It’s Time to Refine Your Appointment Process

Sept. 9, 2021
Most customers will make an appointment when possible. How smooth and seamless is your shop’s process?

For many customers, the average repair shop experience is packed with anxiety. There are plenty of unknown factors that can impact a repair and drive up a customer’s overall expense, leading many to push off their regular maintenance

Customers typically don’t know how much money they will have to spend, how much time the repair will take (and ultimately how long they’ll be without their car), or what the shop will find wrong with their car. As a shop owner, it is important to your business that you are able to alleviate as much of this anxiety as you can. 

Some of that anxiety can be alleviated with the ability to secure an appointment time online or over the phone, providing them with the peace of mind that they know when they can expect their car to be serviced. 

Based on feedback from a recent Ratchet+Wrench survey, the customer tool is one most take full advantage of. Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they’d made an appointment in advance the last time they visited a repair shop. 

And while the concept of an appointment isn’t new, with consumers seeking more and more convenience out of the customer experience, a swift, streamlined and seamless appointment booking process could give your shop an edge. Despite the need to have an accessible online platform, less than half of repair shops have a nice website, and even less have a mobile friendly website, according to that same Ratchet+Wrench survey.

Sure, customers can always call to make an appointment over the phone, and it’s still vital to maintain great phone etiquette. But in today’s age, most of your customers will want to do this all online, and may not even consider you if you have a hard-to-use website. For most customers, if they can’t make an appointment easily, they aren’t coming into your shop, it’s as simple as that. 

“It’s not that those digital elements don’t matter. It’s that as a customer, something like a decent website is so ingrained in the shopping experience that it’s not even consciously registering as a deciding factor,” Bryce Evans, Ratchet+Wrench editor and vice president of content and events says.

Shops with a mobile friendly website are currently in the minority and are likely standing out to their customers, while those without could be losing customers who don’t want to take the time to navigate a confusing site.

It doesn’t matter how great your customer service or vehicle maintenance is if you can’t get the customer through the door. These days, just having a mediocre website isn’t quite enough. Making your shop’s site accessible on a mobile device, having an easy appointment setup and an attractive layout with plenty of visual components is crucial. 

“You really have to think about how can you make your website stand out to the consumer and quickly relay that the experience is going to be different at your shop,” Anna Zeck, Ratchet+Wrench editorial director says. 

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