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Is Online Scheduling the Future of Automotive Appointments? with Steven Fafel - The Auto Repair Marketing Podcast

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This episode of the Auto Repair Marketing Podcast features guest Steven Fafel from AutoOps, an online scheduling tool that integrates with your shop management software. The discussion revolves around the benefits of a modern and engaging scheduling experience for customers and the importance of creating a frictionless scheduling experience. Auto Ops aims to provide an enhanced scheduling experience that sets shops apart and attracts more customers.

Thank you to our friends at RepairPal for providing this episode. RepairPal’s Certified Network of shops are trusted by millions of customers each month. Learn more at RepairPal.com/shops.

  • The Creation of AutoOps (00:01:23) Steven talks about the creation of AutoOps, an online scheduling tool that integrates with shop management software.
  • The Importance of Integration and Customizability (00:03:00) The conversation touches on the importance of integration, availability, capacity, and customizability in creating a frictionless scheduling experience.
  • Enhancing the Scheduling Experience (00:06:04) Steven discusses how AutoOps creates an engaging experience for customers by pulling their information into the tool and customizing reminders for drop-offs and waiters.
  • User Experience (00:07:55) Discussion on the benefits of AutoOps' integration with client information and the frustration of repetitive form filling.
  • Importance of Online Scheduling (00:10:45) The importance of online scheduling for all ages and the ease of use for customers on a shop's website.
  • Enhanced Customer Conversion (00:15:30) AutoOps' focus on enhancing customer conversion and the importance of providing the best opportunity for customers to schedule appointments.
  • Phone Skills and Online Scheduling (00:16:03) Discussion on the importance of online scheduling in bypassing poor phone skills and providing a great customer experience.
  • Tracking Marketing with AutoOps (00:17:45) The benefits of using AutoOps in tracking marketing all the way through the scheduling process to the sale.
  • Expanding Integrations and Future Features (00:22:10) AutoOps' current and future integrations with shop management systems and the upcoming feature of recommending declined work to customers.
  • Marketing Benefits (00:24:57) The marketing benefits of using AutoOps, especially for shared Shop Marketing Pros clients.
  • Upcoming Events (00:25:46) Auto Ops' plans to attend popular events such as ASTE and AAPEX, as well as smaller events in Pennsylvania and Tennessee.





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Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio


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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
      As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor time it takes a technician to complete a job compared to the labor time being billed to the customer. Productivity is the time the technician is billing labor hours compared to the time the technician is physically at the shop. The reality is that a technician can be very efficient, but not productive if the technician has a lot of downtime waiting for parts, waiting too long between jobs, or poor workflow systems.
      But let’s go deeper into what affects production in the typical auto repair shop. As a business coach, one of the biggest reasons for low shop production is not charging the correct labor time. Labor for extensive jobs is often not being billed accurately. Rust, seized bolts, and wrong published labor times are just a few reasons for lost labor dollars.
      Another common problem is not understanding how to bill for jobs that require extensive diagnostic testing, and complicated procedures to arrive at the root cause for an onboard computer problem, electrical issue, or drivability issue. These jobs usually take time to analyze, using sophisticated tools, and by the shop’s top technician. Typically, these jobs are billed at a standard menu labor charge, instead of at a higher labor rate. This results in less billed labor hours than the actual labor time spent. The amount of lost labor hours here can cripple a shop’s overall profit.
      Many shop owners do a great job at calculating their labor rate but may not understand what their true effective labor is, which is their labor sales divided by the total labor hours sold. In many cases, I have seen a shop that has a shop labor rate of over $150.00 per hour, but the actual effective labor rate is around $100. Not good.
      Lastly, technician production can suffer when the service advisors are too busy or not motivated to build relationships with customers, which results in a low sales closing ratio. And let’s not forget that to be productive, a shop needs to have the right systems, the right tools and equipment, an extensive information system, and of course, great leadership.
      The bottom line is this; many factors need to be considered when looking to increase production levels. While it does start with the technician, it doesn’t end there. Consider all the factors above when looking for ways to improve your shop’s labor production.
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