Many auto businesses have kept the same processes in place for decades. But times have changed — and so have customer expectations when it comes to their auto shop experience.

In order to be found, trusted, and chosen by today's consumers, automotive businesses must provide customers with a fast, productive, and efficient experience. But assessing operational efficiencies and employee productivity is often easier said than done. Here are three ways that your auto shop can get more efficient and improve the customer experience without sacrificing quality service.

1. Make appointment scheduling easier.

According to a GetApp survey, 70% of consumers would book an appointment online if given the option, compared to just 21% who would prefer to book over the phone. Furthermore, 60% of customers said that getting a text reminder would make them less likely to miss an appointment.

Know what is a drag on employee productivity in the shop? Spending time on the phone creating and updating appointments.

Make it a win-win by offering your customers the option to book, change, and cancel appointments online with an appointment management tool. Better yet - make sure that tool includes automated reminders so your customers know when to show up, and your employees don't need to spend time reminding them.

2. Invest in online educational resources.

Good customer service will never go out of style, especially in service-oriented industries like the auto industry. But balancing customer support and facetime with time spent actually working on their vehicle can be a high-wire act.

The fact is that a lot of your team's time is spent educating your customers. In all likelihood, your team is answering the same 8 or 10 questions every day. So what if you had a place where you could capture all of this knowledge and share it with your customers? Your website is a great resource to address frequently asked questions, share educational diagrams and videos on common vehicle issues, and even to set expectations on what a repair entails and how long it will take.

An investment in an effective website will not just help educate your existing customers, it will help drive employee productivity.

3. Stay in touch with customers.

Auto shop teams that are proactive about gathering customer information and using it to serve customers are much more likely to build strong relationships that drive loyalty than those that don't.

For example, customers give your team valuable information about their vehicles, service histories, and mileage during each visit. This makes it easier for your team to have all the information they need in one place, driving more efficiency. And with an auto industry-specific marketing tool, your team can automate important text reminders and email alerts about upcoming service touchpoints. Gathering customer data means building stronger customer relationships in less time.

Winning customers with operational efficiency.

Increasing operational efficiency will allow your customers to get more timely and helpful service. It can also help your business upgrade its approach to processes and time management. To improve your auto business's customer experience and employee productivity without sacrificing quality, consider the suggestions above. Your customers and your employees will thank you.

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