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What My Auto Mechanic Can Teach You About Your Customer Relations

Jan 01, 2016

I love my car, a Nissan Murano who keeps on giving, although every once in a while, she needs a little TLC.

I have had great luck with Nissan’s, seldom have to do anything besides standard break, tires, and oil changes. And after my local tire store tried to dupe me saying I needed some new struts or something, I took to looking for new place “just in case.”

My new auto mechanic began with honesty and transparency, they looked over my car to see if in fact I needed the new parts the tire joint was saying- fortunately they called their bluff. On top of this, they did not charge me, so I told them when I get back from an upcoming trip, I would like to take my care to them for a oil change and tune-up, which was today.

Lesson #1- Move the Free Line.

In Pharmacy I NEVER push people into consults- I cultivate an environment where I often "move the free line" which in the end, builds trust, shows transparency, gets them accustomed to buying from me...and ultimately sets them on a course of self-awareness and responsibility.

My free line is I give people a mini consult in 5 minutes, I get them out the door with a direction to start feeling better, with the notification that, if we need to go further, or if they would like to spend more time, then I do offer pay for consults.

I began this model after getting burned out from consults, and really did not want to be anyone’s therapist anymore- and what it began to do was weed out the time wasters, and brought in the people willing to take steps for change, they prove this to me after taking my original suggestions, and if want more help- they come back. This has dramatically decreased my “drop off” rate.

And this is exactly what my mechanic did for me- Customer Service Namaste!

This brings us to lesson numero 2, This mechanic is an import only garage- every time I drive by its a line up of BMW’s, Range Rovers, Mercedes’ and other foreign models, but aside from that, a very basic garage.

Lesson #2 Bring Them Into Your Culture By Meeting Them In Their Culture

The next tip is about knowing your customer’s, and where you want to guide them in how they subconsciously experience your practice.

I decided to sit and hang out in the small waiting room. Being away from my computer for a few hours seemed odd, thus I knew I needed to do it. I probably would have taking a walk if it was not for the multiple feet of snow on the ground and 5 degree temps, thus, I brought a book (you know, one of those papery things...often with the memorable smell of mustiness) It was a time for a re-read of Dr Sarno’s Divided Mind, one of my favorites in the field of mindbody medicine.

I figured I could not count on the magazines, I am not a reader of car and driver, People or Redbook (nothing wrong with these- just the garden variety found in waiting rooms from auto to chiro to docs and pharmacies)

…This is where I was pleasantly surprised. The above examples cast a wide net, something for the standard his and hers, although these folks, they targeted much better. Above you will see an example of one pile (I threw my book in their for kicks)- Forbes and Forbes life in addition to Mens Health and Automobile.

The pile on the other side had the Robb Report and a lifestyle, fashion type of magazine (name escapes me.)

But do you see what they did? They understood the demographics of their clientele and what they would like to experience. Plus, my guess is most people coming out of there are spending a few hundred bucks, thus reading Forbes and The Robb Report, mentally should take the sting out.

What is your customers experience? Are you providing materials, magazines, and other items that drive them TOWARD your culture you are creating in your practice?