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More Car Counts? Or, focus on what counts, per car?


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Water Proof And Self Adhesive

Very good advise Joe.

Get the most out of what you have first.

Explain what they need now and what to be budgeting for in the near and distant future always building that personal relationship CONTANTLY !

I can guarantee if you build this type of business relationship with your customers in a few visits to your shop they will lay there keys on the counter and say fix it It happens with every shop I work with and it amazes them. I smile and say, its just being a people person and we are in the people business. 

Services advisers should be talking to the customer to become there friend and extract information. Put a comment in the customer info on what he or she likes from your conversation and you will be very happy in the return you will receive. 

I have always said a service advisor is NOT a sells people but a problem solver. Solve there problems and be friendly.  

Always ask to set up there next appointment ,as Joe stated everyone does it. 

Edited by Stevens Automotive Service
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I agree and would like to elaborate on a few things.

Re: “Explain what they need now and what to be budgeting for in the near and distant future …”

I so agree. May I add that I see it as roughly, 1/3, 1/3, 1/3.

Their car comes in for a check engine light and their service is due soon, so do it now – first 1/3. You do an inspection and find several things that need attention - second 1/3. You spot things they need in the future – final 1/3.  So … they NEED the first third – very little “selling” (see below for more). The last 1/3 is in the future, so little selling. And the middle 1/3 I say, “Lets come up with a plan.” Again, I’m not selling, I’m explaining and advising.

I think the shop owner should be careful expecting a high closing ratio. It would be too easy for the service advisor to write up less in the last 1/3, the future work. Or, “sell” more of the future work. Either way, it’s not taking care of the customer first.

 

“ … always building that personal relationship CONSTANTLY !”

Agreed. They trust you now. Heck, I’ve told them what not to do now, the last 1/3. Meaning, I’m not after their money. My aim is to take care of them and their car. I then “explain” the middle third and why they need it. Most times they say yes.

 

“I can guarantee if you build this type of business relationship with your customers in a few visits to your shop they will lay there keys on the counter and say fix it.  It happens with every shop I work with and it amazes them.”

Again, agree. It’s based on trust, that personal relationship.

 

“I smile and say, it’s just being a people person and we are in the people business.”

We are taking care of people, not just cars.

 

“Services advisers should be talking to the customer to become their friend and extract information. Put a comment in the customer info on what he or she likes from your conversation and you will be very happy in the return you will receive.”

Agreed. Then, during their next visit, you can ask: How was the camping trip? How was the trip to your son’s/daughter’s future college? How was the big golf tournament?” You are friends talking friend’s stuff. So instead taking time to sell “safety, value and benefits,” you’re talking friend’s stuff and they say yes to the additional work, because they trust their friend.

 

“I have always said a service advisor is NOT a sales person but a problem solver.”

Nobody likes to be sold: it’s almost an automatic defense mechanism.

 

“Solve their problems and be friendly.”

So simply put

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One more thing. When I started your article, I was hoping you didn’t say, “Do a complete inspection on every car.”

And sure enough …

It seems vehicle inspections come up every 3 to 6 months in an article somewhere. And I don’t get why. I grew up being a Porsche mechanic (after being a VW mechanic) and every car was given an inspection. If we didn’t, we were in trouble. That was our job: look at the whole car, not just change the oil.

We would road test the car first, if safely drivable, to check the acceleration, shocks, alignment, gauges, braking, noises, etc. Once on the rack, with the oil draining, we check out the car from underneath: tie rods, ball joints, brake pad thickness, leaks, etc.

It seems so normal to me. Are shops afraid what the customer will say when they tell them they will inspect the car? Then don’t say “inspection.” That sounds like you have a magnifying glass, looking for the tiniest thing to fix and charge more.  Instead, something like: “We’ll give your car a once-over.” Or, “We’ll check it out while it’s on the rack.”

What some remember though is the customer seeming upset and says, “NO, just change my oil.” After too many of those, the service writer quits checking the cars because he or she hasn’t been taught how to bring that up or make that call with the additional work (a future post).

But think back, how many times has a customer asked, after an oil change: “So everything else is ok?”

I would like to know why shops don’t check every car.

              Too many cars to work on to do an inspection and find even more work?

                           And wait for approval.

             It would put the shop further behind?

             Uneasy about telling your customer that you are going to do an inspection?

             Don’t like the call to the customer with the additional work (not taught how?)?

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