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  • Similar Forum Topics

    • Customer's buying their own parts

      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?

      By Jonathan Ganther, in General Automotive Discussion

      • 78 replies
      • 3,807 views
    • Sharing my experience with a uniform vendor

      This is a rant, pure and simple, but I hope that it can serve as a cautionary tale for others.  Unifirst came in with a proposal as the "AAA preferred uniform vendor".  As we are a AAA approved shop we qualified for special pricing, almost 30% less than what we were paying at that time.  We gave them our business and it has been a cluster since.  It took almost 6 months for them to deliver, and when they did the sizes were all over the map.  About half of my employees (and myself) had to have size changes.  They embroidered all our dark shirts with dark logos and had to re-do them which took months.  They actually embroidered them wrong TWICE before they got it right.  My tech's shirts came back with with huge oil and rust stains after their first washing and have never been clean since.  The towels are usually oily and sometimes have metal shavings in them.  They routinely mis-deliver and fail to deliver uniforms, leaving techs short for the week.  I've had the service manager, plant manager, and regional manager all in my office to tell me that this would all be corrected, to no avail.  We have a new service starting in December and I anticipate threats to sue on the three year agreement they require.  I've been cataloging, photographing and corresponding with them over the past 8 months and I am confident that we can prove that they are unable to provide anything close to the level of service they promised.  I have learned, yet again, that you get what you pay for.  Don't let Unifirst in the door.

      By Andrew Cutler, in Auto Repair Shop Management Help? Post Here!

        
      • 24 replies
      • 1,659 views
    • In-House Training is needed too, sometimes more

      We know the value of technical and sales training, but what about in-house training.  What I am referring to is review policies and procedures.  By reviewing in house written procedures gets everyone on the same page, improves production and also improves quality in the repair process. A simple process such as everyone following the same procedure for a cooling system problem will add to the overall shop's production and in the long run procedure a better quality job.     

      By Joe Marconi, in Joe’s Business Tips For Shop Owners

      • 0 replies
      • 160 views
    • Article: Defining Your Ideal Customer

      We all have our favorite customers. You know who there are. They’re the ones that throw their keys on the service counter in the morning and say, “Do what you need to do and I’ll see you at 5 p.m.” They never question your price, they trust you and they keep coming back. But does that person define your true profile customer? The answer is probably yes. But it’s not the only criteria. It’s a little more complicated than that. Defining your true profile customer starts with you. It starts with who you are, why you are in business and the culture of your company. By the way, determining your true profile customer has nothing to do with excluding certain people due to their income level. The young 23-year-old college graduate who sets aside part of her paycheck to shop at Whole Foods does so because she believes in the company and for what they stand. It’s not about what she “supposedly” can or cannot afford. She is Whole Foods’ profile customer because she aligns herself with that brand. And Whole Foods welcomes her with open arms. Many of my profile customers endured tough economic times during the Great Recession of 2008. They lost their ability to pay for some of the things they previously could afford. What they didn’t lose was their loyalty to my company. So, what did we do? We helped them through that difficult time. We helped them manage their car care needs better, offering services that would save on fuel, reduce repair costs, and reduce breakdowns. We showed them how to squeeze every mile out of their tires and brakes. We took care of them and we still do to this day. We consider them family and we don’t turn our backs on family. One thing we didn’t do, and will never do, is compromise on price to get a job. That would not be fair to all my customers, my employees or the company. With regard to pricing your services and repairs, it’s a delicate balance between being profitable and competitive. But I don’t know of any shop that prefers a customer walk away or sends someone to another shop because he or she cannot afford a particular price. A smart service advisor will give options, prioritize the work needed, and offer finance options. If you’re a startup company, your doors are wide open to everyone. You need customers and car counts, and you need them right away. But as your business matures, you begin to realize that not everyone is your customer. And there’s nothing wrong with this realization. As you build your customer base, you begin to see that there are customers that respect the work you do, align themselves with your culture and appreciate what you do for them and for the community. They become your profile customers. Let’s say you sponsor a youth baseball team in your area, help out at community events and involved with local fundraisers. You will become known as the business person that cares about the community and children. That’s making your business stand out among the rest. As you define who you are, you also attract those that want to do business with you and support your brand. While I do recommend treating everyone the same, I don’t recommend trying to be everything to everyone. That’s not a sound marketing strategy—that’s a recipe for failure. Defining your customer and targeting your market does not isolate consumers. It actually increases market share. Here’s an important fact: In your geographical area, automotive shops basically do the same thing; they repair and service automobiles. So, how is a consumer going to choose you over another? You need to stand out. You need to be different. You need to build a brand culture and establish a marketing position that will make people take notice. By the way, every successful company, large and small, understands its true profile customer and creates a marketing plan on attracting them. One last thing: When you build a business around your culture, you put the focus on your brand and the value you provide. This strategy is one of your pathways to success. When you combine value with culture, you will have an enduring and profitable company. If you want to build a great company, ask yourself these questions: Why are you in business? What’s your life’s purpose? Your culture? Build a marketing strategy and a brand message around the answers to these questions. Not all people will take notice, but your profile customers will.    This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on August 3, 2018
      View full article

      By Joe Marconi, in AutoShopOwner Articles

        
      • 0 replies
      • 113 views
    • High Performance Workshop In Chicago! (Customizable To YOU)

      Let me ask you a few questions about your year to this point… Has 2018 been the killer breakout year that you hoped for? Are you still tired of not having enough quality car count in your shop every day? Are you wondering why you’re working so hard, yet not making the money you should be making? Is the endless ‘feast or famine’ of this business driving you nuts? Are you frustrated with running around your shop all day putting out fires – instead of getting any ‘real’ work done? Are you ready to get a proven plan handed to you on a silver platter that will help you attract an endless supply of customers, crank up your profits, and get your shop running in tip-top shape – while working fewer hours than you’ve ever worked before? If so, you’ll want to do everything humanly possible to clear your schedule and join us at the upcoming High Performance Workshop (August 18th & 19th)
      - UPDATE: EVENT HAS PASSED. CLICK HERE TO WATCH AN EXCLUSIVE SALES TRAINING You’ll be exposed to the TRUTH about what it takes to be successful in today’s environment from an actual million dollar shop owner. This workshop is a 2-Day LIVE intensive training where we take you by the hand and walk you through every step of what it takes to run a KICK-BUTT, smooth running, and HIGHLY PROFITABLE repair shop! Click here to learn more and register today! Ron

      By Ron Ipach, in Shop Management Coaching, Business Training, Consulting

        
      • 0 replies
      • 196 views
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