Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Great Tire Deal

I agree with you Joe,


The statement above sounds like an oxymoron, but unfortunately does not surprise me a bit.

What i think (and hope) this will achieve, is to do exactly what it is intended - give the "price shopper" customers the lowest possible price and give the "car count only" shops what they want - the car count.

It should also give us another boost to remind us why are we in this business and why we should give our customers reasons to not even consider a service as "Repair Jungle" .

I'd really like to see the Yelp (and alike) reviews of the business after it goes through the "Jungle". They may as well call it a "Bait and switch Jungle" imo

I am also wondering how much this "service" cost to the shop. I doubt it's free even to the customer, considering his "satisfaction" :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So the "winning" shop not only gives up the very last bit of possible profit (please note I am not using it as a dirty word) but also has to pay for it. I mean, that's a great business model for the Mr. Fred Yu, but for the shop is literally and figuratively speaking a loosing proposition. If the "bait and switch" tactics used to be pretty much a move out of despair, now with the "improved system", it will become a rule of the road for these shops.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The customer is armed with more "knowledge" but little wisdom. In most cases people just hear BLAH BLAH BLAH PRICE. Check out what your GOOD customers tweet about you. It might surprise you. I saved a customer $1000.00 on a repair only to have her daughter curse us on twitter. Wait until the Liars app becomes common. The customer will be able to record your voice pattern and scan your face to be able to tell if your employees are lying or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Joe, in that situation you described above with the broken valve spring, do you charge the customer a diagnostic fee to find the "real" issue or just the parts and labor required to fix the issue after you have found it? If you do charge a diagnostic fee to find the issue in these type of situations, do you think you lose out on some customers who feel as though they do not want to pay for the diag. fee because they THINK they already know what the issue is?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is the most bizarre thing I've heard of. Just keep building solid relationships and trust with "the right customers" and this will not even phase you. Drive down prices? When the parts manufacturers, insurance companies and tax collectors lower their prices I'll lower mine. Even though more people seem to be price conscious with the information on the internet we must stand our ground to remain in business. As an industry we must not give in to these types of customers for they make up a low percentage of work that we really don't need. It is always the high maintenance, price shopping, high demanding customer that give the most grief and least profit. Why do we fall for this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do my best to brush off the price shoppers but here is a better question... Do you give out phone quotes? If the customer says "I've had it check and I need this" do you just give them a price?


I have been debating on a policy of not giving phone estimates however I don't think that would go over well without the right approach. I've seen it done in the martial arts business industry, many franchise schools don't give phone quotes to get people to come in rather than price shop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, we do charge a diagnostic testing fee. We must. We knew from the sound of the engine and the way that is was running that it was an engine related problem. We sold a compression test, leak down test and once we determined the cylinder, we went back to the customer to ask for time to remove the valve cover.


The customer was actually greatfull at that point, for not just doing a decarb. Many shops fear charging for diag testing. If explained correctly you will not have the a problem. We always give the customer a visual inspection and a road test, with pulling any codes and a consultation before we start, for no charge.


Joe I'm confused at your posts. I seems to me that you clearly don't charge for diagnostic time... Could you further elaborate on your reasoning?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joe I'm confused at your posts. I seems to me that you clearly don't charge for diagnostic time... Could you further elaborate on your reasoning?


I asked myself the same thing. However, read further down, and Joe explains it. They don't sell generic diagnostic time; rather, they sell diagnostic tests, like a charge for a leakdown test or a compression test (see below).


With that said, I am very interested in hearing this elaborated upon myself.


But, after that we sell Diagnostic Tests...not time...we don't sell time. No likes to buy time. You go to the doctor with a pain in your shoulder and the doctor orders an X-ray. You pay for the X-ray, not time.


Then, as with a doctor, we disucss the results of the test and then the repair to get the car fixed.


Make sense?


Oh, the only fear I have with diag testing is doing work for the wrong customer. Again, when explained correctly and offer them a visual inspection and consultation first at no charge, they are fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For example, a customer comes in the shop complaining of a noise in the wheel when they turn right. To "diagnose/troubleshoot" a noise like that you would test drive the vehicle. So would you charge for that or no?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got online and reviewed Repair Jungles site , not sure what the issue is we have a half a dozen sites out thier now , some of us as shop owners use software that are partners with these estimating sites.

The one thing that did shine on thier site is that the client will have reviews to look at and lets face it , most clients our already looking at reviews to help determine the shop they will use.


My belief window is that clients our still looking for Quality first , Convienance ,Warranty, Then Price.

With this said I think you can use any of these sites without being the lowest.


We as shop owners have a tough road to follow with the internet influence. We still have not even touched the surface of what one will do and what is to come out of the internet.


