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What’s Your Strategy For This?


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Thanks for stopping by. There’s a lot of recent discussion about oil changes; who’s doing Your Customer’s Oil Change; And other topics related to getting more “car count”. 

My question is, “What are you doing for your shop to increase car count? Is it working? If not, what’s your struggle?

Thought it would be a good place to “compare notes” and see what’s working for those that want to share. 

Looking forward to your comments, likes, dislikes and anything you want to share.

Matthew Lee
“The Car Count Fixer”

Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing"

Fix Your Car Count in 17 Minutes... Guaranteed!

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As a small shop with two techs and four lifts, I can not afford to do oil changes all day long. I schedule one waiting oil change a day, first thing in the morning. Sometimes I will do two. I train my regulars to schedule a week ahead. 

I often suggest to my customers that they use a quick lube through out the year and just see me once a year for a good safety check. We are always busy year round and do not have car count issues.

I have issues finding employees.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/25/2017 at 0:22 PM, Hands On said:

As a small shop with two techs and four lifts, I can not afford to do oil changes all day long. I schedule one waiting oil change a day, first thing in the morning. Sometimes I will do two. I train my regulars to schedule a week ahead. 

I often suggest to my customers that they use a quick lube through out the year and just see me once a year for a good safety check. We are always busy year round and do not have car count issues.

I have issues finding employees.

Thanks for sharing.  Where do your new customers come from?

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Hi Hands On! Thanks for sharing your details. You bring up some good points. Obviously, you're doing what works for you and that's important. I also agree that you can't afford to do oil changes all day. Got it!

However, your comments cause me to ask a couple of questions. 

First - What is the ONLY service car owner's know they need? They don't get out of bed thinking about timing belts, alignments and all those things. I think you'll agree that the ONLY service they know they need is an oil change. And what's good about that is, those need to be done if it's that 'busy' time - or in the typical 'slow' months. Am I right? 

Secondly - I trust you're a good shop. But no matter how good you are - you can not service the car as it's driving by your door. Right? 

For those two facts, I have to ask if you've considered using oil changes as a strategy to "get to" the other work? Because I have to tell you - I cringed when you said "I often suggest to my customers that they use a quick lube through out the year and just see me once a year for a good safety check." Actually - I almost chocked on my coffee - not trying to blame you but it's the truth. 

The reason I say this is simple fact. You can only increase the amount of money you make in three ways:

1- Increase your prices (okay, I can see your eyes rolling already - stop it! ;)

2- Increase the number of customers you have - but in today's economy, plus all the competition and clutter in the market, stats show that new customers cost between $75-$150 EACH! (Ouch!)

3- Sell more to the customers you have. - there's the key! Sell them more. 

Now, can you see why when you said ONCE A YEAR, I almost fell off my chair!?!

Typically, when I work with my clients, we do a lot to get the average customer up to 4 times a year - now I know there's no such thing as a 1/2 a visit, so it's no use telling you that it's an improvement going from 3x a year to 3-1/2x - but I think you get the "math", right?

And then once my clients have strategies in place to do that - we worlk on their offers and "upsells". Before I go any further, please understand that when I say upsells - I am not talking about selling stuff they don't need. I DO NOT support or condone that at all. There's enough good work out there for all. 

With that said, when shop owners offer things like "good-better-best" strategies and of course, the ever so famous "down sell" (make more and sell less) you just make more money. Proven it time and time again. You know, it's like that old "would you like fries with that?" question. 

By the way - you know, it's fascinating to discover that on average, McDonald's spends all the profits on a Big Mac to GET YOU IN THE DOOR. I call it the "oil change of the restaurant business" - because they know you're going to by fries, drinks, apple pies and all that other stuff. The Big Mac gets you there - the money is made with all the rest. 

Now I know I am going to get responses like "we don't sell hamburgers". I get it. But if all those comments would just STOP and think about it - because YOU have been subject to that "upsell" like about 300 million other Americans. They do it because... well... it just works. Can't argue with success - and if you want to be successful - the easiest way is to imitate success, right?

Make sense? Can you see how that works? 

Look, I don't want to take up a lot of time, but I am getting ready  to present a totally new strategy on a web presentation in the next week or so. If you want to get advanced notice - just message me on this forum or email, call, or send a carrier pigeon... or whatever - and I will include you on the "advance notice" list. 

Hope this helps!

Matthew Lee
"The Car Count Fixer"

Get "The Official Guide to Auto Service Marketing"

The Shop Owner's Unfair Advantage FREE Access

 

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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