Many of us were once techs, but now hold the management role within our facilities - and as much as we'd love to say we're as technically proficient as we once were, the reality is technology is changing SO quickly that it's tough at times to stay on top of it!
Scan tools are being released at a dizzying pace, and the features required aren't what they were 5 years ago!
In this episode of the ASOG Podcast, David and I talk with Brandon Dills of Jarhead Diagnostics about just that!
Brandon shares his scan tool choices and what tool, if he could choose only one, that he would purchase!
We also talk some techncian perspective and there's even some dealer perspective in there!
Make sure you listen to the whole things, as there's some killer information mixed in 😉
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We are in desperate need of techs. I tried Indeed and was very dissatisfied with the "talent" they sent us. I am considering Find A Wrench they post on Indeed as well as Zip Recruiter and some 90 other companies as well as social media. Has anyone tried them or ACT Auto Staffing?
It all started when Jennifer Filzen decided to become a singer/songwriter and created her first pop music album, Sirena. Her marketing and sales talents afforded her the opportunity to get her music heard around the world, including India, China, Europe, Australia, and the United States.
Her writing talents launched her into writing SEO content for websites, social media marketing posts, and custom blogs. Today, many auto repair shops around the country choose Rock Star Marketing to put their businesses in the limelight.
Jennifer Filzen Previous Episodes HERE. Rock Start Marketing Website HERE.
Link to the new book on Amazon HERE.
Key Talking Points:
“The Giveth to Get Principle: How Relationships & Reciprocity Build Raving Fans. 5th book for Jennifer Filzen. See link to book above. Not only attract ideal customers but surprise and delight them so they are excited to see you and want to tell others about your services Give before you think of receiving Jennifer’s passion- she loves making the world a better place by spreading joy, bringing people together, and share ideas, teaching about marketing Helping one person sends a ripple effect that comes back as a wave of abundance Discovering your three most important principles in your life your ‘why’, your superpower, your attitude Finding your superpower- realize you have one, you ARE a big deal Rockstar MarketingFocuses on what makes you unique, who is your target demographic, what is your “why” and what are the cities you want to serve Focus on your strengths, delegate your weaknesses Flexing your confidence muscle Speaker at Vision 2021: Video marketing. What to say, how to edit etc. Loving your customer- verb, the action of caring Resources:
Thanks to Jennifer Filzen for her contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast. Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers. Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
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This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve. The Virtual AAPEX Experience 2020 is in the record books. Virtual AAPEX lived up to presenting leading-technical and business management training from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Now set your sights on the homecoming in Las Vegas in 2021. Mark your calendar now … November 2-4, 2021, AAPEX // Now more than ever.
This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com/carm
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Greg Skolnik is the owner of Motor Works, Inc. in Rockville, MD. He is certified as a Master Automobile Technician and holds the prestigious L-1 advanced engine performance and emission analysis certification. Greg also received his (AMAM) degree from the Automotive Management Institute. Greg has a four day work week and has been doing pre-scheduling for years. He is also a part-time coach for Elite World Wide. Listen to Greg's previous episodes HERE.
Bill Thompson is the President of IMR Inc. Founded in 1975, IMR conducts syndicated and proprietary market research studies that focus on the automotive industry including the automotive aftermarket, heavy-duty, and fleet segments. Since Bill joined IMR in 2003, the company has expanded its research portfolio and service offerings to provide a wide range of strategic and tactical solutions that provide insight into your most pressing questions. With a focus on industry trends, consumer and repair shop purchasing behavior, channel trends, and many other important metrics, IMR’s research provides insight into your market that can bring you closer to your customers, distribution channels, and market opportunities. Listen to Bill’s previous episodes HERE.
Craig Noel, Owner of 4 location Sun Automotive Springfield, OR. Craig graduated from Lane Community College in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Repair and quickly went to work. He worked for Ford as a Senior Master Technician and then working my way up through the ranks as Team Lead, Service Advisor, Assistant Service Manager.
He has also built ground up Street Rods/Show Cars for over 30 years as a hobby. He was “headhunted” by the original owner of Sun Automotive in 2011 and became GM at that time. As of January 1st 2017, he is the proud owner of Sun Automotive. Craig was also on the Academy discussion on 250K Maintenance Program.
