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Surprise: having snacks and phone chargers in your repair shop’s waiting room makes customers happier

by | Aug 22, 2023

If you’re an auto repair shop owner, you’ve probably heard advice before about the value of improving your waiting room. However, it can also be hard to gauge how much that extra expense makes a difference to your customers. Is it really worth it?

Well, we have some data to help answer that.

According to a recent report from J.D. Power on aftermarket service, adding complimentary snacks and beverages increases customer satisfaction by 12%, and there’s a similar increase for providing a device charging station, like power outlets or a bank of phone chargers.

phone charging on table

Keeping a phone charged can really ratchet down a customer’s stress level.  Photo: iStock.com/VivianG

This is not surprising if you’ve ever been hungry, thirsty, watching your phone die and anxious about work while waiting for your vehicle to get fixed. Having some pretzels and coffee and being able to carry on with your normal workday turns a negative experience into a fairly pleasant one. After all, people go to cafes to basically do the same thing; in this case you’re multi-tasking by getting your vehicle serviced at the same time!

Despite this not being rocket surgery, J.D. Power says that only 15 percent of independent service centers offer all these amenities. Only 7 percent give customers a place to plug in their computer!

If you’re in this majority that don’t have these basic, modern features, stop what you’re doing, run to Costco, grab a Keurig and chips, and tell your local electrician you’ll give his Transit a tune-up in exchange for putting in some extra outlets. Some free Wi-Fi and decent chairs couldn’t hurt either while you’re at it. Your waiters will thank you.

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