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Retail stores have known for a long time that adding or increasing the size of shopping carts also increases sales. Consumers may go to the store with a list, but as they pass through the aisles, having a cart makes it easy to add to that list. While your repair shop does not use shopping cart, the same strategy can used. Every customer that books an appointment as done so with some sort of list; an oil change service, a brake issue, tire rotation, etc. Through an effective multipoint inspection and looking at service schedules, you can make suggestions to your customers that can add to their cart; essentially increasing sales per vehicle. One last thing: Always make service and repair suggestions to the customer that is in their best interest and have value, and you can’t go wrong. It’s actually great customer service.
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As the auto industry moves on into the modern age, repair centers all around the country are experiencing pressure with the tech world and our world colliding. We are all trailing nationwide franchises and dealerships that have endless resources working at their disposal. For most smaller auto repair businesses there isn’t enough time, money, or energy to attempt to constantly and actively secure the new business. We’re mostly worried about attempting to maintain the existing business we have, which has newer cars and increasing demands. Most of our time is now spent adjusting to the learning curve of advanced vehicle systems. However, that’s just a shop problem. The front office of your shop has its own issues to contend with that didn’t exist 15 years ago. Make no mistake about it, our industry is in the middle of a revolution and with 3D printing knocking at the door… the amount of balls to juggle are going to be considerable and it's all just getting started. Today’s auto repair businesses need to worry about the following: Location – Securing a proper location and the authorization to conduct business there over the long term ensures survival. Tools – Without the proper tools, we just can’t work on today’s vehicles. Training – Without the proper training, we put ourselves and our customers at high risk. Employee Engagement – Keeping your employees as interested in your success as you are is critical to the elements that keep people returning and employees from leaving. Employee Advancement – Providing an environment where employees know they can grow with your business, whether financially or moving up within the organization, is the key to keeping and securing talent. Marketing – This is the most complicated element in today’s world. It involves a mix of a strong web presence, good advertising ethics, social media profile, and following up with customers. Advertising – Can be expensive and very confusing. The best method to start is to get your feet wet with small budgets that keep your name in front of your potential customers, constantly. Software – Without good software, it is difficult to run any business. Good software is and always has been subjective. Our experiences indicate that good software saves you time and builds trust with your customers. Most importantly, it should work for you and not against you. This article originally published in CAR's News Section
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Hello, We're in the market for a new scanner and figured I'd ask fellow shop owners their ideas and experiences. I did search the board archives and didn't see much within the past year or so. We are a general repair shop servicing most anything, according to customer attitude. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance 🙂
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Internet auto repair bidding is here. There’s a new online service called Repair Jungle, recently launched this past January. Its market area at the present time is Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland. Repair Jungle is a web based service that allows shops to compete for jobs through a bidding Process. Now, are you ready for this? Consumers upload photos, describe the problem, give other vehicle information and local shops can bid for the job. Is it me or does this sound a little over the top? Fred Yu, the founder of Repair Jungle says, “The goal is drive down prices and drive up customer satisfaction by creating a competitive market place for automotive repair.” There are 70 repair shops signed up and the service reaches 1,000 customers, thus far. Please reread Fred Yu’s statement, “…drive down prices and drive up customer satisfaction…” Hey Fred, “You can’t have both, please choose one of the two.” My first fear; we are headed in the wrong direction. We are not discounters, nor do we market our shops solely on price. What type of customer does Repair Jungle target? Yes, you guessed it, the price shopper. And are shops so desperate that they will bid for a job, just to get traffic to their bays? If shops engage in this form of marketing they are telling the consumer: Please judge me on price alone. Not quality, not service, not the culture of my company, but on price alone. Bidding may work for commodities, but what we do is hardly a commodity. My worst fear? More and more shops will sign up for this. Please, tell me your thoughts on this one!
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The way I see it, I don't know how any shop owner can run an auto business today without a computer management system. What systems are you using and what advantages or disadvantages do you see?
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How can it be true that an independent auto repair shop almost doubles the price of their oil change service without raising their shop rates, parts pricing or adding any more costs? I know, sounds crazy, but we've done it. I am releasing the information shortly - but this short video explains it all.
There isn't anything to buy - no sneaky sales pitch - nothing. It's just about how we used a new tactic to present our oil change prices. All the details are being released next week - so you'll want to subscribe (that's FREE TOO!) so you won't miss a thing!
Hope this helps!
"The Car Count Fixer"
Join the Conversation on YouTube at Car Count Hackers!
By Joe Marconi
A few weeks back I had a problem with my refrigerator. I got a referral and called an appliance repair company. I called three times and each time I called this is what happened: "C and E appliance, please hold." I was put on hold three times for about 5 minutes. After being put on hold each time, a women would say, "What's the problem?" No engagement, no sign of interest for me the customer, no signs of caring. I gave the women a brief description of the problem and each time she told me someone would call me back. Well, no one did.
