Quantcast
Jump to content


    • You can post now and register later. Already registered? sign in now to post with your account.
    • ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

        Only 75 emoji are allowed.

      ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

      ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

      ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


      Once you submit your question, a new topic will be created for you in our forums. Our moderators may move your topic to a more suitable forum category if one exists. Members will see your topic and be able to respond to your question.

    • This will not be shown to other users.

Recommended Posts

We all survive by and need healthy car counts. That's a given. But all too often I see auto repair shops with "steady" but not "growing" car counts, but with new customers coming in each week.

So, the question is, "If a shop has steady car counts and has new customers each week, then why are car counts not growing?"  

This is a topic that's complicated for a post but here are a few things to consider:

  1. Is your marketing attracting the right customer that matches your key profile customer? If not, the wrong customer may be a one-timer and that does not help your car count.  Or, if you are promoting too much discounting, you may be attracting the wrong customer, and that's not a long-term strategy either. 
  2. Are you making every effort to WOW all new customers and create an amazing experience that gives the new customer a compelling reason to return? All too often we are too transactional and don't spend enough time establishing relationships.  Make every effort to spend time with each customer and ESPECIALLY with first time customers. Its the relationship not salesmanship that builds a company!
  3. Are you booking your customer’s next vehicle appointment?  Please don’t tell me this does not work. It does!  Hairdressers do it, doctors do it, dentists do it, nail salons do it. My chimney cleaning service company evens books the next chimney cleaning!  If you are not booking your customer’s next visit, trust me, someone else will.

I hope this makes sense. What are your thoughts? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Topics

    • By spencersauto
      What's your houlr labor rate and where are you located? We're currently at $95 in Texas
    • By Joe Marconi
      Sometimes I feel like I’m alone on a deserted island. I charge for diagnostic analysis. Why? Because I know what cost is to buy the tools, equipment, information systems, training and pay a technician to professionally and accurately diagnosis a check engine light, air bag, ABS or any other complicated problem. But, I feel a lot of shops are willing to give this up in hopes to get the work. In my opinion all they are doing is digging themselves in a hole.
       
      And, I have heard all the reasons:
      “If the customer gives me the job, I waive the analysis”.
      “I package the analysis into the repair, so the customer does not see the diag charges”
      “I will lose customers if I charge analysis”
      And the best yet: “It only took me 10 minutes to diag the O2 sensor, so I can’t charge diag labor”.
       
      Waiving the analysis is the same as a doctor waiving the x-rays and blood tests. They don’t do it, we should not either. I will also challenge those who “package” the analysis into the repair. You mean to tell me that after taking 1 hour to find a faulty mass air sensor, you will add the 1 hour to the 5 minutes it takes to install a new mass air? Come on, we all know the truth.
       
      And let’s address the 10 minutes it took to find the failed O2 sensor. Did it really take 10 minutes? NO, it took years of training, years of experience, the investment in the right equipment and the investment in the right information systems. Why we sometimes diminish what we are truly worth is amazing. No other profession does that.
       
      Sorry for being so tough on this topic, but business is hard enough these days and people question everything. If shops don’t realize what they are giving up, it makes it bad for all of us.
       
      Please tell me what you think. Agree? Disagree? Or any other thoughts....
    • By Joe Marconi
      Usually the winter drops off in sales, but along with car counts.  This year is different.  Customers seem consumed with debt and worried about thier finances, and putting off needed vehicle maintenance.  Not good.  In the long run this leads to breakdowns and larger repair bills. 
    • By CAR_AutoReports
      Hey Everyone,
      I'm Ricardo from Complete Auto Reports.  You may have heard about the shop management software that we made at a shop in Linden NJ. 
      We've been really busy over the last year trying to refine the process at a shop through the software.  We have come up with something we think that people can and will benefit from.  We want to start with smaller auto repair facilities who are looking for something to transition out of paper and pen, as well as word documents and/or excel spreadsheets.  
      We've taken our software and made a free package that allows the following from any device with a updated and functional browser:
      Take appointments from your customers Digital Vehicle Inspections - Included in every service request and sent to each customer if performed Workflow - Pending, Under Process, Awaiting Approval, Approval Completed, Work In Progress, Completed Ratings - Customers can communicate ratings directly to you Messages - You can communicate with customers through the platform Customer App - All service history available, can schedule appointments with the app, transfer vehicle records to new owners Sales Reports 100% mobile - Works on everything from your 5inch iPhone to your desktop. 
      You can presently upload all of your customer information: name, address, phone numbers, email.
      Paid for versions offer parts ordering through PartsTech.com and Employeement modules that track employee time on jobs.
      Are there members here who are interested in trying the free platform to see if it's a fit for their business? Anyone interested in the paid for versions, can also get 60 days of free use and discounted rates available from our SEMA promotions.

