Newcastle-based car repair marketplace WhoCanFixMyCar.com faced the challenge of building a sustainable business in an industry with a high customer churn rate. Clients were usually small garages, which could be booked up for a month and then suddenly drop off the site – meaning the sales team struggled to build lasting relationships.
After three years in business, the firm realised that just having a sales team wasn’t going to work. The key to customer retention wasn’t the initial sales conversations, but account support – something the company saw as almost like another sale.
Led by co-founder Ian Griffiths, WhoCanFixMyCar.com expanded its sales team to include a “bridge team”. This group of employees would deal with the gap between customers signing up and being successful. Unlike the main sales team, who had financial targets, the bridge team were incentivised on relationships and retention.
The company gave 30 days free support to every mechanic who signed up for an annual subscription to kick off the new process. The bridge team would help customers to set up profiles and offer advice.
This new part of the company was also responsible for segmenting customers that had dropped off the site. Customers are segmented based on activity and the team looked at how often the garages were winning quotes. They could then step in and provide help or advice before the customer became exasperated and left the site.
WhoCanFixMyCar.com saw an instant increase in customer activity and success after adding the bridge team to the sales department. The firm now attracts 75,000 consumer jobs every month.
Headcount has swelled to 30 staff, with the bridge team expanding from one employee to six in less than three years. In the next year Griffiths wants to triple the size of the team. “It was one of the best moves we’ve made,” he said.
“With sales teams, it’s all about the support, account management and regular contact,” Griffiths said. “As soon as a garage becomes inactive, we just need to give them a brief call – to be a voice at the end of the phone. We’re in a competitive market, so it’s important to support customers through the entire life cycle.”