By Jonathan Ganther
Hey guys. I'm new to the forum and was looking for this subject but couldn't find it. Sorry If I'm posted something that's already been discussed. I own a brake shop in Austin, TX. We do anywhere from 10-20 brake jobs a day. We only do brakes so I don't know how much full service auto shops deal with this problem but... Customers are constantly calling in claiming they've bought the best parts or they want to provide their own parts because they've done research and know what is best. This drives me crazy. First of all they don't know whats best. Then after being told no they get offended and act like tons of shops allow this. What is the best way to handle these customers? Just send them away? I'll quote them a price using our parts and they act as though its a rip off. What shops are doing this for their customers? I feel like I'm letting jobs get away from me. Any experience with this?
What's everyone using and what do you prefer in terms of online parts ordering? Are you using something integrated into your shop software or a standalone website from napa, o'rielly, advance, autozone, or other local or regional parts supplier? What do you like about it?
Using Napa Prolink and AdvancePro along with worldpac speedial
By Joe Marconi
I can't tell you how frustrating it is to give a price on a radiator to a customer at the service counter, while he's on his phone searching for the part!
Here's what I do when I get a customer that tell me he can get the part cheaper....I agree with him!
I let him know that he can get the part cheaper, just like he can buy a steak and potatoes cheaper at the super market too. But he'll pay more for the steak and potatoes at a restaurant.
And then in a calm manner, I review all the benefits of me suppling the part, the warranty and the fact that if the part is wrong or defective or fails in the future, he will have no recourse and will have to pay to have done all again.
For most, it works. For many it's all about price.
Now Most IMPORTANT IS THIS: The reason why you don't mind spending more for a steak at a restaurant is because of the experience. So, make sure the customer experience clearly demonstrates the value of why people need to do business with you. When Value goes up, price becomes less of an issue.
Hope this helps. Let's hear from you on this frustrating topic!
Advance Auto Parts Expands TechNet Program with New and Enhanced Offerings for Professional Shop OwnersBy AutoShopOwner
Advance Auto Parts Expands TechNet Program with New and Enhanced Offerings for Professional Shop Owners Improvements designed to help strengthen relationships between shops and customers
RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 29, 2019-- Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP), a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers, is introducing new benefits and enhanced offerings to TechNet Professional members in 2019. These new benefits and offerings include insurance and affinity benefits, enhancements to the nationwide warranty, digital menu boards, a TireAmerica.com partnership and a TechNet-branded Virtual Vehicle tool.
TechNet is a business solutions partnership program from Advance designed to help independently owned repair facilities grow their business and develop customer loyalty while maintaining their own identities and serving their local communities. More than 10,000-member shops across the United States and Canada are part of the TechNet banner program creating a trusted network of automotive repair shops across North America.
“We continue to listen to our TechNet members, many of whom have been partners of the program for more than 20 years, and are leveraging the feedback of shop owners and operators to introduce new benefits and optimize the banner program,” said Walter Scott, Senior Vice President of Professional Marketing and Programs at Advance. “TechNet is a key component of delivering the right experience and solutions to Professional customers. Ultimately, we strive to help our customers serve their customers better and grow their business as independent operators.”
The launch of a new insurance and affinity benefits program was a top priority to current TechNet customers. The insurance benefit program enables TechNet member shops to access health insurance plans for the individual, family or small business, including medical, dental, life, prescription discounts, disability and pet insurance. Business coverage, as well as HR and payroll services, launched in May.
Among the new enhancements for 2019, TechNet’s nationwide warranty has been simplified for an improved customer experience for both motorists and member shops. When motorists have service and repairs performed by an authorized TechNet professional service facility, they are covered by a nationwide limited repair warranty that extends across North America for 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. At the same time, TechNet also increased value for member shops by increasing the rate paid for local labor reimbursement claims.
The TechNet digital menu board is a new benefit included in membership that displays the shop’s services and pricing, as well as educational programming related to car maintenance and care, on a smart TV in the customer service area of a TechNet member’s shop. This digital menu board is customizable, enabling shops to make updates in real time to showcase their offers, and TechNet can also provide custom content tailored to the shop’s program preferences.
TechNet’s new national installer program partnership with TireAmerica.com gives shop owners the ability to offer their customers access to Tire America’s inventory for a wide range of vehicles. This partnership allows customers to select the necessary tires for their vehicle online, with Tire America shipping the tires directly to the TechNet shop for installation.
Virtual Vehicle, another important element of TechNet, supports the service recommendation by bringing the inspection results to life via vehicle system animations that illustrate the cause and effect of each problem. The inventory of more than 400 animations can be viewed in the shop lobby or can be emailed or texted to the customer allowing them to make an informed decision with confidence. Virtual Vehicle is also integrated with several shop management systems that enable the animations to be included in a regular communication process, and can easily sent to a customer via text or email. Finally, a customized loop of animations can be served on a lobby monitor or embedded in the shop website providing customer education opportunities.
“The enhancements introduced recently are programs that truly benefit our business,” said Christa Browne of Dave’s Automotive in Stockertown, Pa. “For example, increased labor rate reimbursement for warranty items speaks volumes to Advance’s commitment to bring us the best quality parts backed by the best industry warranty. We’re keeping our customers very happy knowing we stand by our work. That is commitment.”
