Jump to content




Keep Your Auto Repair Customers Coming Back

Recommended Posts

Good times, bad times, auto repair business ups and downs. Profit gains and money loss in a merry-sales-go-round. Oh yeah! Finding new customers is not always easy, and you can suffer for it during those times when it's not.


You can keep putting out the deals in expensive advertising, but when that fails does that mean you go broke? Absolutely not!




Not if you have already built up a customer base, and have provided those customers with good auto repair service and good products. What you have built up by doing this is your company's number one asset.


Do you know how much that asset is worth? Do you know the lifetime value of your customers? That is how much a customer spends a year on average with you, times the number of years they stay a customer, times the number of customers you have.


It can add up to a lot, if you are doing things in the right way.


Do you have marketing geared toward your current customers?

Do you take the trouble to find out things they specifically and generally like and dislike? Do you ask what you might do to serve them better? Do you publicize a solid guarantee and honor it?


With the right customer service you can keep your customers for LIFE!


Find out information about your customers. Keep a list of their names and addresses so you can keep in constant communication with them by sending a heads-up on deals, new stock, and anything that would make them feel special. Postcards are perfect for doing that. Even get their month and day of birth so you can send them birthday cards giving them their own special discount on anything they want.


Give away things to your customers. Make promotional items freely available like pens, pencils, pocket planners, calendars, calculators, key-chains, mugs, you name it. All those things will have your business name, address, and phone number on them. Sending something like that to them in the mail would even give it more value in your customer's eyes. The more useful the item, the more you will be in the customers sight and mind. That is a good thing!


If you have a clothing store, get to know your customer's sizes. As soon as they walk in the door, greet them by name and say you have saved something for them that you know will look great on them. Then pick the newest most expensive piece of clothing to show them. Say that they simply must try it on, and while they will be in the changing room anyway, fix them up with everything to go with it for trying on as well. You will collect sales for more items once they see how good they look in them. Throw them over the edge by giving them a break in price if they get the entire outfit with accessories.


If you do not have a clothing store, find a way to get samples of what you do have to your customers that they can try. Get them to use something on a trial basis. Once you do that, their ownership of it is practically assured! Once someone is in possession of something, giving it up creates the painful emotion of loss.


A happy customer is a loyal customer. Loyalty comes by your customers knowing you care about them, are actively educating them in the things they are interested in, and knowing you will continuously be able to meet their needs in the best way for them.


The customer is always right in that they know what they want. You are always on top of it by presenting what you have as not only something they want, but something they've got to have. And not just something they themselves got to have. Maybe they have a husband, wife, or children. Compel your customer to treat the family too.


Here is something to jump on. Perhaps your customer is a business owner. Get that person to send the customers for their business over to your business. Beyond word of mouth referral, they can do that by giving coupons good for things in your store, or maybe you can get permission to put a raffle box in their store that gives prizes given by your store. You can either pay them to do it or return the favor. There can be many ways to help each other in cooperation, even paying each other commissions, and also bundling your two company's products and services together at favorable prices for customers. You will find that such arrangements, called Joint Venture Partnering, can be very lucrative as it quickly builds your customer base.


It pays to know your customer, and to know how to supplement and expand your products and services with things like go-along additions, deluxe automatic maintenance service, special package deals, premium upgrades, complimentary products, etc. Think of anything you can.


Give your customer something to put in their purse or wallet, something that equals money to them. A discount card that gives discounts on purchases, or a buyers card that gives rewards after a determined amount of purchases accumulated from multiple visits are two examples. The surest way to get your customer to spend more with you is getting them a charge card. Your own store credit card in your customer's possession is guaranteed to spike sales.


You will have a solid relationship with the customers you have already gotten, and through that relationship, your business will evolve!


This gives lifetime value of a customer a whole other meaning. You are finding ways to improve yourself and your business. Take periodic customer surveys. That way the customer is giving intellectual input as well as money into your business, and if you are innovative enough to make use of them, the customer will more than likely also be giving you new customers by recommending you to their friends.


Other things you can do: offer your customers incentives for making referrals & collect testimonial stories from them to use in your ads because the best advertising comes from satisfied customers. Not only that, a customer that gives a testimonial for you will become even more loyal by doing it. Imagine that! It just goes to show how things get solidified when written down. Do you write down the goals you have for your business? How about the goals of your business?


Write a Service Pledge to your customers. Post it up where you do business so your customers know what great service they can expect. Find the greatest benefit that solves the most major concern to your customers, perhaps something unique that no other business in the area offers. Make a catchy slogan out of it. Use it wherever the name of your business is displayed so that your business will be known by the slogan. When employees eagerly answer the phone, have them not only say the name of the business, but the slogan as well, followed by giving their name and asking "how may I help you?"


If you spruce up your business enough to make it an interesting topic of conversation, your customers will even talk you up to strangers they meet. Your reputation will travel by work of mouth.


Instead of you looking to find new customers, they will be finding you. And on top of that, their lifetime value will be much greater by your building the greater value into your business. This happens just by catering to your current customers rather than doing the usual routine of chasing after new ones.


That is why you will never lack if you keep your auto repair customers coming back.




