Automotive Repair Shops: Trust is Gold
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Automotive Repair Shops: Trust is Gold

Trust is gold in the automotive repair business, and once you lose it, you probably can never get it back.

Jason Stahl has 27 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 15 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

The other day, as I was driving my 2009 Honda Civic with nearly 200,000 miles, I heard a metallic clunk and thought I ran over something in the road. Then, I noticed my car all of a sudden sounded like the Deathmobile from the movie Animal House. I thought, that can’t be my car, can it? So I feathered the gas pedal up and down and sure enough, it was my car sounding like a bomb. Right away, I knew – the muffler.

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The next morning, I called a shop that I trust because they’ve done some good work for me in the past. I feared they wouldn’t be able to get me in, but they said no problem, bring it in.

I dropped the car off and explained what happened and got a ride home with a friend. Only a half hour after I got home, the shop called me and explained that I needed a whole new exhaust system. They gave me two options: the “right way,” and another option that would cost half as much as the right way but would still fix the problem. Remembering past mistakes I’ve made, I said do it the right way. After first calling them at 8 a.m., they called me back at 3 p.m. the same day saying the car was ready.

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My point with this story? Trust is huge. They were the first shop I thought of because a) they’ve done good work for me in the past, and b) they always send me texts about recommended service – which keeps them top-of-mind with me. Also, they shoot straight with me and I never feel like I’m being hoodwinked.

Have you established trust with your customers? Do you know what it takes to establish trust with a customer? Do you stay top-of-mind with them by emailing and texting them even when they don’t need you? Would they recommend you to their friends and relatives? Trust is gold in the automotive repair business. And once you lose it, you probably can never get it back.

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