Customer trust leads to big improvements for service industry brands

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Getting great feedback from your customers is no easy task—but when your business is based on selling a service, it can be even more complicated. Unlike retailers or restaurants, your products aren’t a quick-and-easy item that comes in a package. Delivering a great service—one that keeps customers coming back—means building real connections with your customers. Fostering customer trust is always a factor no matter what you’re selling, but in the service industry it’s the most critical part of building loyalty.

One of our clients in the auto service industry realized an opportunity for improvement in their customer experience (CX) when it came to getting great trust from their customers. Using CX data and insights, they learned where and how to take action that led to results.


Empowering customers to communicate more effectively

Consumers rely on experts when they visit a service provider, so experience and knowledge are key to providing a great customer interaction—especially in the auto services industry. When your customers trust you to take care of one of their biggest investments, they want to feel confident about your ability to diagnose and fix their problems. The client wanted to see which specific services sparked doubt of expertise in the minds of their customers most often.

By using text analytics to find common themes in negative customer comments, the client found air filters and tire pressure were frequently mentioned with negative sentiment. Air filters weren’t a surprise, since they’re a known difficult sell throughout the auto industry. Since few customers pay attention to them as closely as an oil change, they often assume a replacement suggestion is just an attempt to upsell. Tire pressure, on the other hand, is a fundamental and straightforward service—so the client knew they had to investigate the issue.

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Once they dug deeper into the data, they discovered that the actual tire pressure service wasn’t the problem—it was lack of good communication on employees’ part. The client discovered customers were confused because their tire pressure light sometimes stayed on after the service had been completed—but some vehicles can take up to 24 hours for the tire pressure light to reset. Customers didn’t realize this small detail, and when they got their car back, it looked like the basic service they had taken it in for had not been completed.

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Small changes lead to big leaps in satisfaction

Once the client pinpointed the issue, they were able to take action on their service standards by:

  • Communicating the issue to the field
  • Implementing a company-wide training program focusing on the associate-customer interaction
  • Emphasizing to the customer what services were completed, as well as clearly explaining what to expect when they returned to their vehicles

Once they were able to resolve these snags in their service standards, the client saw big improvements in their business. Improving customer trust in your services doesn’t have to mean large-scale operational changes—it can mean a simple shift in communication so your customers feel confident and informed each time they bring in their vehicle for a tune-up.

Bottom line

Problems aren’t always what they appear to be on the surface. Using your CX data to pinpoint issues—and then dive deeper into the data—is what it takes to make big improvements in your customer loyalty. When you’re in the service industry, these issues can be even more nuanced and complex—especially when you’re managing something like customer trust. Putting an emphasis on good communication and empowering your customers is key to keep them coming back to your locations every time they need some help.

Want to learn more about how service industry brands build trust? Check out how Valvoline did it by focusing on delivering faster service.

Clancy Merrill
VP, Customer Engagement

Customer Experience Update