Lights, camera, action…

  13 August 2012

Remember the good old days when all you had to do to convince a customer you’d changed their front discs was hand them a plastic bag full of the old parts?

No worries about recycling or health and safety – just let the customer worry about how to dispose of the unwanted bits!

Of course, it wasn’t just a ruse to keep the refuse bins empty. Actually, it was quite an effective way of building trust and transparency: “We told you the discs needed changing and here are the old ones to prove it. The bill may still be painful but at least you know we did the work.”

Despite the best efforts of the industry, franchised workshops still suffer from the perception that they are expensive and the highly trained receptionist is just a barrier between the customer and the technician.

What many people like about their local independents is that they can talk directly to the person doing the work – in many cases, while they are doing it. If the customer understands more about what’s going on, they are more likely to trust you.

Enter Audi Cam: the hi-tech successor to the plastic bag of bits. Now customers get a video clip of the broken bits, an all-inclusive price for the work and a ‘buy-it-now’ button to authorise the work.

Okay, it’s not going to suit everybody – and it probably isn’t affordable or even desirable for many franchises – but you’ve got to admit it’s a pretty neat idea.

The pictures are likely to be far more persuasive than the traditional phone call from the service advisor and the customer feels in control of the decision-making process. Now all you’ve got to do is find a legal and honest way of getting rid of the old parts!

Rupert Saunders

How do you tell customers about extra work needed on their cars? Top idea through our comment page wins a free subscription to our best practice magazine, Auto Retail Manager

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