In our last blog we talked about the importance of customer education. A majority of customer education is the responsibility of the service advisors in your shop. It’s an active part of the process of selling repairs to the public. You can help your service advisors do their job, however, by using signage to educate your customers while they are waiting for service.
Many people will scoff at the idea of using signage. “No one reads signs,” they’ll tell you. Or they’ll point out how much people are on their phones these days. While it is true that people do spend a lot of time on their phones and will frequently ignore signage, investing in a signage campaign doesn’t have to be expensive, and it accomplishes two goals: education and trust building.
For many people having to have their car fixed is stressful, in part because they don’t know why their car isn’t working, how to fix it, and whether a specific recommended fix is necessary. Without this knowledge, they don’t feel like they can make good decisions. They’ll blame anything that might go wrong on shady business practices because that’s easier than admitting they made their decisions about repairs without doing enough homework.
When placed or posted around the auto shop, educational signage can help explain common car problems and their solutions. Posters or digital signage can convey factual information about the products and services your shop provides. You can also play demo videos that demonstrate how car systems function and why certain parts are essential to making a car work safely and well.
When people understand why their car isn’t working and how it can be repaired, they feel empowered to make better decisions. This increases their confidence in the process. For some people, taking in information through signage or brochures makes them feel more comfortable and empowered than talking to a service advisor. They feel they’ve discovered the information on their own. It’s not just a sales pitch disguised as education. In most cases, increasing customer knowledge also alleviates any fears or confusion they have. They also appreciate when information is readily available and they don’t have to hunt for it themselves.
Digital vs. Print Signage
Posters and brochures will always have their place, but video and multimedia presentations can explain things to people that they might not understand if they read a print brochure. Digital media, because it stimulates multiple senses, tends to be more engaging and memorable than a picture or a diagram too.
Another bonus feature of adding digital screen signage to your waiting area is that it can help distract the customer. This makes them perceive their wait times as shorter and increases their satisfaction.
If you cannot afford to invest in digital signage first, adding print signage is a good first step. Make a note of how your customers engage with it and which pieces of information they take in first or read most. From there you can add or revise your signage to be more effective over time.
What Should Your Signage Do?
Good signage works in a number of ways. It can:
- Give comparison information – Your digital media can compare and contrast different products or services, giving the pros and cons of each. Greater understanding makes it simpler for the customer to approve service work.
- Explain car basics – If your customers don’t know what a radiator does, a short video can demonstrate what it is and how it functions inside a vehicle. Videos can also explain why changing the oil in a car at recommended intervals is necessary and how different parts of brakes work to stop a car.
- Entertain – Happy customers are more receptive to having work done. Marketing can both educate and entertain and should.
- Demonstrate customer satisfaction – An empty wall in your auto shop could easily be used to display cards from customers or reviews they have left online. Reading positive reviews that other people have left for you will bring down your customers’ stress and make them feel they are making a good decision by coming to your shop. If you can persuade any of your satisfied customers to leave video reviews, that’s extremely helpful, and you should definitely put that digital content into your waiting room rotation. Customers very often make decisions based on reviews.
Your customers spend time in your waiting room before, during, and after their repairs are done. If you are not using signage to educate them, you’re missing an opportunity to build trust. If your auto shop uses signage, how have you found it to be effective? Have you used print signage or digital signage? Please share your experience with using signage in your shop with our other members either here or in our forums. We are all here to learn from each other and your comments truly help.