Modern technologies provide retailers with several ways (conventional mailers, emails and text messages) to follow up with customers. Of course, a variety of companies sell software programs specifically geared for service sales personnel at tire dealerships, service shops and other auto repair facilities.
In addition to these offerings, some readers already may have customized their own emails and text messages for follow-up purposes.
On the other hand, you may welcome an example — some inspiration — of a simple, effective tech-to-motorist message. Believe it or not, an exterminator sent me a follow-up that could serve as a useful outline or general format for auto repair purposes.
Perhaps you could seek software that provides such a feature or else create a similar document.
The bottom line is that I found it to be a simple and effective — not to mention unexpected — follow-up.
For openers, the exterminator company's logo sits prominently at the top of the document. You could put your service shop's or tire dealership's name and logo at top, center as well.
Next, a greeting appears below the company logo and it addresses me by name. It says, "Dan, here is a summary of the service I performed."
I believe that including the customer's name may seem like a minor detail but it's also a powerful component of personal service. People like to hear or read their name.
Meantime, an auto service facility's message may say something similar such as, "Here are the maintenance steps I performed on your (year, make and model of vehicle)."
Suppose your tech did repairs instead of maintenance. In that case, the tech could write, "Here are the repairs I performed on your (year, make and model of vehicle)."
Next, the exterminator's follow- up message features a picture and name of the technician who serviced our property.
Then a brief paragraph emphasizes the tech's commitment to customer satisfaction; it also invites feedback on any ways he might improve the quality and convenience of the service.
OK, we already know this exterminator tech's name because he has been servicing our home for several years, but I still believe that consumers would agree that the combination of the tech's photograph and name really personalizes this follow-up message in a big way.
Placing a face with a name is a time-honored customer relations technique.
Contrast that with the number of sales transactions in which the seller or provider is faceless and nameless — highly impersonal situations.
Also, note that techs tend to be anonymous entities at many — if not most — auto service facilities. Therefore, I believe that personalizing a follow-up message with faces and names would make a positive impression on your customers.
For all you know, customers may recognize your tech as being a neighbor, fellow soccer parent, community volunteer, congregant at church, etc. Potentially, these are emotional connections money cannot buy out in your marketplace.
Next, the exterminator's follow-up message itemizes what the tech did during his visit to the property. The format is concise and easy to read because each item listed is a single paragraph containing a single sentence.
Remember that if the items aren't easy to read at a glance, the follow-up will tend to dissuade readers instead of drawing them into the message.
Meanwhile, an auto service tech could follow a similar pattern in his or her follow message: Briefly cite the maintenance and/or repairs performed.
Brevity is important because you don't want to overwhelm a customer or overly duplicate the information on the work order.
At the same time, the follow-up message could be an opportunity to cite pending problems or anything unusual that the tech found on the vehicle.
To be fair, some motorists may take these notices as shameless opportunities to hustle more work. Others will recognize them as being genuine concern for both the vehicle and the customer's pocketbook.
On the one hand, some motorists may recoil at your recommendations for other repairs or maintenance down the road. At the same time, however, they also hate unpleasant surprises such as a car breaking down unexpectedly.
Now, suppose the tech's name is Steve. Perhaps you could personalize his follow-up message even more with a headline such as, "Steve wanted you to know ..."
Finally, a digital follow-up from a tech could contain links to the work order and/or useful information about other services you provide — or have recommended.
The bottom line is that the time service personnel invest in brief, personal follow-ups could boost customer loyalty — and generate referrals — like you never imagined.