Referrals

Rhonda HiltbrandLoyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you. – Chip Bell

When a customer refers you to a friend it is wonderful.  The tricky part is to make sure the referral is as excited about your service as your loyal customer is.  That should be easy, right?  Well…not always.

I recommended a family member to my service and repair shop the other day for brake work.  I had my vehicle in for repair two weeks prior and my husband had his in for brakes just the week before.  They got the work done in both cases in record time.  They called with an estimate in about half an hour and the work was completed in about three to four.

I mentioned it in passing to a family member and they said they needed brake service, and would I recommend they go there.  I said yes, of course.  I even offered to help by meeting him there and driving him back home.  I said they are super-fast!  I should be back to pick him up around noon if we get his vehicle there by 8:00.

The estimate call came in quickly and then the wait began.  I know they close at 6:00 and the family member lives a half hour away from me and this was Good Friday besides.  Traffic would be intense. When 4:00 rolled around I called the shop.  They apologized profusely, said the vehicle had been ready for some time but a staff member was off and the person that was supposed to call forgot.  Yikes!  Thankfully we got the vehicle and they did wonderful work as always.

It seems whenever I recommend a business to someone, even if it is a restaurant, something goes wrong.  A few years ago, I even took friends to a favorite restaurant and it was an awful experience for all of us.  The staff was completely off their game that day.  I had never had it happen before or since, but my friends said they would never go there again.  Sigh…

If you are a great shop and you have loyal customers, but they don’t refer you, it might not have anything to do with you and your staff.  They may just be afraid due to a bad experience elsewhere. Should you be fortunate enough to have referrals, do your very best to make it the best experience ever.

Most likely this doesn’t apply to you, but in the off chance, I thought I would share it.

Have a great week!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing