Like any business, your workshop will have busy periods. But while these times can provide a revenue bonanza, they can also create a lot of risk.
Well, when we’re busy, sometimes our standards slip. And if our customers aren’t getting the level of service they expect from us, they might take their business elsewhere next time. (Customers don’t see being busy as an excuse for poor customer service!)
So, how do you ensure your team is still giving their very best, even when you’re getting slammed?
The answer, according to customer service expert and New York Times best-selling author Shep Hyken in his article 5 Ways to Prepare for Being Really Busy - is preparation.
Here are Shep’s five tips for handling those busy times well while still delivering an amazing experience to customers.
1. Look at your history and know when you’re busy
Look back over your records and track the patterns during your busy times. Knowing when you are busiest will help you make a game plan. Most workshops are really busy around Easter and Christmas – both times when customers are likely to:
- Have time off work, so it’s convenient for them to bring their vehicle in for a service.
- Be planning to travel, so will want to ensure their vehicle is in tiptop condition for a long journey.
- Potentially have an unfortunate accident especially during the stress of the Christmas rush.
If you know when you’re traditionally busy, then you can prepare for it.
2. Properly staff your workshop to meet the workload
Being understaffed means potentially irritating customers when they don’t get the service they’re used to. This can show itself in many ways. Perhaps paperwork is building up on the counter, the customer lounge isn’t looking as good as it should, or maybe you don’t have enough time to offer Mrs Jennings a drive home like you normally would.
Not having enough employees on hand to meet (and exceed) customers’ expectations could cause a customer to leave, hang up or, even worse, never come back because of one tainted experience.
3. Recognise the opportunity you have with new customers
When customers receive great service during busy times, they know that less frantic times will be just as good, if not better. This is especially important for new customers.
4. Warn customers about busy times
Let customers know that you’re busier than normal and that could cause some delays or other service issues.
“While I suggest you do all you can to avoid problems, sometimes they are inevitable,” Shep said. “Tell your customers how they can avoid problems during busy times.”
5. Have good self-service options
Customers are getting used to taking control of their issues by going to websites, interacting with webchat facilities, and more. If it’s something as simple as checking whether their vehicle is ready to collect, your customers will appreciate the availability of a good self-service option.
“Just make sure that if the customer opts to talk to someone instead, it’s fast and convenient to do so,” Shep said.
No matter how busy your workshop gets, giving every customer a great experience is vital if you want them to keep coming back. So, get yourself prepared for your next busy period now, to ensure everything runs smoothly when the time comes.