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Are you in the AAA certified shop program?


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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.

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In any given market, there are shops that have great reputations and

there are shops that don't.

 

The ones that don't have great reputations are the best advertisement

for the good ones because it helps you stand out, as THE one that

can be trusted to treat the customer fairly and take great care of them.

 

For example, we were working with a shop owner recently, doing an

onsite training. Within 2 blocks of his store, there was a huge

billboard from one of the biggest multi-location tire stores, in that state.

He was intimidated by the name, by their branding, their marketing,

their advertising, etc. He was scared that these guys were taking

away all of his business.

 

The other issue was the chain had a reputation for low-balling pricing,

which caused my client to think they needed to compete on price.

 

We convinced the owner (and his staff) that customers care about

price. However, price is not at the very top of the list, like they thought.

People will pay for great, trustworthy service.

 

As soon as they implemented processes that communicated Value

to every single customer calling on the phone and every single walk-in,

sales and profits increased dramatically.

So, "competition" can work to your advantage.

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  • 3 weeks later...

AAA member shops make AAA look good not the other way around. I left them when they got too big brother, wanted my customer info, wanted to track them by OB11 devices, Selling my customers crummy batteries without me checking them out at our shop and not referring cars within a block of me to shops further away.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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