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Division 3: East North Central (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin)
Division 4: West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota)

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    • Hi everyone,   did any of the shops that started the  CARFAX Service Shop program ever read the TERMS ??????  ( https://service.carfax.com/csn/csnTerms )    So, basically, they are collecting VIN & Email ( meaning they can target the vehicle make/model/year/valu etc AND customer contact -email ).....  they can sell this info to competition ; especially to brand specific shops!!!! or dealerships !!!!!    on top of it ... they can STOP The free service ANYTIME they like, and keep using all the data they gathered!   anyone else see a problem with all this and other stupid clauses ( ie : no jury , no class action ..) ???    CARFAX® Service Network.pdf
    • Hey there @Hands On, here's a replay link of the same training I held in our Facebook Group today-- request to join and you'll have full access: https://www.facebook.com/groups/successful.shop.owners/permalink/484011562390573/
    • We use Uber and Lyft. We use their dashboards that allow the customer to get a text message when the car is coming, easy for return trips too. The customer has a text message that they click when they're ready to be picked up. Lyft is called their Lyft Concierge: https://www.lyft.com/concierge . The dashboard shows all of your rides you've ordered, costs, users, etc. Very handy to know exactly when your customer will arrive too! We stopped using Uber as the prices for "Surge" were getting out of hand.    
    • One thing I never understood... why a mobile mechanic tries to provide the same level of service as a shop... on the road... for less money.   Basically undercutting their own ability to earn for a more specialized service that you couldn't pay me to do personally.  Additionally, if you knew the rates they have to pay to companies like "Your Mechanic"... it would further make you question the whole movement.  I understand the hustle, but I don't understand delivering what your client wants, when your clients wants... for less than a shop.  Especially considering you are working in an open environment where the weather is just as harsh as customer expectations.
    • With the cost of a reliable loaner getting down to affordable loaners, we've opted to turn old customer vehicles into loaners instead of the Uber route.   While Uber is useful for the one day turn around, it leaves holes on how the customer is going to get back to your shop and what happens if you need their car for more than a day?   We started with one loaner and we now have 3.  All are inexpensive, older vehicles that we acquired for a nominal fee and put in less than $2,000 to make them road warriors.  Insurance is cheaper as a loaner than I presently pay for insurance as a driver... let that sink in for a minute.  With three cars, I now use one as a daily commuter unless it's needed by a customer.  With the loaner, the pressure from the customer to get the job done right instead of rush the service, is noticeable. Plus, it fits in with our model of "please schedule non emergency services" and if they want a loaner... they are on the schedule nearly all the time.  Helping us provide a better service and more stability to the shop.  
    • This is driven a lot by surrounding demographics.  Getting your car count to 150 in a densely populated area might not be that hard, but it will surely require a monthly advertising budget well over $1,000 a month your first few years.  Then comes the question of, are you doing 150 oil changes or 50 oil changes and 100 other services that lead to real profit and growth for your business. I think guys focus too much on things like car count and not enough on providing a good service in a facility that is designed or flowed to handling this volume of work.  If you want to build a serious business, calculate how much work you can take on a day and actually finish.  In this calculation you have to remember that the things you advertise your business does, is generally going to lead to high volume, low margin work with really stiff competition.  Because we're all advertising on the items that draw int he most amount of people... tires, brakes, oil changes. Build on reputation and level of service and live mostly ignoring things like "car count". Car count in theory is important, as it draws on the assumption that to raise revenue you need more cars.  While that is true, so is the service model.  Provide a service that people are impressed by and rely upon... and your car count starts to matter a lot less.  Even though proper execution on service will lead to an increased car count based on the hidden brand building you're doing with that model.
    • When we started to think about how we would handle this... we came up with this... For $37, you get an OE level tech that you can ask a bunch of questions to.  If you spend 1 hour chasing your tail, at $100 an hour, you've now wasted 61% of the customers money and 100% of your time.  We spend the time documenting everything and relying on the experts to guide us.  It also gives us a couple of hours to work on other things while we are waiting for a call back.  Sometimes that break of walking away from a vehicle and clearing your head, will also lead to better thoughts on how to tackle the problem. It's truly been one of the best moves we've made as a business. When we call them now,half of the time it's to confirm our diagnosis and thought process and the other half is really hard things that we have little experience with.  As an ADAS shop, we're running into the hard things as the learning curve has been steep.
    • This is truly great advice!!! Thank You for sharing. We have wasted our free calls for far to long, which means we have wasted hundreds of training opportunities. We are introducing a new practice in our store where we will be using our free calls every month and encourging techs and service writers to use the paid service whenever they feel it prudent. $37 is incredibly cheap for technical assistance.  Thank you for the insight. This should be a post under it's own heading.  Randy  


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