View the full article

Link to comment
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
  • 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.
  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      Hunt explores the crucial differences between shop management software and QuickBooks, focusing on the impact on parts margin. This episode is a must-listen for shop owners and financial managers seeking clarity and efficiency in their business operations.
      • Dual Bookkeeping Explained: Unravel the reasons behind running two sets of books and its effect on your financials.
      • Real-Life Client Case: Learn from a client's experience with discrepancies in parts margin between shop management systems and QuickBooks.
      • Strategies for Financial Accuracy: Gain insights into aligning financial data across platforms for precise tracking and profitability.
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Transmission Repair

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our partner, RepairPal. Visit the Web HERE
      How To Get In Touch
      Group - Auto Repair Marketing Mastermind
      Website - shopmarketingpros.com 
      Facebook - facebook.com/shopmarketingpros 
      Get the Book - shopmarketingpros.com/book
      Instagram - @shopmarketingpros 
      Questions/Ideas - [email protected] & [email protected]
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      "AutoTechIQ helps car and truck owners identify problems their vehicles are having. We provide proven auto repair work that has solved similar issues thousands of vehicle owners have faced. We also recommend auto repair shops in your area based on trust, customer education, and quality of work. These shops inspect your car using a courtesy Digital Vehicle Health Inspection and create a state of health report with symptom information and necessary fixes." Frank Scandura and Krista Erickson discuss how AutoTechIQ aims to bridge the gap between shops and customers by creating better relationships through technology and transparency. The goal is to empower customers with knowledge and build trust. Frank Scandura, Frank’s European Service, Las Vegas, NV. VP of Certified Shop Relations and Member of the Board of Directors, AutoTechIQ. Frank’s previous episodes HERE. Kirsta Erickson, VP of Client Services and Marketing, AutoTechIQ Show Notes
      AutoTechIQ: https://www.autotechiq.com/ Transparency is the New Trust (00:01:02) Discussion on the importance of transparency in building trust with customers and how it relates to online reviews and consumer behavior. Using Data to Inform Customers (00:03:52) Explanation of how AutoTechIQ utilizes data from repair shops to provide customers with relevant information and help them make informed decisions about their automotive repairs. The Power and Carefulness of AI (00:08:55) Exploration of AI as a smart algorithm and a powerful search engine that requires careful questioning to avoid getting incorrect answers. Transparency and Expertise in Automotive Services (00:10:33) Explanation of how AutoTechIQ aims to connect customers with expert shops that provide transparency, digital inspections, and communicate in a language that customers understand. The disruptors (00:15:16) Discussion on the impact of disruptors in various industries and the need for new solutions. Vetting process for certified shops (00:16:30) Explaining the requirements and process for certifying shops, including reputation, online reviews, and digital inspections. Driving consumers to shops (00:17:54) The importance of bringing consumers to shops through technology and creating a bridge between customers and shops. The digital vehicle inspection revolution (00:23:06) Discussion on the importance of digital vehicle inspections and the need to educate shops and customers about its benefits. The percentage of shops doing digital vehicle inspections (00:23:33) Exploration of the industry-wide adoption of digital vehicle inspections and the varying definitions of what constitutes a digital inspection. Disrupting business directories with transparency (00:25:22) The potential impact of AutoTechIQ on business directories, focusing on transparency and high-quality service. Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care Learn more about NAPA Auto Care and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting https://www.napaonline.com/en/auto-care Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • Incfile.com
    • By carmcapriotto
      Recorded Live at AAPEX 2023, our panel dives into the progress of the Right to Repair bill that could potentially reshape our industry. Without the Right to Repair Act, our industry could face a staggering $93 billion hit by 2035. Kathleen Callahan, who testified in front of Congress, shared her experience and the momentum it created for the bill. It's crucial for industry professionals to understand the bill, advocate for it, and engage with their communities and legislators. Dwayne Myers, Dynamic Automotive, 6 locations, Maryland. Dwayne’s previous episodes HERE. Jennifer Keaton, Director of Government Affairs, Auto Care Association Kathleen Callahan, Xpertech Auto Repair, Englewood, FL Show Notes
      IDC Hearing: "Proposals To Enhance Product Safety And Transparency For Americans: https://www.youtube.com/live/AU1vg7Xsw88?feature=shared The testimony before Congress (00:02:01) Kathleen Callahan's testimony in front of a congressional subcommittee and her experience preparing for it. Magic Johnson's keynote speech (00:04:38) Discussion about Magic Johnson's speech at the event, his support for small businesses, and the request for his support for right to repair. Getting a bill in front of Congress (00:08:13) The process and hard work involved in getting a bill, specifically the Repair Act (HR 906), in front of Congress. The legislative process and subcommittee hearing (00:08:36) Discussion about advancing a bill through the legislative process, the importance of the subcommittee hearing, and the next steps of getting the bill to a markup. The significance of markup (00:09:35) Explaining what markup means in the legislative process and how it signifies that the bill is moving forward. The importance of right to repair legislation (00:12:53) Highlighting the potential impact of not passing right to repair legislation, including the loss of market share and the negative consequences for the industry and consumers. Kathleen's Confident Testimony (00:17:27) Kathleen's confident and professional testimony, her preparation, and the positive feedback received. The Importance of Questions (00:17:59) The importance of paying attention to the questions asked during testimony and the impact of facial expressions. Strategic Selection of Kathleen (00:20:05) The strategic selection of Kathleen as the only woman shop owner from Florida to represent the industry. The importance of marketing and being active in advocacy (00:25:49) Dwayne emphasizes the importance of continuous marketing efforts and being proactive in advocating for the industry. Telematics as the new right to repair (00:26:24) Tthe significance of telematics and the potential challenges it poses for gaining access to vehicle data. Equitable access to repair and diagnostic data (00:26:47) Kathleen highlights the need for repair shops to have equal access to repair and diagnostic data as dealerships, and the importance of showing legislators the impact of the industry. Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX and NAPA TRACS Set your sights on Las Vegas in 2024. Mark your calendar now … November 5th-7th, 2024. AAPEX - Now more than ever. And don’t miss the next free AAPEX webinar. Register now at http://AAPEXSHOW.COM/WEBINAR NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at http://napatracs.com/ Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections      
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio

  • Our Sponsors

  • Create New...