Quantcast
Jump to content


Why are Some Shop Owners Turning Away from AAA?


Recommended Posts

AAA has a long history, and has been a partner to the auto repair and service industry, especially with Approved Auto Repair (AAR) certification for the independent auto repair shops. But, in recent years the AAA has caused a lot of friction among shop owners, resulting in many shop dropping their affiliation with the AAA. For a number of reasons, I too have decided not to renew my AAR contract with the AAA.

 

Let me be clear, AAA is regional, so the northeast may have a slightly different program from the southwest. But, we need to remember, that the AAA in the eyes of the consumer is one brand and they do cross channels with their concepts and objectives.

 

AAA has competing shops in some areas in the country, and in some regions wants a backdoor access to the shop's customer information through the shop's business management system. This is a step in the wrong direction.

 

Whether you are an AAR shop or not, you need to be informed on this important issue.

 

Below are a links to a few recent articles in Ratchet and Wrench, one written by Mitch Schneider.

 

I strongly urge you to read them.

 

http://www.ratchetandwrench.com/RatchetWrench/December-2015/Vision-and-Visionaries/

 

http://www.ratchetandwrench.com/RatchetWrench/April-2016/Regional-AAA-Network-Changes-Put-Pressure-on-Shops/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      Kevin Syed, Owner of Integrity 1st Automotive, 8 Locations, Dallas Fort Worth TX, grew up with an entrepreneurial father and was always encouraged to lead. Having successfully earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from University at Buffalo, Kevin went on to become a franchisee with Getty Petroleum / British Petroleum service centers for the better part of a decade in New York City. After gaining the knowledge, experience, and funding required to produce his own operation, Kevin went on to operate his own independent shops in New York. Kevin sought to find a new place to call home with his wife and twin girls; he longed for the community values and environment of the South and so his family made the decision to move to Texas. Integrity 1st Automotive was then born in Texas and Kevin has scaled his business to multiple locations across the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex. When he’s not working, Kevin enjoys local car rallies (e.g. Lamborghini Club Dallas), traveling, and hunting. Listen to Kevin's other Episodes HERE
      Carl Hutchinson, Owner, Complete Automotive, 2 locations, Springfield, MO has been in the car industry since 1982, but has worked on vehicles long before that time. He has a passion for engineering, for understanding how vehicles operate, and how to repair a customer’s concern. Earlier in his career, Carl started working at a GM Dealership, then went to work at independent repair facilities as a technician and eventually became a service advisor. Carl’s experience in the automotive industry led him to his current position as co-owner with Maureen Hutchinson of Complete Automotive in Springfield MO., where he works every day to provide high-quality, valuable service to all customers. Carl is an Alumni with Ozarks Technical Community College, Springfield MO Campus. He currently sits on the Automotive Advisory Board with Ozark Technical Community College, a member of South East Rotary, and a member of the Springfield Midwest Auto Care Alliance chapter. Carl has his Master ASE Certification, L1 and Service Advisor certification and is an AMI Graduate. Listen to Carl’s previous episodes HERE Kenny Wedow, Owner, Fine Tuned Auto, 2 Locations, Broomfield and Erie CO  knows cars. A natural talent even at the young age of 17, he pursued it auto repair in shop classes in school then slipped right into the work field. Working for dealerships such as Saturn, and Nissan, as well as other independent shops, has afforded Wedow with extensive and well-rounded education. More importantly, before Wedow branched off to open the doors of Fine Tuned Auto in 2013, he already learned the importance of patient diligence. Many dealerships and independent auto shops can default to make generalizations about the problems with your car, sometimes not always seeing the things that really might put you in danger on the road. The patience Wedow has to pull everything apart if need be to find the root answers makes him unique in his field. It is a quality that got him promoted to foreman at a Nissan dealership when he was only twenty-three. It wasn’t that the six technicians under him weren’t experienced, in fact, some of them had worked considerably longer than Wedow. However, his attention to detail and follow-through put him above and beyond. Listen to Kenny's other episodes HERE
      Key Talking Points
      Building Trust- Focus on relationships, not transactions. Reviews, book of business, referrals etc. People always like to try something new, wow them. Make customers feel better- don’t fake it. Location Location Location- be selective. Walk-ins at an easy location will increase with oil changes etc. First chance to gain customers for life.  First impression marketing- Kenny uses poker chips with his information to attract new customers. Signage, uniforms, customer waiting area etc elevate the professionalism. The image plays a huge role in sales, female-friendly bathroom/lobby, cleanliness, smell in the waiting lobby, convenience etc. Be mindful of female customers, educate and simplify.  Direct mail, google ads, geofencing- who is your clientele? What advertisement is right for your area? Once you have multiple growing businesses- what is your year after year retention?  Why do people choose certain careers/trades? What is the reason? Look at different industries and see what they provide.  Focus on the relationship, not the transaction   Be involved in the community Connect with the show:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partners:

