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Competitive Car Repair And Valeting

How To Build A Competitive Advantage In The Highly-Competitive Car Repair And Valeting Industry, Regardless Of Service And Price Range

Some car repair and valeting workshops already know how to build a competitive advantage regardless of services and prices. Their figures have already shown it.
But for those who don’t know, this post is intended to give light-bulb moments where they can work a little to make their business stand out and join the “un-common” club.
Those that excelled and joined the club did it by distinguishing themselves from others in the industry. By doing so, they elevated above the “commonality” level.
Every business owner can figure out how common or unique their services and prices are. But it could prove hard figuring out how to stand out in a market where everyone claims they are the best, do the best job, offer the best prices, work with the best parts and materials, work in the fastest possible manner, use the best tools, over-deliver on promises, etc.
The most significant difference a business could achieve is in its customers’ certainty that the workshop or detailing studio is the only viable source of the services they seek. In other words, the business owner needs to convince them that it is so and preserve the reputation after.
But conviction doesn’t come like a punch you can give someone. No.
Conviction takes time to appear and develop. It is an intentional process that starts as early as pre-discovery and lasts throughout discovery, communication & interaction, service and post-service stages, talking auto repair or detailing.
To get the outcomes you want, you will need to influence the environment and people, but first, you will need to influence yourself. What’s that mean?
It means you will need to change your habits and behaviour to match those of the person getting the outcomes you want. Who is that person? How has he achieved the “only viable source” reputation?… This is where we are reverse-engineering a persona – your best self.
So what tactics do the top performers in the industry use to distinguish themselves?
The first step is setting up an environment where potential and existing customers feel safe and comfortable spending time to become familiar, communicate and interact with the business (a safe space with easily accessible information and convenient communication and interaction options).
Examples of such are websites, public profiles, open communication channels (chats, phones, emails, query forms), booking systems, payment systems, etc.
The second step inevitably is showing an intention and readiness to take good care of potential and existing customers.
The third step is delivering what was promised.
The fourth step is rewarding customers in different ways for their trust and custom.
There is a bunch of information on the four steps, but I won’t go deeper at that stage. My focus remains on creating more awareness about the process.

Stages Of Customer Service In The Car repair And Valeting Business

Customer service stages, available for building a competitive advantage in the car repair and valeting industries - graph.
Pre-Discovery
If you look at the process itself as a vector with separate segments, the far left, where it starts, is the stage where prospects perform research and scan through service and provider options. That’s the pre-Discovery stage.
Question 1: What could you do to make your business more discoverable?
Discovery
The second segment is the Discovery stage, where the prospects find and screen several similar service providers and compare the available information. They compare information and match the pieces of a picture in their heads and then make decisions.
Their decision to entrust you will depend on the information’s volume and accuracy, which is crucial for new customer acquisition. The information you give them about the business will create a response of doubt or certainty.
Question 2: What information could you provide to help prospects choose you and not someone else? How could you extinguish their doubt and rise their level of certainty?
Communication and Interaction
Moving to the next segment on the right, the Communication and Interaction stage is where the prospects, satisfied with the information chunks, are ready to contact you with questions or to book.
At this stage, they are looking for ways to avail of the services, and they will favour the convenience, quality and speed of communication and interaction. Therefore, those are vital for businesses as they define if the prospects will become customers or bounce off.
Question 3: How could you increase the number of options or improve the quality and speed of communication and interaction to help prospects and customers keep in touch or book with you?
Service
Next on the right is the Service stage, where the provider delivers services to first-time and return visitors. At this stage, it is only on you to satisfy your customer and defend your trustworthiness. This stage will extinguish or amplify the doubts or certainty in the prospects.
While serving new customers, the initial uncertainty about your capabilities will have to be overcome. While dealing with returning customers, their uncertainty has been overcome partly or completely.
Question 4: Is there anything you could do better to clear out customers’ doubts about your capabilities and reaffirm your “only viable source” reputation?
Post-Service
The last stage is the Post-Service, where the transition from customer to loyal customer happens. Happy customers bond with your business. Your performance was excellent during the Service stage. Great! But excellent care doesn’t stop there.
You’ve made some customers – it’s time to transform them into loyal such. It’s time to honour them and give away some perks. They will never go away if no big issue arises. But please, understand that if you fall into an under-delivery mode, you risk repelling them.
Question 5: What could you do to make your customers feel so special that they would never think of leaving?
Sometimes, you might lose customers to competitors if they outperform you in some way. It’s normal, and you have to be prepared for that.
It does not necessarily indicate your customers were unhappy or are being mean to you or that your competitors are stealing them. The reason sometimes, despite under-delivery or outperformance, could be something small that made going to the competitor a little more sense to them, such as shorter travel, unforeseen event, change in financial situation, etc.
Don’t turn these customers your back yet.
But if losing customers becomes a trend, you will want to review your process.
*Disclaimer: This post represents the author’s personal view and understanding of the matter based on his experience in the motor trade. Applying the described process and steps into practice is the reader’s sole risk and responsibility, as there’s no guarantee for results.
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