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Business Has Slowed Down? Or Back to the Way it Was?


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  • 2 weeks later...

Re: Should we get back to the art of selling, taking care of customers, offering options and making sure we create an amazing experience? 

Should we get back to the art of selling? NO! Customers don’t need to be "sold." We need to sell ourselves. Google search: “nobody likes to be sold.” More soon

taking care of customers: YES !

offering options? Such as?

and making sure we create an amazing experience? OK. What makes for an amazing experience? I read online somewhere: “Today’s customers want an exceptional experience, one that puts you and your shop above the competition. Which means: easy scheduling, a fast turnaround, open communication, fair and transparent pricing, and repairs that are done right the first time.”

To me, that is NOT an exceptional experience. That is the minimum. That is a routine experience.

Thoughts?

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/28/2024 at 4:07 PM, Joe Marconi said:

You are right.  Here is my take on this.  Creating an amazing experience is nothing more than building strong relationships, being nice, friendly and making sure that you are taking care of the customers needs. You are right, as we build value, we sell ourselves.

I don't think the customers "expect" any experience. They get beat up everywhere, and now they are just looking for a someone who truly cares. For example, I am dealing with a knee issue. I called the doctor three times, left messages, got hung up on twice, and it took days for someone to call me back. And this is a doctor's office!

Again, this is no brainer, just be nice, do a quality job, and the rest takes care of itself....for the most part. 

I am in the same boat with the Dr. with same problem.. 
People don't care, I had to go to make an appointment in person, and the Dr. that was helping me there, no longer works there

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Good afternoon...
2nd half of April was challenging...
Our Sales were close to last year but not enough. We were short 9%...
We're doing google ads and that works for us..
Again, we're a Specialty shop, We're a brakes & front end shop big challenges for this year.
We have to keep in mind, we're in a Presidential year. It has been my experience that in this type of year Sales are more of a Challenge.
Also every things is very expensive, as consumers, we don't have the buying power, which creates a big problem for the consumer..

I am really good about finding solutions to the problems but at this point my view is very cloudy and gray, which makes it very difficult to have a clear view.

We live in an area where there are several small town within our town and we advertise in the surrounding areas. 

I am going to consider to reduced our advertising area to just within town and see what results throws this approach

Thanks 

JP





 

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6 hours ago, Joe Marconi said:

As a business coach (former shop owner) I see that many areas around the country are having a slow down in business. However, a lot can be done. Focus on your existing customers. Make sure that all deferred and declined work is followed up and reminders sent out. 

Regarding your advertising, local is always better. Just don't cut your advertising too much.

Perhaps the most important factor is to have a positive open mindset. Look for ways to improve, discuss with your team. Don't sit on your hands and say nothing can be done.

With the right approach, things will improve. 

Good luck!

 

In my shop we heavily focus on each and every customer we HAVE, getting new ones have been much harder to get through Google, Instagram, and FB.  FB is pretty much a joke.     It's been much slower from last Nov to current.  I talked with our World Pac rep and he said it's even worse on the west coast.   Focusing on your customers is excellent advice, I agree but when you don't have enough of them to focus on because people aren't even doing brakes when they are at 2%, then what?    Trying to keep an open mind is also good advice, but that gets hard as the percentage of sales to the last fiscal year grows further apart!   I know many shops in this same situation too.....we've had some HUGE dealers go out of business here, and one comes to mind that's been in business for a very, very long time with 5 HUGE lots, all gone, 144 employees lost their jobs, business closed, land owners probably freaking out now wondering what to do with their space...it's just a horrible time period right now.   Usually, when we are in a recession or recession-like period customers still fix their cars because they know buying new isn't an option, that is VERY different from where we are now.

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8 hours ago, Joe Marconi said:

As a business coach (former shop owner) I see that many areas around the country are having a slow down in business. However, a lot can be done. Focus on your existing customers. Make sure that all deferred and declined work is followed up and reminders sent out. 

Regarding your advertising, local is always better. Just don't cut your advertising too much.

Perhaps the most important factor is to have a positive open mindset. Look for ways to improve, discuss with your team. Don't sit on your hands and say nothing can be done.

With the right approach, things will improve. 

Good luck!

 

Good day to every one and very thankful for the responses, everything helps.

I already took some action and reduced our advertising to the zip codes where we get the most on google ads.

working up on a list of follow up from our current customers

Also working on an advertising campaign for the coming holiday, Memorial Day and the summer, it's just around the corner and the traveling starts right after the memorial day, since school is out.

Thanks again, I will come back with a report right after the end of this month

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Wow, 55 Year in Business, That's an accomplishment!

...with that amount of years, your business is a land mark for the city/town where you live.

Your business is 55 years old, I am 52 years old and my business is 10 years old.

We have had our ups and downs but I started this business from scratch..

I don't considered myself a mechanic since I did not go to school for that. I am an Entrepreneur/accountant that got retrained 10 years back to do Brakes & Suspension work.

...and Yes, I come from a family of Mechanics, I just did not enjoyed it when I was young, now I loved it

It's harder for a younger business to even consider the thought of competing  with a 55 year old.

HOW?

The business itself has it's path and journey, at that age of a business, somebody will come through the front door, it could be minor activity or a lot of it.

Now reaching goals and owner's expectation is something totally different!

Congratulation I just hope one day our business can reach to that age, and that would be up to my kids...

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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