Reputation is crucial, especially when you work in the towing business. When you’re rescuing a driver who’s stranded on the side of the road, it’s really important to step up your game to give them the best towing experience possible. Happy clients are clients that will talk about your business to other people or post glowing reviews online…and that can go a long way in helping you grow your business. Don’t underestimate the importance of online reviews. But how can you ensure that your customers will walk away from the tow happy?
Well, we’ve got twelve tips for you.
1. Make a good first impression.
A first impression goes a long way. Greet customers with a smile and a handshake, even if they look like they’ve got their own personal thundercloud overhead. Introduce yourself and ask how you can help.
2. Don’t delay – be as prompt as possible.
The client will most likely not be happy to be kept waiting. And waiting isn’t fun. Imagine if you defy the customer’s expectations and roll up in your truck on time – or early. Be realistic with your ETA and try to keep to it. If you know that you’re not going to make it on time, keep your customer posted if you can and try to make sure they’re updated.
3. Remember that the client is probably dealing with a stressful situation.
We’ve all been in the “my car broke down at the worst time and now I need a tow” boat. It’s not fun. You don’t know the customer’s situation or what they’re now running late for.
Anyways, what we’re trying to say is be patient. Try to be sympathetic and don’t take any temper or anger from the client personally. Yes, it’s not easy. But if you keep your cool and do everything you can to be helpful, the person will have the chance to calm down and you keep the situation from escalating.
So, take a breath, count to ten, whatever you have to do to handle the client who’s snarky and rude because “Now I’m late for work and you took too long to get here.” (Even though, as per Tip 2, you were exactly on time with your ETA.)
4. Keep your appearance neat and tidy.
Part of that good first impression starts with how you’re dressed. Does your uniform look rumpled, with oil stains all over it from your last call? When you reach out to shake hands with your customers, is your hand covered in grease and grime? Putting effort into looking neat and professional can help you make that good impression.
5. Clean up your cab.
If you have to give a customer a ride, you don’t want them to cringe when they open the door of the tow truck or wrecker. A cab that’s clean and tidy makes a better impression than one covered in fast food wrappers, coffee cups, and empty water bottles. Remember, you’re a stranger to them and it’s already awkward enough for them to have to accept a ride. Showing that you take pride in your work and your space helps build rapport.
6. Remember the Golden Rule.
Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Would you want the tow operator coming to help you to be rude, impatient, or unprofessional? No. So act with courtesy, kindness, and genuineness. Just because you’re frustrated and tired after a long day of work, doesn’t mean the customer deserves to take the brunt of your impatience.
7. Be positive.
This goes along with our last tip:
If you encounter one of those grumpy, angry, or flat-out rude customers, do your best to stay upbeat and positive. By keeping a smile on your face and projecting positive energy, the customer might respond in kind.
Or at least be slightly less grumpy than before.
8. Explain what needs to happen clearly.
Be sure that when you’re explaining how you plan to transport the car (or fix it if it’s a roadside assistance call) that you’re doing so clearly. Be conscious of the fact that they may not know as much about cars – even their car – as you do. Make sure you’re on the same page that they are.
9. Think ahead.
Even small things intended to better someone’s day can make a difference. For example, in the summertime, why not carry a cooler with fresh water bottles so you can offer them to customers? Imagine how grateful someone who’s been waiting in the sweltering heat for 45 minutes will be to get a cold water. Try to anticipate how you can ensure they have a more pleasant experience.
10. Display your ID and make sure your truck is clearly marked with the company’s name and logo.
Again, you want to be professional and reassuring. Having your ID displayed might help put the client at ease. And having your logo on the tow truck will keep them from wondering who on earth is pulling up alongside them.
11. Go above and beyond.
Delivering excellent customer service and showing that you truly care about your customers and their well-being can leave them impressed and happy. Remember, you want your towing business’s name – and your name, of course! – associated with a positive experience.
12. Keep driver morale high.
If the drivers are happy, it will show in their actions and attitudes. Customers will be able to tell that they genuinely enjoy their jobs and the work they do. So, brainstorm some things that will help your fellow drivers want to come to work in the morning and bring it up to management. Is it coffee and bagels every other week? Having team lunch once a month? More flexible hours? Whatever it is, try to work with management to make your business the best place ever to work. (And good morale at the workplace can help reduce driver turnover.)
Of course, you can’t please everyone. There will always be that person who refuses to be happy and give positive feedback. But with the twelve tips above, you can help build a strong reputation and positive image for your business…and that means more clients for the future. Give your clients something talk about so they generate lots of positive feedback about your business. And, of course, you get the benefit of feeling proud of good day’s work with happy customers.
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