So, I called for the 4th time, and as the person answered the phone I said, "DO NOT PUT ME ON HOLD." There was silence, so I continued. I explained to her that she has spoken to me three times, I left messages three times and three times you told me that someone would call me back. She replied, "You are talking to the wrong person, if you have any complaints, write a letter to my boss, after all he won't listen to me anyway." I hung up the phone and called another company.
The lesson and takeaway here is simple: Who's answering your phone? The wrong people on the phone in your shop can kill your business. Have meetings with your people. Make sure you review your phone skills policy. If you don't have one, create one. Empower your people to people to handle issues. And make sure you log every phone call. If you feel you have a problem, start recording phone calls.
Your phone is your lifeline to future business. So, please ask yourself....Who's answering your phone?
By Ron Ipach
I'm going to go out here on a limb here and tell you -
YOUR ONLINE REVIEWS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN ATTRACTING MORE CAR COUNT!
First of all, the reviews given by your customers reveal the health of your business. If your customers aren't saying good things about you, that's a warning sign that you better get your act together right now and start providing a better experience for your customers.
Also, if you only have a few handfuls out of all the hundreds or thousands of customers you've worked saying good things - that's not a healthy sign either. They may like, or even love, doing business with you, but if they aren't telling the world (aka writing an online review), their little secret is hurting your chances to attract more car count.
You see, studies show that 92% of folks will read reviews before making a buying decision, and if you don't have a stellar reputation (4.7 or higher), they'll move on to the next shop.
In fact, I advise that you completely stay away from any form of online advertising for new customers unless your score is at least a 4.7 out of 5.0. Why? Because your prospective new customer will easily be able to compare you with everyone else and will more than likely choose the shop with the better reputation - negating all the time, money, and effort you've put into your advertising efforts.
Look, you can argue with me all you want, but we're talking human nature here. Most will always go with the higher recommended shop. Why not? If you don't have a great reputation score, all you're really doing is advertising for your competitors that do.
But your score isn't the only factor being looked at. There are actually three factors that are important about your reviews.
1. Quality (4.7 or higher overall score is needed)
2. Quantity (These days, a minimum of 75 reviews are needed, but in highly competitive areas, 150+ is needed)
3. Recency (You must be getting 1 or 2 new reviews every single week)
=== So you say you do a great job, your customers love you, but they just aren't writing those positive reviews that you need in order to let the rest of the world know how awesome you are, right? Here are three ways to get more reviews:
1. Ask. (Duh!)
2. Bribe. This has been very effective for a lot of my clients in the past, however it's also considered a no-no by the review sites and may get your account shut down if they find out.
3. Use an automated service like Soapboxx to do it for you that will email or text your customers after their service, ask if they were happy, and then send them directly to Google, Facebook, YP, or wherever you wish so they can write a quick word about their experience.
Soapboxx is the only automated review-boosting service created specifically for the auto repair industry and the beta-testing of the software has just been completed. (See just a few of the remarks from the users below) Go to www.Soapboxx.io for more details.
Check out what some of the members of the new Soapboxx platform are saying...
Whatever you choose to do, ask, bribe, or automate the whole thing - put getting more 4-5 star reviews at the top of your to-do list. It's simply the best thing you can do to help attract more car count to your shop!
By Carl Spandau
hello! i just opened a shop and am having a hard time gaining traction. im looking for some marketing techniques that work good for new business. i have tried social media and google add words with zero results. also are any of the social media marketing company's any good? the ones that call 20 times a day claiming to manage everything and create material for your pages. seems like the only people stopping by are the previous tenants customers and he did not have the best clientele. he marketed heavily discounted repairs, free estimates, bring your own parts. everything i dont want. I would appreciate any tips to getting people into my shop
my shop is a 4 bay with just me and my wife. very clean and remodeled with all the tools a shop needs except an alignment rack.
thank you for your time!
I'll show you 6 Ways to Get More Customers in 6 Days or Less
… and I’ll show you how we do it Without Crazy Coupons, Discounts or Money Sucking Advertising
Join me this week on this training webinar and you’ll discover….
The exact steps we take to get more customers. This is NOT about telling you what to do - I'll show you everything, step-by-step so you're never left guessing. Exclusive "behind-the-scenes" look at exactly how we do it. I'll even pull the curtain back and show you everything! Never done before - LIVE Interactive on the webinar that let's you experience everything! In less than an hour, you'll see everything, I'll show you everything step-by-step and you'll experience it all too! It's about the business that supports you and your family - isn't it worth an hour of your time?
"The Car Count Fixer"
P.S.: Join me on this training webinar this week! FixYourCarCount.com