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Joe Marconi

What’s your Repair Shop's “Slow Day” process?

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A common discussion this time of the year is how business slows down in the mid-winter months. Not that you can always predict it. I have experienced some winters that were banner sales months. But in general, business does slow down for a number of reasons, especially in the colder climates: Credit Card bills from holiday spending, home heating bills, tax season, lost days due to storms and more.

 

So, the question is, how does a shop prepare?

 

Here's a few things that I do. Perhaps you add your owner strategies, which would benefit all ASO members:

 

* Prepare in advance and flood your customer base with service reminders, winter promotions and other recommended services during the slower months. Try to increase traffic to your shop during the months that are typically slower

 

* Review the history on all vehicles the day before the appointment. Look for previous notes and recommended service and repairs. Be prepared to discuss at write-up.

 

* Make sure all cars get a multi-point inspection - identify needed service and repairs

 

* Review the service history for all vehicles. Check for services due, services due soon and services never done. Again, this can be done prior to the appointment date and discussed at the write-up

 

* At write-up, don't forget to ask, Is there anything else we can do for you today? Wipers? Tire Rotation? An oil change?

 

* If you use email promotions, create email blasts around winter events, for example:

"Its Valentines Day! Show your car some love!" Include a few winter tips and links back to your website and to book appointments

OR...

"Winter Driving Advisory: Is your car prepared for the upcoming storm?"

Include a few tips; wipers, tires, washer fluid top off, heater working right, antifreeze, battery. And of course, links back to your website and appointments.

 

* Check your CRM for customers that did not show up for their recommended service or repair. CALL THESE CUSTOMERS. Here's a tip; start calling your best customers, those are the ones most likely to come in.

 

* Go back and review all invoices for the past 4 weeks. Look over the work orders and check service history too. You will find work that was missed, not sold and services that are due. Call these customers too.

 

As you can see, a proactive approach is better than hoping people will come in.

 

What strategies to you have?

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