      This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com

      Are you seeing auto shops in your area get hundreds of 5-star Google reviews and are you feeling left behind because your shop only has a few?
      Hey look, Broadly is your answer to getting more online reviews. With more reviews, your business will rank higher in search results — and that means more customers coming into your shop every day. Broadly helps you automatically request reviews so that your customers can promote your business with just one click. When you immediately ask for a review after service, when the experience is still fresh in their mind, you’re more likely to get a 5-star positive review. Plus, asking for feedback makes your customer feel valued and more connected to your business. Isn’t that what you want a connected customer? See how Broadly can help grow your auto shop.  Visit www.getbroadly.com/chat to learn more.
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By champtires
      Champtires – one of the leading e-commerce used tire sellers – is not facing supply chain issues. In fact, over the past several months, Champtires’ inventory has grown exponentially.
      “Luckily, we are still able to source really great tires right now,” said Brad Rea, president and founder of Champtires. “Ninety percent of our inventory has 7/32 tread or above, and we’re adding hundreds of Michelins, Pirellis, Continentals – tires in every brand really – every day.”
      Reselling used tires with significant tread life left saves them from ending up in a landfill. And it allows consumers and auto businesses to save drastically compared to new tire prices.
      “Relying on premium used tires is a responsible way to use recycled products while saving yourself a lot of money,” Rea said.
      High quality used tires are perfect if you need to match one or two to a remaining set or when replacing all four tires. Every tire that enters a Champtires facility goes through a thorough three-step inspection process. Free FedEx shipping is included on all website orders to the continental U.S.
      Learn more and shop now at Champtires.com.
    • By carmcapriotto
      John Eppstein, owner of John's Automotive Care, San Diego CA has been in business since 1998. The business is a complete general automotive repair and a smog test station. John’s Automotive Care has been relocated twice; the last move was in 2003. John has been in the automotive industry since 1985. He is the Immediate Past President of the B & G Clubs of East County where he's worked since 1996. He is also a member of a local NAPA BOG group. John's been a member of ASCCA's Chapter 24 for over 12 years during which time he has served as secretary, vice president and chair of the Meetings Committee. John's Automotive Care is also currently an ASC Educational Foundation Cars for Careers donation site for San Diego, CA. Listen to John's other episodes HERE
      Dave Kusa is the owner of AutoTrend Diagnostics in Campbell, CA. Dave is very active in Chapter 42 and currently serves as a board member and chapter representative. He has also helped several new shops become ASCCA members. Dave advocates with local legislators on behalf of small businesses and their employees. He contributes to TeamTalk and is a huge resource for members. He was ASCCA’s past president. Look for Dave’s other episodes HERE.
      Key Talking Points
      Purpose - Raise funds and money to support and encourage technical education and training for the automotive industry through scholarships, endowments, career development and other industry inspired programs. Vehicle donations from customers that go to auction- “cars for careers” Example- transmission/engine repairs. You are able to donate a vehicle  no matter where you are, it’s not limited to only California Low overhead- about 75% of the money coming in from the vehicle donation program gets put into funds. Volunteer-based foundation. You don’t need to be a shop owner to be included in the board of trustees (tax advisor, grant writer etc) Last year they awarded 28 scholarships to 16 deserving students for a total of $23,500. To date, this is the largest amount awarded in the history of the Foundation. Schools involved - community colleges across California such as Cuyamaca College, Skyline College, Rio Hondo College, San Diego Miramar College, Citrus College, Chabot College, UTI Vetting process – Scholarships are awarded to students who fill out applications at https://automotivescholarships.com/ all applicants that meet basic requirements are then scored by a panel of automotive professionals and winners are picked from the highest scoring applicants. Opportunities to create a scholarship- John has started a scholarship with his business. He will match whatever his employees put into it. There are also one time scholarships for smaller amounts.  
      Connect with the show:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:
      Since 1989 TRACS has been the industry’s leading shop management system. And in the last 30 years it’s gotten better and better. Today TRACS Enterprise offers even more of the features AutoCare Center owners want—things like a powerful interactive scheduling calendar, faster and streamlined work flow, plus streamlined parts ordering and purchasing options. And there’s more—Punch-out to Mitchell ProDemand, mobile VIN capture, and multi-shop capabilities. That means you can count on TRACS Enterprise to help drive your success today and well into the future. Learn more about TRACS Enterprise and the hundreds of other benefits the NAPA family has to offer. Talk with your servicing NAPA store or visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By danilredko
      Hello everyone, 

      I have an idea of a software that can be used to charge a customer a monthly fee. 

