In the automotive repair business – determining what a prospective new customer’s needs are is a critical part of the sales process. The focus of needs assessment is different when dealing with a consumer as compared to a business but the overall objective is the same. Part of needs assessment is relationship establishment. Ultimately defining the estimated cost of repairs and how the repair process will work are the primary questions the prospective customer will be concerned with. Following are three points on customer needs assessment:
- Consumer Requested Repairs – A customer will seek vehicle repairs usually for specific reasons. It may be as simple as the vehicle being due for an oil change or an indicator light being on. Or it may be as major as a breakdown. In either event the customer has a certain need.
- Shop Identified Repairs for Consumers– If the initial sale is won – additional services may be identified as a result of inspections, diagnoses or preventive maintenance service interval requirements.
- Business Customer Needs Assessment – A business that owns a fleet of vehicles has a different perspective than a customer with their own car. A business customer is looking at the whole fleet as an asset that their business depends on and is therefore concerned with keeping all vehicles operational, avoiding down time and containing costs. So determining the needs of a fleet customer can be very time consuming but can also result in a much greater volume of business.
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