In service lanes across the country, I regularly see missed opportunities when a customer declines a recommended service or repair. A service advisor will politely accept a “no” from a customer and move on – but is that the best way to serve our customers?
Provide Expert Guidance
Your customers are looking for your automotive expertise, that’s why they drove into your shop. If a customer declines a recommendation, you OWE IT TO THE CUSTOMER to explain the importance of that recommendation. That doesn’t mean making a hard sale or pressuring your customer, it means giving them the information they need to make an informed decision. For example, explaining the importance of safety-related repairs or investment now vs. later on scheduled maintenance.
Let’s say you go to see your doctor about a cough and she recommends that you may also want to have a flu shot. You decline because you don’t have time, and you may think nothing more of it. But if that doctor explained the prevalence of the flu that season, or how you may be more susceptible because of other health conditions, you would likely think about her recommendation before you make your choice. You may still decline, but your doctor’s knowledge helped you make an informed decision.
Do you provide this same expert guidance to your customers?
Ask How You Can Earn Their Business
After you provide the facts your customer needs to make an informed decision and the customer still declines, ask them WHY. For example, an advisor should say to the customer “It’s important that we continue to keep your car in great working order. Can I ask you what is holding you back from taking care of this today?”
By asking this question you have the opportunity to earn this customer’s business by overcoming their objection. Most times you will hear that time or money is preventing a customer from moving forward with your recommendation.
When Money is the Objection
- If your shop offers financing or a 90-day same as cash credit card, recommend it – don’t assume your customer knows about these resources
- Ask the customer what they would be comfortable spending to see if you can prioritize parts of your recommendation to better fit their budget
When Time is the Objection
- Loaners are a great way to save your customer the inconvenience of being without their car unexpectedly
- A shuttle service can also help solve this problem as your customer won’t feel “stuck” at your shop while the work is done
- You may also be able to break up the recommendation into separate visits to better suit the customer’s schedule
Bottom line: communicate the importance of your recommendations and don’t be afraid to ask why a customer declines a service. Taking these steps with every customer will help you close more sales and build the relationships you need to keep customers coming back for life.
Image courtesy of ponsulak at FreeDigitalPhotos.net