Honesty is always the best policy, but sometimes is it better to omit certain information to a customer? What if you make a mistake but make it right and eat the cost? Are there situations where you don’t divulge all that information to a customer? Let’s have an open discussion on ethics and your shop’s reputation.
Matt Fanslow, lead diagnostician and shop manager, Riverside Automotive, Red Wing, MN. Matt’s previous episodes HERE Matt Fanslow Podcast: Diagnosing the Aftermarket A to Z Al Wright, John's Automotive, Cedar Rapids, IA Key Talking Points
There are times when being completely open is endearing, but other times where it simply hurts the shop's reputation, and the client learning about it changes nothing. They aren't paying more for the service, they aren't leaving with an improperly repaired vehicle. The issue/mistake/mishap can be kept in-house and learned from. It's not uncommon for us to "lie" by omission, namely when mistakes are made. We don't call out the specific tech that erred. That is to be frowned upon. Unfortunately, we also seem to lie by omission by not calling out the specific tech when there's a victory or a job well done. Another situation MAY be just thinking out loud, which may not always be a good thing, or misdiagnosing a vehicle. What is the best way to fire a customer without damaging the shop's reputation? In a small community, you have to be careful in your explanation to the customer to prevent the ripple effect. Comebacks - every shop has them, and it's the first interaction when they return that makes all the difference in defusing a bad situation. Let the customers speak first. Reputation isn't just a business transaction, reputation is just as important as community involvement. Shop culture can also affect your reputation. It's your employee for 40 hours of the week; what do they say about you and their peers the 80 hours a week?
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Check out today's partners: Shop-Ware: More Time. More Profit. Shop-Ware Shop Management getshopware.com Delphi Technologies: Keeping current on the latest vehicle systems and how to repair them is a must for today’s technicians. DelphiAftermarket.com
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By Eric Roberts
Firstly let me say that I an just a regular guy from the UK who is the owner of a seven bay service centre/garage. I am not a financial expert. The dreaded inflation is upon us again. For the guys as old as me then this is nothing new. Back in the 70,s we had 15% inflation, but we all got by and lived for better trading days. Here in the UK we have always looked up to the USA because of your business prowess. So what do you guys look out as your worst enemy!
When prices are going up then I find that the gap opens between rich and the poor's disposable income. So this question will effect garage owners in different areas. My garage is in a poor area with many immigrant families who drive cars. So this means we have to be more flexible with pricing. Finding out if your customer can afford that service ! For this reason we devised a three tier service pricing structure. This has also the effect of not loosing your profit margins.
The lowest price should include an oil and filter change and a general vehicle check over. This way we find the customer will perhaps be able to afford a service and your profit margins wont drop. This is just one small idea that we carry out! What do you guys do in these times of high inflation ?
By Joe Marconi
Most communities have a variety of repair shops, dealerships, and franchise models. Do you consider them the competition, or colleagues?
Do you think it's worth it to get to know other auto businesses in your community? To share and exchange business ideas and strategies?
By Joe Marconi
There seem to be mixed opinions on what Business System is the best. And also, not all business systems fit a particular repair shop model.
There are a lot of new players in the past few years: Auto Leap, Protractor, Teckmetrics, Shop Boss, Shop Monkey, and more.
Are you happy with your system? What features are important to you?
By Joe Marconi
Here is an excerpt from a report from Lang Marketing: Read and enjoy!
Six Major Takeaways
Lang Marketing expects that new car and light truck volume will remain in low gear from 2020 through 2023 compared to the previous four years (2016 through 2019). Lower new vehicle annual volume will trigger five significant aftermarket changes that will boost the volume of aftermarket products from 2022 through 2030. By increasing used vehicle prices and shifting miles to older vehicles, lower new vehicle sales will boost aftermarket product volume through 2030. An increase in the average age of vehicles and more older vehicles on the road, both resulting from lower new vehicle sales, will provide a tailwind for aftermarket product growth. Although there will be fewer vehicles in the repair-age sweet-spot between 2026 and 2030, this will create a mileage shift to older vehicles and an increase in the upper age boundary of the repair-age sweet-spot, which will be positive for aftermarket product growth Lower new vehicle sales will slow the growth of Electric Vehicles on the road, increasing the use of ICE vehicles and pumping up their aftermarket product volume. Source:
Lang Marketing Resources, Automotive Aftermarket Consulting, Research and Analysis