       
      Our 3 plans can be broken down into these simple differences:   Free:  No inventory, no online parts ordering through PartsTech, only one photo/video per service request, one login, no employee management $50 per month (also have yearly options to save $): Includes online parts ordering through PartsTech and includes inventory, one login, no employee management $100 per month (also have yearly options to save $): includes everything with 5 logins to access the system. We often get asked, "What use can a bigger shop possibly get from the free plan?"
      With the free plan, you can take appointments digitally from your customers and then upload a copy of their receipt from your existing system to their profile in CAR. Reducing paper waste and creating a digital record for your customer to always have.  You can also use the free plan to send your customers a video or photo of the services you are performing, complete with billing the customer through the free plan at the end of the service.  These are all features that you pay for with add on systems, they are all available for free with us as you learn to adapt to smarter, more efficient technology.
      Data:
      The data you enter is yours, we do not have any agreements presently to share it with anyone and we certainly will never be sharing any personally identifying information with anyone.  Majority of the data we are interested in is to build better features to serve you better.
      Should you ever decide you no longer want to use our platform, your account will be available to you for free for one year at minimum.  In addition to that, we can and will provide you a complete data dump of all of your records within 72 hours of the request.  These companies that make it impossible to recover YOUR data is the reason for our open policy.  We want everyone to change their practices and we're leading by example.
      Cancellation:
      If you decide to cancel your subscription for any reason, all of your data can and will be exported and delivered to you via a USB stick you provide or through email in the way of an Excel file(s).  Additionally, you can access ALL OF YOUR information on our server for one year without any interference from anyone at CAR.  Most of you may not know, but I actually own a shop and if it's one thing I can not stand behind, it's these companies getting access to all of our information for secretive reasons or keeping us from having the very data that belongs to us in the first place.  You will never encounter this experience with us.
    • By ncautoshop
      It's that time of year again folks! VisionKC is coming up right around the corner. 
      And that means that the annual ASOG dinner is ramping up its registration efforts!
      The dinner is open for all to attend, regardless of membership to ASOG and all proceeds go to the ASOG scholarship efforts!
      ASOG will bring another lucky shop owner with 3 years or less in business to VisionKC. This will be the 3rd scholarship the group has provided, but it certainly won't be the last. We look forward to providing scholarships to events all over the country, and working to ensure scholarship winners are given the tools and paths needed to succeed. 
      Jacob and Lacey Bunyard were last year's winners - when we met Jacob and Lacey things were tough! It wasn't just the business that was suffering, through the suffering of the business, Jacob and Lacey's family...their children were paying the true price. 
      Today, Jacob and Lacey, through the connections and offerings presented at VisionKC have turned the business from a significant liability into a resource which provides a good life for their family. 
      We've also offered scholarships to the greatest automotive show in the south east,  ASTE by The Independent Garage Owners Of NC and seen tremendous growth of that shop owner as well. 
       
      We ask that you, as shop owners, and part of the automotive family join us for dinner. We ask that you support our efforts to improve this industry,  even if it's one shop at a time. And most of all, we ask that you join us in continuing to bring unity to shops nationwide, to continue to share a vision of something better for this industry - a higher potential, a better life for owners who haven't been given the opportunity to see there's a better, more profitable way. 
       
      Isn't it time that we stop seeing each other as competition, but as allies? 
       
      Please join us for dinner if you are able.
      Information about the dinner is available at 
      www.asog.site
       
       
       


  • Similar Tagged Content

    • By Joe Marconi
      Usually the winter drops off in sales, but along with car counts.  This year is different.  Customers seem consumed with debt and worried about thier finances, and putting off needed vehicle maintenance.  Not good.  In the long run this leads to breakdowns and larger repair bills. 
    • By Joe Marconi
      This is not new topic for me, but I need to revisit it again. And I will keep revisiting this topic for the sake of our industry. 
      For independent repair shops to "thrive" today, you must take a proactive approach with regard to business.  If you only want to "survive" you can stop reading now.
      Waiting for the phone to ring, or for cars to breakdown, or for a customer to drive into your shop asking for a repair or service is business suicide. The days of broken cars lining up in front of your bays are over.  Sure, cars still breakdown, but you cannot thrive with a wait-and-see strategy.
      Make sure you perform multipoint inspections on all cars in for any type of service. Yes, any type of service or repair.  Look up vehicle history on all vehicles. Let the customer know of needed services, missed services and services due. And lastly, book the next appointment.   Yes, I know....Joe's been preaching this over and over and it does not work in your shop. Fine, then let me focus on those shops that do book the next appointment.  Because those are the shops that are adopting a proactive approach...and I will see those shops in the future.
       
