By Dennis R.
We want to do a short survey with our customers to gauge their reaction to newer trends in the repair of their car. We are only going to ask 4 Questions so that we can share the results on this forum and have other shops do the same.
The 4 questions we thought of : still working of exact wording so help is appreciated.
1. - Personal Service Adviser to talk too. VS Virtual Artificial Intellegent service advisor ( no human interaction )
2. - Check in with a Personal service advisor VS using a digital check in like Mc Donalds uses to take your order inside their restaurant then leave keys
3.- Personal phone call or text with updates and for authorization VS Computer generated text for updates and authorization
4. Personal phone call or text with Pictures sent as needed (trust in your shop) VS digital inspection form and pictures sent each time their vehicle is brought in
Your input is important so we can all ask the same questions to help us keep our businesses thriving.
One example of a survey we did a few years ago was would you like us to have a quick lube bay for fast in and out service or Leave your vehicle for the day for the LOF 96 % of our customers wanted to leave their cars so they could get a non rushed check over of the vehicle while it was there.
By Joe Marconi
The aftermath of the great recession, which caused many new car dealers to go out of business, has resulted in a new breed of dealers. They have come to realize that the lower margins on new cars, combined with the intense competition, means that their service and parts departments must become primary profit centers. Which also means that they need more customers beyond the warranty period …. and that means they want your customers.
Ten years ago, I laughed at the attempts of the local dealers to try to steal my customers...but no longer.
Smart dealers have 4 primary strategies:
1. Offer free oil changes, - some for life, some of a specific time period - And setting up the first oil change service at the time of the sale
2. Wrap future maintenance plans into the monthly payment
3. Sell maintenance plans at the time of the sale
4. Use recalls as a way to sell services and repairs.
What are you doing to fight these strategies?
I offer customer financing through Paramount payment. I really like them but they are getting harder to use because they require that my customers have a check. So many people do not use checks anymore.
Can anyone recommend a finance company that does not require checks?
So its been a little slow lately so I visited every garage around to see what I'm doing wrong. What I found got me thinking, just about everyone had the same empty parking lot as me. Made me feel better. Some places had million plus $$ renovations since the last time I had visited, they have shops and customer areas way nicer than I can afford without going into huge debt. To be honest it made me feel a little insecure. My waiting room is clean but dated, my shop is also clean and modern but the building is 70 yrs old, so its about as good as its going to be without spending big money. I resigned myself to keep offering the best customer service possible as that's what I feel really matters. I can't compete in the spend more money game, some of these guys can easily out do me every time.
What are your thoughts? Do you think customers are attracted to brand new facilities or can they be satisfied with just good service alone?
By Jonathan Ganther
Hey guys. I'm new to the forum and was looking for this subject but couldn't find it. Sorry If I'm posted something that's already been discussed. I own a brake shop in Austin, TX. We do anywhere from 10-20 brake jobs a day. We only do brakes so I don't know how much full service auto shops deal with this problem but... Customers are constantly calling in claiming they've bought the best parts or they want to provide their own parts because they've done research and know what is best. This drives me crazy. First of all they don't know whats best. Then after being told no they get offended and act like tons of shops allow this. What is the best way to handle these customers? Just send them away? I'll quote them a price using our parts and they act as though its a rip off. What shops are doing this for their customers? I feel like I'm letting jobs get away from me. Any experience with this?