3 Tips to Evaluate Your Business Promises
Think about the language used in your advertising and marketing campaigns. What are the words used to describe your business? Honest? Customer friendly? High quality?
Now, think about your actual business. Think about your employees, your work, your online reviews.
Are the claims made by your marketing actually accurate? If a customer left your shop, would they agree that you provide “five-star service”?
If not, says Tom Egelhoff, a marketing consultant who has written three books on small town marketing, your marketing is not only ineffective, it’s also deceitful.
In today’s competitive landscape, it’s crucial to both uphold the promises made by your marketing and also portray your business accurately in those efforts. That’s why it’s particularly important to
Business evaluations can take place anywhere and anytime. In the body shop, if a shop operator neglects an evaluation, and doesn’t check work at each step of the repair process, a shop can lose time waiting for extra parts to be ordered, or lose money if the shop is promising a quality repair for the customer and not delivering on that end goal.
Below, Egelhoff outlines his top tips to make sure you evaluate your business before it even gets to the point of mistakes being made or a customer isn’t pleased with the experience he or she received.
As told to Melissa Steinken
Tip No. 1: Evaluate your customer service correctly.
It all comes down to how you evaluate your customer service. People always miss this step. Everyone says they have the best customer service around, but if I were to take a poll of who had the best customer service at one of my seminars, no one would raise their hand.
One way to evaluate your customer service is by keeping a list of questions next to your work space. For instance, ask yourself if you guarantee your work, or do you return parts if they’re not the right quality? Check in with the practices going on in the shop.
When a customer goes into a restaurant that is a chain like McDonald’s, he or she will know what they will get in terms of food quality and customer service. The customer feels this way despite if the McDonald’s is located in Columbus, Ga., for example, or in Columbus, Ohio. The main reason that the customer knows what he or she will receive is because the advertising for McDonald’s is consistent and tells the customer what to expect.
Tip No. 2: Evaluate your end profit.
When you take a step back to think critically about how you portray the business, remember that you need to think ahead. How much in annual revenue do you want to make? How many hours and what types of repair jobs can your facility handle?
A shop operator needs to limit the business to what he or she can profitably do. And, most businesses have fast and slow times. One thing I suggest to businesses is to remember that if the business is located in a state with extreme weather like snow, cold or hail, to remember that your shop will experience busier months in the winter than other months. These months should be accounted for when planning how many jobs to take.
Tip No. 3: Evaluate your advertising, even in the shop’s worst months.
Say you have an advertising budget of $50,000 per year. Divide the budget up throughout the year. Calculate your advertising budget according to the amount of work the shop does in that particular month. For example, if your shop does 30 percent of its work in January, then allocate 30 percent of the advertising budget for your busiest month.
Also, while it is important to not completely ignore advertising in the worst months of the business, you should not stress about it. So, stop worrying about advertising heavily in the four worst months, profit-wise, of your business.
Tip No. 4: Evaluate your overall message.
If your marketing message does not live up to its promise, it’s time to take a step back, sit down with your team and work on improving it.
The way you approach this will depend on the size of your team. If you have a team of ten or less, then it might be easier to sit them down at one time and go over specific, negative customer reviews. Then you can work one-on-one on training to fix those errors.
If you have a team that’s more than 10 and closer to 50 employees, it’s time to look at what the customers are saying. Are they saying you’re short-tempered? Not speaking when they come into the shop? Repairing the vehicle incorrectly? Determine the category with the most negative reviews and start there.
Also, it will not hurt to go back to the original marketing message and redo it. Go through everything that is put in front of the customers and change the message. This includes television advertisements, online marketing ads, social media, etc. If you’re message has the word “no” anywhere in it, get rid of it. You don’t want to tell the customer no before they even come in the door.