The car was at the dealership, sitting in the parking lot waiting to have the front-end aligned. Nobody was in the car, so the car was minding its own business, drinking in the midday sun. Then an 18-wheeler came by and side-swiped it, making one long dentscrape (my new word) down the entire passenger side of the car.
Now I could regale you with everything that went wrong from that point forward at the dealership (since the dentscrape happened to MY car). Instead, I’ll tell you a quick and positive story about something interesting that the body shop does for customers. FYI – This GOOD body shop is NOT the dealer’s body shop.
There were several selling points about the good body shop, including great reviews online, multiple before/after picture examples, convenience, and great interactions with the staff when trying to understand the repair and insurance processes. The one selling point I’d like to focus on is this – they take pictures.
Every evening they take pictures of the car and post them to the web to a URL only given to that particular car owner. Therefore, every night I can check on my baby (er…car) and see the progress made. This may sound like a little thing, but look at what it does:
- First, it’s a touch point, so the company is in contact with the customer daily – keeping the relationship warm and the dialogue ongoing.
- Second, the touch point is initiated by the customer (clicking on the URL with curiosity about their car), so there’s little labor involved in the touch.
- Third, the openness of sharing photos builds trust in the process.
- Fourth, there’s a comfort that’s imparted to the customer since there’s little fear of the unknown (the progress is made known through the pictures).
- Fifth, the customer becomes confident because improvements are viewed, and the end point (the new-looking body of the car) becomes more clear over time.
Assuming you don’t work in a body shop, here are the lessons learned. Make it easy for the customer to know what’s going on with the project, service, issue, or product. Offer a “self-service” option to getting updates. Be open with progress and the process in order to build trust and comfort, and give them communications that paint a picture of success.
Show them the pictures that paint the story of success.