The Calling Game
When each day is busier than the last, and new challenges arise hourly, small daily tasks tend to get pushed to the sidelines. But pushing back these small tasks can have a huge impact on your business. Something as small as a phone call could be the difference between a customer scheduling their next service, or them taking their business elsewhere.
Dave Kusa, owner of Autotrend Diagnostics in Cambell, Calif., has been guilty of putting off customer calls at his shop.
“It's easy to say, ‘I'm really busy today, I'll do those calls tomorrow,’” Kusa explains. “But then a month goes by, and you never made the call.”
After recognizing this communication bottleneck, Kusa has since implemented the use of Kukui’s Follow-Up module to remind his team of when and who to make calls to.
Being more diligent and organized about customer calls has helped to grow customer retention and sales at Autotrend Diagnostics.
More Than an Email
On average, we get over 100 emails each and every day. How many of those emails are you actually reading? Probably not 100. Emails are easy to miss and oftentimes get quickly moved into a spam or junk folder. While emails are still important to send to customers, Kusa stresses the importance of a call.
“Many times when people will give you an email address, it’s not necessarily their active email account,” he explains. “They may just check that account once a week, once a month, or maybe not at all—and don't even know you sent a ‘thank you’ or a follow-up message.”
Phone calls are far more personal than an email, and if answered, can easily open up a channel of communication with customers. A follow-up call may lead to a customer sharing a portion of their experience that was less than satisfactory. This issue can then be resolved or explained, possibly recovering the relationship and increasing customer retention. Even if the individual doesn't pick up their phone and a voicemail is left, people are far more likely to listen to a voice message than read an email.
Stay on Track
In order to guarantee that phone calls to customers are not missed and made on time, Kusa relies on the Kukui Follow-Up module. To help ensure that relationships with customers continue, this tab on the Kukui dashboard informs Kusa of who to call and when, as well as allows his team to view customer and vehicle information, take notes, and reschedule calls. A visual performance metrics dashboard is also available as a way to help analyze what communication techniques are working to grow his ROI, and what is not.
Kusa has been using the Kukui Follow-Up module for years to strengthen the customer retention at his shop. He uses the tab on his dashboard for multiple forms of communication with customers throughout their service experience and beyond.
The “Thank You” Call
Within three days of a customer picking up their car, the Kukui Follow-Up tab will alert Kusa’s team to thank the customer and ask if the service on their vehicle and experience at the shop met their expectations.
“Thank you calls are a valuable way to show your customer that you care,” he says.
These calls can also act as a way for people to let you know if there was a problem with their experience, and present a way to correct that if possible.
“The service recovery aspect of correcting an error will cement that relationship more than anything,” Kusa says.
Recommended Service Call
Kusa also uses the “recommended services” tab through the Follow-Up module to call customers about recommendations from past vehicle inspections.
“When we recommend a service to a customer, our system will then transfer that over into Kukui’s tab for recommended services,” he says. “Depending on how we formulate it, either 30, 60, or 90 days, we'll then get a reminder to call that person about the service.”
That way, those potential upcoming visits for services don't fall through the cracks.
Factory recommended service calls are also scheduled and computed through the Kukui database using the customer’s vehicle information.
The Call to Check-in
The last type of call, and least fun to make, that Kusa’s team uses Kukui for, are the ones to customers that haven’t been in for a bit.
The customer may have simply forgotten to make an appointment, decided to go somewhere else, or had an issue with the shop. These calls can act as a way to get some of those customers to come back in for a service or to discover why they chose to not come back.
“Those calls are the hardest ones to make, but they are necessary,” Kusa says.
The Kukui Follow-Up Effect
Once the calls are made, Kusa’s team can make notes through the dashboard on whether or not an appointment was made, and anything else discussed. Once the data from each call is entered, Kukui correlates everything and presents feedback on the ROI. This way, the team at Autotrend Diagnostics knows exactly how the calls impact the business.
“With Kukui, everything is right in front of you,” he says. “Nothing is out of sight or out of mind anymore.”