Automotive companies often look towards achieving customer loyalty and creating an edge over competitors by offering new features and designs in every new model they launch. The key however to customer retention and winning the client’s heart lies in providing exceptional after sales services. Let’s take a look at some strategic yet simple rules, which if followed will delight your customers.

Provide Customers with Advanced Booking

No customer wants to wait in long lines outside the service center. Unplanned visits to the service center can cause a delay in service delivery and hence turn a happy customer into a disappointed one.

Encourage your customers to book a maintenance appointment in advance so they can be served without delay and can be given maximum attention. This way the service center can serve the customers faster and more efficiently and secondly the chance of missing a maintenance appointment also becomes less likely. Customers usually keep moving dates for maintenance if not scheduled, which impacts vehicle performance in the future.

A J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2012 Thailand Customer Service Index Study, revealed that 30 percent of service customers planned their visit in advance, which was a 7 percent increase from 2011. Customers with appointments had an overall satisfaction of 866, which was 28 points more than customers without an appointment.

The study calculated new-vehicle owner satisfaction in relation to the after sales service, by reviewing factors such as service advisor, service facility, service initiation, vehicle pick-up and service quality. The service performance was measured on an index score based on a 1000 point scale.

Waiting Lounge and Extra Services

Customers are often seen outside in parking lots or next to their vehicles waiting for their turn to arrive. Show your customers you care for them by giving them a better customer experience and a more relaxed environment. Invest in creating a lounge for your customers, where they can wait for their car on comfortable couches, with a nice decor and preferably a television screen as well.

Special amenities should be available to customers, such as Wi-Fi, magazines, coffee and tea. This will not only help them in passing their time but they will also enjoy their experience at center as they wait for their vehicle. The service center can also provide free shuttle service to customers while their vehicles are undergoing maintenance.

Give Tips and Guidelines

All owners see their vehicle as a great possession. Spend extra time in giving your customers tips on how to maintain their car. Educate your customers on how to check oil, calculate mileage and what products to use so the vehicle keeps running smoothly.

Small booklets or guides can be designed by the service center, with tips and ideas for maximum performance. Vehicle manuals with diagrams and step wise directions should also be available at service centers which breakdown difficult processes.

Customer Relationship Management

The key driver in achieving customer satisfaction is to build strong relationships with customers which no other service center can deliver. Personal interaction is essential in creating a bond with the customer and making them feel valued. Remembering the name of the customer, talking to him or her about the vehicle, giving tips and suggestions are all steps in the right direction. Show the customers you care for them by going the extra mile and delivering on all grounds.

Free coupons and discounts are another great way of turning a happy customer into a delighted customer. For example once in a while, a free car wash or a discount on a future maintenance appointment will turn them into loyal customers.

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