“It’s Making a Funny Noise”

Our car is a vital part of our life for most of us.  It gets us to work, school, social events and represents freedom.  When I was growing up, it was common to see people working on their cars in their driveway even if it was only an oil change or other routine maintenance.   Even my sister and I were taught to check the fluids and change a tire as part of  earning the privilege to drive the family car.

However, today’s cars are far more complex.  Computers and sophisticated systems are far beyond the skills or comfort zone of the average consumer.  When something goes wrong with our car, from a “strange noise” to a breakdown, we feel helpless.

Our lack of knowledge leaves us vulnerable to unscrupulous repair people and fearful we will be taken advantage of.  Who can we trust?

My oldest stepson attends University of Utah and has had an occasion in the past to take his car into a local repair shop, Advanced Service AutomotiveHe was pleased with both the work and the price but was surprised when he received a Christmas card featuring the family owners of the business in his mail.  He was so impressed by this personal touch that he not only saved the card, he shared it with several people including me. 

When he had another problem with his vehicle just before Christmas, he of course returned to Advanced Service Automotive.  The repair this time was more complicated and therefore, more expensive.  They didn’t push him, in fact, they suggested he weigh investing in his older car versus putting those dollars towards a newer vehicle.

After a telephone chat with his dad, my husband John Murphy, he decided to have the work done and scheduled the repair.  The work was done quickly and within the amount quoted. 

The nice touch, waiting on his seat when he went to get in his car was a plate of homemade cookies!

All successful businesses have the trust of their customers.  In situations where consumers don’t have much knowledge or experience, the trust factor becomes even more important

In industries with less than stellar reputations – such as auto repair – building trust is more challenging. 

Advanced Service Automotive has done several things right.  They have been both professional and fair.  In addition, they have put the customer’s interest over their own.  Then they have personalized the customer experience through the family photo holiday card and the cookies.

How are you building trust with your customers?  How are you personalizing the customer experience?  In today’s competitive environment, no one can afford to be “just some place”.  How are you being memorable and earning valued word of mouth business?

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