      For example, you could have different tiers: 

      Maintenance Lite - 15$ a month: low monthly payment for all of the conventional oil changes required by the average driver each year.

      Maintenance Basic - 20$ a month: Maintenance Basic includes everything you'll find in Lite, but adds... Unlimited Synthetic Oil Changes (as needed), On Rim (Seasonal) Tire Rotations (as needed), Complimentary Re-Torquing after changeover.

      Maintenance Plus - 40$ a month:  includes all services from Ultimate Maintenance Basic, plus the following...
      - Off Rim Seasonal Tire Rotations (as needed)
      - Seasonal Tire Storage
      - Flat-Tire Repair (excluding roadside assistance)
      - Up to four General Service Calls (diagnoses, bulb replacements, filters, etc...)
      - Battery Boost/Replacement (excluding roadside assistance)
      - Priority Scheduling Service (For seasonal tire changeover)

      What do you think about it? 

      Thank you! 
    • By ASOG Podcast
      What's the biggest mistake owners are making when marketing their shops?


  • Similar Tagged Content

    • By AutoShopOwner
      AAA Maintenance Inspection Form for reference. Used by AAA certified repair and inspection centers.
    • By Andrew Cutler
      This is a rant, pure and simple, but I hope that it can serve as a cautionary tale for others.  Unifirst came in with a proposal as the "AAA preferred uniform vendor".  As we are a AAA approved shop we qualified for special pricing, almost 30% less than what we were paying at that time.  We gave them our business and it has been a cluster since.  It took almost 6 months for them to deliver, and when they did the sizes were all over the map.  About half of my employees (and myself) had to have size changes.  They embroidered all our dark shirts with dark logos and had to re-do them which took months.  They actually embroidered them wrong TWICE before they got it right.  My tech's shirts came back with with huge oil and rust stains after their first washing and have never been clean since.  The towels are usually oily and sometimes have metal shavings in them.  They routinely mis-deliver and fail to deliver uniforms, leaving techs short for the week.  I've had the service manager, plant manager, and regional manager all in my office to tell me that this would all be corrected, to no avail.  We have a new service starting in December and I anticipate threats to sue on the three year agreement they require.  I've been cataloging, photographing and corresponding with them over the past 8 months and I am confident that we can prove that they are unable to provide anything close to the level of service they promised.  I have learned, yet again, that you get what you pay for.  Don't let Unifirst in the door.
    • By Elon Block
      Hi everyone,

      In case you hadn't heard, here's something you need to be aware of...

      AAA is making some changes, in the way they are doing business.

      Within the last few years, AAA has decided to build their own company-owned facilities.

      Here is a link, with an example of search results, drivers will see when they type in a zip code:
      http://bit.ly/2bk7prG

      Pay special attention to the search results marked (AAA Owned Facility).

      The facilities are impressive and are gaining traction:
      http://midatlantic.aaa.com/Automotive/ClubOwnedRepair/Aboutus/New

      As you can see, their slogan is, "Auto Repair From A Name You Trust".

      This is genius marketing, on their part...

      Because customers equate the AAA logo, as a shop they can trust.

      The other major change they've made is...

      The new requirements for the AAA certification renewal.

      Many shop owners did not read the fine print or notice the changes to the agreement.

      In other words, the fine print requires certified shops to give AAA access to the shop's customer database.

      The biggest concern is if you give them access to your customer database and then, they open a AAA Owned Facility, in your backyard...

      They now have a built-in customer base they can market to.

      What that means to you is...

      This a major conflict of interest because now, they have all of your customers' information, which they can use to actively market and essentially steal your customers.

      So, this is something to be considered, in deciding to continue to be affiliated, as a AAA certified shop.
    • By Joe Marconi
      The controversy is heating up as we move closer and closer to self-driving cars. Below is a link to an article in Body Shop Business Magazine.
       
      http://www.bodyshopbusiness.com/aaa-survey-finds-three-quarters-of-americans-are-afraid-to-ride-in-a-self-driving-car/?eid=284835314&bid=1336714
    • By Joe Marconi
      The AAA is growing a chain of repair shops in the mid-Atlantic states. AAA started in 2011, and now have 11 repair shops which they use to sell insurance, increase membership and perform automotive repairs. AAA plans on opening up more facilities in the next few years. AAA has different clubs across the country and each have different strategies.
       
      As an AAA Approved repair shop in New York, you can only imagine that there are questions I would like to have answered.
       
      Below is a link to an article in Tire Business Magazine.
       
      What are your thoughts on this?
       
      http://www.tirebusiness.com/article/20140804/ISSUE/308049999/going-clubbing-for-car-repairs-competition-growth-strategy
  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...