When things get slow, turn to the phone. A few shops I have spoken to recently have started mining their vehicle inspection sheets from the past six months looking for noted work that would now be due (brakes, tires, maintenance services).
As the advisors started the calls they discovered a big roadblock - customers can be tough to get on the phone when they are not expecting your call.
Life lesson 301: Your customers are not going to help you fill your shop with work. Customers
often do not return calls, but don't let that worry you. It is not the customer's job to contact you; it is your job to contact the customer.
A customer's failure to return a call does not necessarily indicate a lack of interest in the service that needs to be performed.
Returning phone calls might seem like common business etiquette, but if you expect customers to return your calls, you will be disappointed and frustrated.
Make that call again. You don't want to miss a terrific service opportunity simply because you misread the customer's mindset as negative when you didn't get a return call. Customers are busy and won't necessarily place much importance on returning calls. They will figure that if it is important, you will call back.
Second roadblock - customers that had to "check their schedule" and get back to the advisor. "Yes, I need to get that done. Tell you what, can I call you back tomorrow when I find out from my wife when a good day would be to bring the vehicle in?" When this happens suggest a contingency follow-up such as, "Great, but if you're tied up I'll call you on Friday afternoon. Is that a good time for you?"
Try to avoid voice mail, especially if you are calling from out of the blue or when the customer does not know you that well. If you do leave a voice mail message, keep it short and stick to the point, then call back after a reasonable period of time.