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3 Reasons Why Automated Scheduling Is Wrong For The Auto Services Industry

1. You Cannot Educate The Customer

Most customers DO NOT know what they want OR better yet, what they need. A website is a great place for your general menu of products, services and pricing, but don’t most potential customers need a little hand-holding, I mean TLC, especially when they’re a first time customer? ABSOLUTELY! Scheduling forms that allow customers to select services, a date & time and then it gets slapped on your calendar, sets you up for failure… Why? Because the first interaction you’ll have w/ your customer is trying to educate them AND upsell them (see below). The only thing on their mind, at this point, is the price your website provided. Not good!

Did someone say, “Up Sell”?

Speaking of education, isn’t the reason you educate someone is to up-sell them now that they’re more familiar w/ your products & services? Educate your customer before they THINK they chose the appropriate service & price.

2. Everyone wants scheduled yesterday

“That’s an understatement… and they know a guy that does it cheaper”. If you give customers the ability to dictate their appointment date & time; 99.9% of people are gonna take the next available date. So why’s that bad?!? I’m glad you asked. It’s bad, b/c of the following reasons:

  • IF they're willing wait a few days or a week it will help with your longer-term scheduling
  • Help optimize/maximize your schedule b/c you can fill gaps. The goal IS NOT always working as hard as possible for as long as possible, RIGHT? This is your business and if you want to take the morning off and take your daughter/son to breakfast, you can f’n do it! This is your business!
  • If you use subcontractors, they probably do not have the same availability as you. If the customer picked their date & time, now you have to reschedule...Stay turned for a future article regarding sub-ing out work.

3. Pricing Varies

So your website pricing is set up for every vehicle type, every trim & option AND you trust that the customer will enter all of their information correctly? These are the same customers that lie to their doctor / dentist… This comes back to #1. Educate your customer and make sure they understand that pricing is based on their vehicle. Additionally, after you do a kickass job on their vehicle, you’re going to ask for a review AND a referral, right? You better! Since you educated the customer, now they can educate/recruit their friends, family, co-workers, rich uncle, etc.

BONUS - SPAM...

I had a recent horror story related to online forms. Another business I’m associated w/ added a web form for customer registration. A “bot” found the web form and “spammed” it with 100s, if not 1000s of requests within a few minutes. The website was able to handle the requests, however the person who handles the requests was inundated w/ bogus requests and now had to deal w/ them. If your scheduling app doesn’t prevent “spamming”, which most don’t, your CRM system will be rendered useless.