In January, we highlighted The Shop magazine’s article “5 Tips for Restylers” — which provided loads of tips and advice on how to take your shop to new heights in 2017. This month they published part two, featuring five more awesome tips.
Of course, restyling shops and auto upholstery shops are not the same thing. However, we do benefit from many of the same business principles.
The new tips cover a wide range of subjects:
- Recruiting, training and keeping employees
- Providing excellent customer service
- Expensive vs. practical marketing
- Watching your bottom line
- The importance of networking
Each tip is followed by an in-depth explanation on how to apply it in your shop and the positive impact it can have. For example, here’s an excerpt from tip 2:
Work with the customer instead of against the customer. If you begin to only justify and try to explain why a problem took place, it may come across that you are blaming someone else instead of accepting blame — and never would you want to say anything that would place blame on the customer.
An example of this is telling someone, “If the car would have gotten here sooner” or “If you knew how to use the product properly.” Both are antagonistic and will only worsen the situation.
The first thing to do in order to work with the customer is to simply apologize. Even if your company didn’t do anything wrong, you can justify an apology for what they are having to go through. This will in most cases disarm the customer from thinking they are going to have to fight to get what they want.
Once you have disarmed them with your apology make sure you listen. Just allowing them to talk out their frustration without you interjecting will many times send a message that you care and that you want to help.
Next, ask them what you can do to help them with the situation. Sometimes we think a customer just wants a discount or refund; whereas most of the time they just want someone to care and solve their problem and make them feel good about the money they already spent.
Once these steps have been done, then turn the negative into a positive by telling them how you can resolve the issue and thank them for allowing you to resolve things with them.
Of course, shop owners already know such things. But with how busy we get, it’s easy to overlook some basic business practices. This article serves as a helpful refresher for shops of all sizes.
To read the full article, click here to see or download the February 2017 issue of The Shop magazine. While there, check out our interview with Jean-Noël Greffeuille of JNG Creations.