Key Talking Points
IMR Charts How worried are you about being exposed to Covid-19 by taking your car to a repair shop? If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you research reviews for vehicle repair shops? If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you choose a repair shop that offers a ‘Touchless’ customer experience? If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you take advantage of a financing option for a major repair? If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you accept an appointment in the future for your vehicle’s next scheduled maintenance? Schedule in advance like you do the dentistPencil them in on a certain date Follow up a week or two prior to confirm Sell it as ‘you want to make sure the right technician is here to accommodate the repairs or maintenance needed for this appointment’ Get the customers conditioned to this process What if the customer says noWhy be penny wise pound foolish with your car Explain to them why it’s important Extend the life of the car/investment Scheduling ahead is a piece of mind for the customer How do we go about doing this?What are the processes in place here? Create a ‘canned jobs’ services sheets Create a series of processes by your front office We are in the relationship business At the beginning, you might get some pushback, but eventually, your customers will ask you about scheduling the next appointment Offer a credit for pre-scheduling appointments Phone rings and service advisor needs to spend 10 minutes booking an appointment vs the pre-scheduling appointmentsProactive internal and external communication Imagine the freed-up time you get with clients Move from a reactive shop to an action focus Move the process forward Offer a limited loaner car and you want them to be able to get one Final ThoughtsBill ThompsonOut of 26K households questioned, 59.7% of them say that they would accept an appointment in the future Craig NoelFocus on the relational part of what our responsibilities to help the customer are all about It’s all about being proactive Greg SkolnikThe end result of this is, we will have trained our clients that we have our stuff together vs the guy down the street
A special thanks to Bill Thompson, Craig Noel, and Greg Skolnik for their contribution to the aftermarket. Books Page HERE Listen to all Remarkable Results Radio, For The Record and Town Hall Academy episodes. Facebook Twitter Linked In Email
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Join the Ecosystem - Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
Buy Carm a Cup of Coffee
This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com
This episode is brought to you buy Shop Marketing Pros. Your guides are Kim and Brian Walker with a rich history as shop owners and industry veterans. When someone searches for a shop, who are they finding? Your competitors? It should be you! The good people over at Shop Marketing Pros know how to drive website traffic and make Google work for you! www.shopmarketingpros.com
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By Joe Marconi
I think it’s safe to say that few people go to McDonald’s for the fine dining. In fact, McDonald’s struggled a few years back when it introduced healthy choices on its menu. Even with its challenges, McDonald’s is considered one of the most successful business models on the planet. It’s a brand that is so well known for its consistency that it actually promotes comfort in the mind of the consumer—a lesson in marketing that could prove powerful for your business.
Imagine yourself traveling with your family on a highway far from home one night. It’s late, everyone’s hungry, and you’ve been on the road for hours. You’re not familiar with the area but you tell yourself to turn off the next exit and find food. As you drive off the exit, you notice a cluster of stores and bright lights; a good sign for weary travelers. As you approach the stores and bright lights you notice two food establishments: Billy’s Burgers and McDonald’s. The only two restaurants in town. Now you tell me: Which one would you choose? Most would choose McDonald’s.
While there are many reasons why most people would choose McDonald’s over Billy’s Burgers, perhaps the most compelling reason is that McDonald’s has done an amazing job building its brand on the consistency of its service and its products. McDonald’s’ customers know exactly what they are getting, and that communicates comfort. People tend to feel more secure with what they know and what they anticipate.
So, what does McDonald’s have to do with running a repair shop? It’s the marketing lesson of consistency of service. Promoting consistent world-class service with each customer will create an experience that will give customers a compelling reason to return in the future.
Now, most of us are not franchised across the country, and many of us are single location business owners. Our business model is different in that we tend to build relationships over time. While we may not be a national brand, we can still have brand recognition in our community. We can still have a brand that communicates consistency and comfort; a winning marketing strategy.
When a customer walks into your business, it’s not because he or she is hungry and looking to eat a meal. There’s a problem with his or her car, or a service they need to have done. People rely on their cars and leaving their car at your shop can be disrupting to their lives. This causes a level of anxiety within every customer. We need to recognize this and find ways to reduce or eliminate this anxiety. If not, the experience won’t burn a positive impression in their mind, which means they may not be back.
The customer experience is a crucial element to the success of any company. But, do we fully understand the impact of consistency in service at every step of the customer experience? How being consistent can promote a feeling of comfort and security? Your customers must be greeted the same, the phones must be answered the same, car delivery must be the same, and the quality of service and repairs must be consistent. Something as simple as forgetting the lube sticker or not resetting the maintenance light can raise anxiety and make the customer question the quality of your service, which will have a negative effect on the entire experience.
However, the marketing lesson is not only how you define great customer service, but in defining how to deliver consistent, great customer service at every step of the customer experience, time and time again.
This strategy will ease the anxiety within your customer, which will benefit you the next time your customer’s check engine light comes on or when her car needs servicing again. By delivering a consistent, amazing customer experience again and again, you will instill comfort and security in your customer’s mind. This simple strategy increases the odds that the customer will think of you the next time for their automotive needs. And that’s the secret of McDonald’s.
