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Shop Owners: Focus on your key customers, not your worst


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It’s easy to get sucked into the drama and the negativity of your worst customers. For some reason, no matter how hard you try, there will be some people that you will find impossible to please. My advice: stop trying.

 

I am not suggesting that you ignore all problem customers. That goes with the territory. What I do suggest is that you don’t ignore your BEST customers. Pay a lot of attention to them.

 

Educate your customers; explain the reasons why you are suggesting certain repairs or services. However, you will find that devoting your time and energies to your best customers will bring you a lot more happiness and add a lot more to your bottom line.

 

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Joe, I couldn't agree more! So many shop owners I talk with are hung up on getting more new customers. That's THE MOST expensive thing you can do. While they focus there, they ignore their current customers.

 

Now, this isn't going to sound sexy, but what about a simple 'letter' to your existing customers. No, not an email - I mean a USPS snail mail letter. There's a bunch of strategies that can be used and a lot more space is needed to explain it all, but at least you can target your BEST customers and leave the coupon clippers to shop somewhere else.

 

Think about this. What do you do when you hear a notice of a text message on your phone? If you're like most, you check your phone - usually within minutes of receiving that message, right?

 

Well, you're just like 300+million other Americans. So if a text message is so effective, why don't you just text message customers when it's time for their next oil change? I know it sounds simple, but I will tell you this - it works.

 

Get those people that already know, trust and like you to bring their car in for that oil change THEY KNOW THEY NEED and you'll be surprised with where your numbers will go.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Matthew Lee
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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

    • By Joe Marconi in Joe's Blog
         4
      Typically, when productivity suffers, the shop owner or manager directs their attention to the technicians. Are they doing all they can do to maintain high billable hours? Are they as efficient as they can be?  Is there time being wasted throughout the technician’s day? 
      All these reasons factor into production problems, but before we point fingers at the technicians, let’s consider a few other factors.
      Are estimates being written properly? Are labor testing and inspections being billed out correctly? Are you charging enough for testing and inspecting, especially for highly specialized electrical, on-board computer issues, and other complex drivability work?  Is there a clear workflow process everyone follows that details every step from the write-up to vehicle delivery? Do you track comebacks, and is that affecting production?  Is the shop layout not conducive to high production? For example, is it unorganized, where shop tools, technical information, and equipment are not easily accessible to every technician?  Are you charging the correct labor rate and allowing for variables such as rust, vehicle age, and the fact that most labor guides are wrong? Also, is there effective communication between the tech and the service advisor to ensure that extra labor time is accounted for and billed to the customer? These are a few of the top reasons for low productivity problems. There are others, but the main point is to look at the entire operation. Productivity is a team effort.  Blaming the techs or other staff members does not get to the root cause in most cases.
      Maintaining adequate production levels is the responsibility of management to create the processes that will lead to high production while holding everyone accountable. 
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