For more information about TechNet and other services available from Advance, visit technetprofessional.com or call 1-877-280-5965.
About Advance Auto Parts
Advance Auto Parts, Inc. is a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers. As of April 20, 2019, Advance operated 4,931 stores and 146 Worldpac branches in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Company also serves 1,238 independently owned Carquest branded stores across these locations in addition to Mexico, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands. Additional information about Advance, including employment opportunities, customer services, and online shopping for parts, accessories and other offerings can be found at www.AdvanceAutoParts.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190529005545/en/
Source: Advance Auto Parts, Inc.
Advance Auto Parts Contact:
T: (540) 589-8102
E: [email protected]
T: (919) 227-5466
E: [email protected]
We use Mitchell and I find myself constantly changing the prices that it spits out even though I set up the pricing matrix... Anyone willing to share how they split it up and what figures they use? I want to give a fair price but I also don't want to short myself,
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By Joe Marconi
It was a busy Friday morning when Tom called me for an update on his vehicle. I let Tom know that his car would be ready at the end of the day. There was a pause, and then he blindsided me with this, “You know, Joe, I did a little research on that water pump you’re replacing on my car. I can get that same part for $30 less. Why does your part cost so much?” I fired back at him by saying, “That’s impossible; it can’t be.” I went on and on attempting to defend myself, but I could tell I wasn’t getting through to him. After a few more words back and forth, Tom finally said, “Look, you started the job, so you might as well just finish it.”
You’re probably thinking Tom went online to check the part. Well, this happened in 1980, my first year in business, and years before the Internet, as we know it today, even existed. Tom simply called a local part store. The parts store gave him a discounted price and then figured he would challenge me.
Consumers checking your prices is nothing new—it just got a whole lot easier these days with the world wide web. Now, let’s clarify one thing: I am not going to tell in this article that there is a foolproof way to train consumers not to go online to check your prices. However, what I can tell you with certainty is that if you continue to feature products and not the customer experience, you are telling people to please check your prices.
Consider this: You’re out to dinner and you ask the waiter for the wine list. As you scan the list, you recognize a brand and then look to the right at the price. Do you Google the bottle of wine to check what you could buy it in the store? We all know that a $10 bottle of wine in the store can cost well over $40 at the restaurant.
Here’s the bottom line: The restaurant is selling more than wine and food—it’s selling the customer experience. And if all goes the way it should, we pay for the meal and the bottle of wine, even when we know the wine is priced higher than we could purchase it at the store. And, we are OK with it.
Our business is no different. We need to focus on the experience, not the products. Yes, we install water pumps, control arms and radiators. But, that’s not our main focus. Our focus is on the value and the benefits of doing business with us. Now, with that said, there’s a delicate balance between being competitive and being profitable. But, as value goes up, price becomes less of an issue.
Here’s the difference between our business and a product-driven business. When you buy a product—let’s say a watch or a cell phone—the experience lives on long after the sale. Every time you put on the watch, or use your cell phone, you are continuing the experience. And if the product is high quality, the experience gets reinforced over and over every time you use it. With auto repair, in most cases, what we do, does not live on after the sale. Once a customer leaves with a new timing belt and water pump, there’s not much about that repair that lives on in the eyes of the consumer, except the customer experience. Your entire sales process—your marketing, the look of your shop, the people you employee and every aspect of your business that the customer sees—must tell the customer that what you sell is worth the price.
Let’s remember one thing: Your prices will be challenged from time to time. So, here are a few more tips. Get the right training for your service advisors, especially in the area of customer service. Make sure your marketing and advertising communicates your brand and your culture, and please be careful with discounting. Claims that you have the best price on tires or brakes only results in consumers checking online to see if that’s true. Highlight your warranty, which has a lasting impression on the customer. Above all, communicate the benefits of doing business with your company.
Let’s get back to Tom. After 39 years, Tom and his family are still customers. I have to believe it’s because Tom appreciates the level of service we have given him throughout the years and the relationship we’ve built. Tom has learned what Warren Buffet has often said, “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.”
This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on May 1st, 2019
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By Joe Marconi
Shop production is a hot topic these days. High production results in higher sales and profits. But there seems to be so many obstacles to overcome to achieve high production levels.
I was discussing production with a few shop owners, and one shop owner mentioned that he recently hired a shop foreman; an “A” tech in his early 50’s. The foreman uses his knowledge and skills to organize the work flow. For younger techs, it’s even more important that they know how to work and keep productive.
What are your thoughts? Does anyone else have a foreman or similar position? And how does this role affect production?
By Voltek H/EV
Hello everyone, first post here,
I'm in the process of opening an actual shop, i've been a mobile mechanic for 10 years. I specialize in hybrid and electric vehicles. I've been searching prices on fluid exchanger machines, lifts and other pricey equipment. I've been looking at some really cheap Chinese equipment on ebay, i'm just wondering if anyone here has successfully used any of this equipment. It's tempting but I know the old "you get what you pay for" mantra. They got lifts for $1,600 and ATF fluid exchangers for $335. Might be worth trying the fluid exchanger on some of my own vehicles for that price. I appreciate any input, thank you!