Think about this. A consumer is traveling to work on a Monday morning. She notices that oil change maintenance is on. This consumer has been to your shop, the dealership and the local quick lube in the past. She knows the cars needs servicing. Where will she choose to get her oil change done? Will it be your shop? Will it be the dealership or quick lube? That all depends on what business made the best impression in her mind.
This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on January 25th, 2019
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The best advertising comes in the form of referrals, which are usually free but don’t happen overnight.
Advertising is perhaps the most confusing part of owning any business, not just an auto repair business. Advertising is, to take your marketing materials and broadcast them in mediums where you anticipate your target audience. The internet has drastically changed advertising as most understand it. We used to think of advertising as the “yellow pages” and newspapers. However today, the yellow pages comes in many different forms these days. All of which promise you the world and few of which will deliver.
We recommend taking a broad approach to advertising to test what will draw in the most amount of new business to you. When thinking about how to advertise for your business, below are some suggestions to consider. First, establish a yearly/monthly budget, then to execute a plan. The most important part of your plan is to follow through on asking your new customers how they found you, that way you know what advertising is working.
Our advertising model assumes you have a few things in place, as we also discussed in Part 2: website with contact module, Google Business Page, and a Facebook Business Page.
We are firm believers that Google’s vast grasp on search is what makes it the king of advertising for now. Most people start their searches on Google, and if you’re not on Google maps and your website hasn’t been crawled by Google… you may not exist. We can argue this until the cows come home, but the truth is they hold a grasp on nearly 80% of all search in the US. Picture 10 people searching for “auto repair in my town”, nearly 8 of them are using Google. It’s much easier and fruitful to advertise to 8 out of 10 than 2 out of 10.
We are going to assume you have a $250 budget, the starter plan would be something like this:
Google Business Page – Free Facebook Business Page - Free Adwords Campaign through your Google Business Administration Page – Budget Dependent - $100 per month recommended Local Paper Advertising – Prices Vary – Assuming $100 per month This leaves you with $50 left over. Personally, we recommend a service called Yext, however we are unsure of their price these days as they have gone into a "Demo mode". This means they likely introduce you to the price after you’ve demo’d their product. For a one location auto repair business, we believe their estimated price may be over $600 a year, which kind of busts the budget a bit. But once you see how much time their platform can save you… you may reconsider.
Yext does a few great things that stand out:
They broadcast your correct business information to well over 100 directory systems, including Google and Facebook. They also allow you to make business updates from their platform and broadcast it to all the directories in the network. They manage your inbound reviews from your customers on all those platforms and immediately inform you when you receive them. They allow you to broadcast messages of specials you may want to promote. They link your business website from 100 different directories, instantly giving your business credibility online. The most underrated thing they do… is save you time from trying to log into 100 different directories and fix errors, omissions, and broadcast them all at the push of a button. Can you imagine the time it takes to create 100 different accounts and to regularly check and manage them? We did, so we tested Yext at our founder’s facility and have been a subscriber for well over 5 years now. This article originally published in CAR's News Section
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By Joe Marconi
Got your attention? Good. That's the power of advertising and marketing. I know many of you are affected by COVID and experiencing a downturn economically. Studies have shown that the businesses that maintain advertising during downturns do better with market share and sales when the economy returns to normal.
Maintaining your marketing presence is a lot easier and less expensive than playing catch up when things get better.
I know the reality of tough times. Do your best to maintain your advertising during tough times. You will get back what you invest.
By Joe Marconi
Most of you probably already know what I am about to say: The Service Advisor position is the most crucial position in the shop. I know, I know, what about the mechanical work done by the techs? Well, that's important too, of course.
For the most part, customers spend their hard-earned money and most of time don't really know or see what was done to their car. Let's face it, the customer can't see the water pump or T-belt. And most of the time, the customer does not feel any difference with the car as they drive out of your parking lot.
What the customer does see (or experience) is how she was treated. And that makes all the difference in the world.
Plus, great service advisors also motivate the technicians, because great advisors are also great leaders of people.
Think about this...Six months from now, your customer will not remember the fuel injection relay or the mass air sensor that was replaced....but she WILL remember how she was treated.
And trust me, that OE-quality fuel injection relay install by a certified A-level Master tech using Snap On tools and a Launch Scanner IS NOT the reason WHY your customers return to you....She returns because of the level of service your provide.
By Joe Marconi
I know it's not going to be Back to School as usual this year, but there will be increased traffic on the road as more people perform school-related errands. It's your obligation to your customers and the community to make sure the roads are safe.
Many people have neglected their cars the past few months, making a lot of opportunity for your shop.
Get your Fall/Back to School marketing plan in place today!
Want to share ideas? Even Better!