       
       
    • By Joe Marconi
      Back in the late 1990’s, I began to get concerned about car counts and customer retention. Around that time, cars were beginning to become more reliable and many of the services and tune up components we once counted on, were going away.
      I also started to notice that many customers were going to the quick lubes for their oil changes.  To be honest, I couldn’t blame them.  There was a time when I did not offer any “wait” service and I was never concerned about the oil change business.
      That all changed.  I began an all-out blitz to get my customers coming back to me for their next oil change.  I especially made it a point to inform customers of their next appointment when we did not due their last oil change.  I just informed them of their next service date and made sure they received a service reminder. 
      The plan took time, but it worked. It increased car counts and customer retention improved. We still use this strategy to this day.
      Make sure you speak to all customers at car delivery about their next service. Book it in your calendar.  And if the car was not in for an oil change, check the oil sticker, enter the date in your CRM reminder system, and assume that the customer wants to return to you.
      We need to be proactive these days. We cannot wait for the phone to ring, we have to make it ring!
    • By Elite Worldwide Inc.
      By Bob Cooper
       
      We all know that there are many things you can do when it comes to customer retention. Follow-up calls, sending out service reminder notices, ongoing advertising campaigns that keep your name at the top of the customer’s mind, and scheduling the next visit at the time of car delivery are just a few. Yet there are some timeless rules that are often forgotten. During these competitive times I feel I can best help you by reminding you of the 6 most important rules when it comes to customer retention.
       
      Rule #1. Create a principle-centered culture. All great companies realize that getting to the top, and staying at the top, is dependent on having a culture that is based on principles. As a business owner you need to ensure that you have a clearly defined Mission Statement, you need to share it with all of your employees, and you need to constantly keep it at the forefront of their minds. Remember, your “goals” are what you are going to accomplish, whereas your Mission Statement is what you will be doing along the way. For example, a Mission Statement could read, “It is the mission of Elite Auto Service to deliver extraordinary service to our customers and opportunity to our employees, while never compromising our ethics or our responsibility to society.”
       
      Rule #2. Offer and deliver a good value. I am not suggesting that you be the lowest priced, or the highest priced in your community. What I am suggesting is that you deliver a good value in return for the money you charge. Companies that charge more than they should just because they can typically discover that their profits will go up in the short term, but that they lose their customer base at the same time. Great companies are competitive, not greedy, and that is why they become, and remain, great companies.
       
      Rule #3. Hire the Superstars. The success of your company, and your ability to retain customers over the years, will be dependent on the people who work with you. As I am sure you will agree, just being good is no longer good enough, so you need to have employees who truly are superstars. I can only hope you bear in mind that whenever someone buys a product, they will always remember the product, but whenever they buy a service, they will always remember the people providing the service. Simply put, your customers’ impression of your business will only be as positive as their impression of the people who work with you.
       
      Rule #4. Provide consistency in the experience. Great companies such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and Nordstrom all understand the importance of consistency in service. With any of these companies, before you step into their stores you already have an expectation of what the experience will be. The top shops understand this rule, and that is why they have clearly defined procedures for everything they do, from handling the first-time caller, through car delivery. When customers feel there is no consistency in service, they will typically look for an alternative service provider.
       
      Rule #5. Deliver on your promises. Hopefully you can see how this rule ties into your Mission Statement. If you want your customers to continue to return, then make sure that all of your employees choose their words carefully when they are making a commitment to your customers, and then ensure they move the earth to deliver on those promises.
       
      Rule #6. Never put money ahead of people. All world-class business owners understand that money is the result of doing the right things for the right reasons. When you embrace this rule you will also discover why the world-class businesses will never take their customers for granted. They understand that it’s the trust their customers have in them and their people that is priceless, not their credit cards.
       
      In closing, there are a number of things you can do to improve your customer retention, but the one promise I can make you is this: These 6 rules are timeless ones, and if you apply them to your business, you will not only see more repeat customers, but unlike your competitors, you will be building a business that will last for generations to come.
       
      Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite, a company that strives to help shop owners reach their goals and live happier lives, while elevating the industry at the same time. The company offers one-on-one coaching from the industry’s top shop owners, service advisor training, peer groups, along with sales, marketing and shop management courses. To learn more about Elite, visit www.EliteWorldwide.com.
       
  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...