a range of training services.

Check out how the IMI’s professional standards for customer service could help your business.

This is an edited extract from IMI's new MotorPro magazine, received free as part of IMI membership. Time to find out more about becoming a member of the most influential community in UK automotive…?