I do not belong to any of these sites nor do I intend to. I still like the most of who is on this forum believe to keep a clean , well trained staff and give more then is asked for will win the majority of the time.


Thanks Dan



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I caused a lttle confusion with my testing diag policy? Let me explain. If a customer comes to us with a check engine light, one of the first things asked is, "How much will it cost to fix" or "How much to diagnose it". Years back I would tell the customer to read the codes and diagnose the problem is $xx.xx. That would lead us down a path of no return, "How Much, just to see what's wrong? Will you take the diag fee off the repair? Other shops don't charge diagnostic charges!" On and On and on.


Soooo, now when the customer comes in with a check check engine light, here is the process:

  • Educate the customer about the check engine light
  • Inform the customer that until we access the on board computer, we really do not have a direction
  • We inform the customer to access the codes, a road test (if possible) and visual inspection will be performed at no charge
  • After the intial checks, we will then discuss what testing is needed to start the diagnostic process
  • We then sell the tests after the intial no charge checks
  • Perform the tests that were authorized
  • We get back to the customer after the tests are done
  • We sell the repair
  • End of process

There are other variables, such as more testing needed, intermitent problems, etc. But this process has been a gold mine for us. We give a little in the beginning, and we end up selling the needed tests, with very little push back, if any, from customers.

Treat others as you would want to be treated.



"You have to attract the minnows or the BIG FI$H WON'T COME" B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites



When you say "visual inspection" does that include time on the lift if something needs to be inspected? What if you are required to remove SOME or A LOT of covers, shields, etc to properly visually inspect. Do you charge then or do you still comp.


I am intrigued by your process it looks like it would work really well for those on the fence customers that can be good customers. I am just worried about all the wasted time with cheapy price shoppers. One of my pet peeves is I HATE dealing with price shoppers so my initial fee for checking, inspecting, diag usually turns them away. It has been my philosophy for the last few years that giving things away is devaluing your product/service so I always try to throw a price on anything we do as long as there is value and work that has been put forth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do what works for your business obviously, but Joe, that is not charging for diag. It symantics right? At best your giving half off diag which really suprises me after reading most of your posts on here. The vast majority of the time the problem can be discovered by the handy-dandy scan tool so to me that is diag time. But hey, if it works then carry on :).


Jeff, we are $80/hour and when someone calls for a "scan", I tell them it will either take 1/2hr or an hour to diag 95% of vehicles we see. If we need more time we call the customer but that is extremely rare and when it does happen the customer almost always knows it's coming because its normally an ongoing problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeff, these free scans will be gone soon. I know of at least 2 if the major parts distributors that are stopping them. And the free battery, wiper and whatever else they do. Too much liability and kickback when the scan a car, sell a part and it doesn't fix the problem. Batteries are just too hard to get to for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Since you do the following for free: pull codes, test drive, and visual inspection, do you ever have issues where after the test drive and putting it on the lift to do the visual inspection you are able to find the issue without charging the customer for diagnostic testing? I think people are getting confused here as sometimes a test drive and visual inspection is all you need to find the problem but time is still spent in performing the test drive and putting the car on the lift and doing the visual inspection. To me, obviously this is part of the diagnostic process, and requires time and money to be completed even through a lot of the general motoring public does not think the same way. How do you handle these types of diagnostic charges?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is the point I wanted to make Joe. Give them 10 minutes up front. You will spend that much or more trying to explain why you need the test time anyway. Then after pulling codes and doing a visual you are better "equipped" to sell the testing time. I will give 10 minutes to make 1-2-3 hours and the customer will be more comfortable with the process going forward.


I completely agree with Joe and Jeff. Just my opinion, but I think even saying that the customer is getting "10 minutes" is a stretch. A ~$50 scanner from Harbor Freight, that you keep in your desk drawer, and use to pull codes for free is GENIUS. I am assuming a lot here, but I bet this is how things probably go for a customer at Joe's business


Cust - "My check engine light is on. What does it cost to find out what is wrong with it?"


Joe - "Well, we don't charge anything to hook our scanner up to your car. Let's go out there real quick and take a look"


~Literally a 30 sec. walk out the front door and plug in the scanner~


Joe - "Hmmm, that's weird. It is showing a P0300. That is kind of a vague code, so we'll have to let one of the mechanics/technicians do some diagnostic work to figure out what is setting that code"


TIMER ENDS HERE. At this point, Joe probably walks the customer back inside and starts taking down customer information. Lets them know about a $49.99 fee to check spark plugs, fuel test, etc. All in all, he spent $50 on a cheap scanner and AT MOST 10 MINUTES. In reality, probably more like 4 minutes. And he will get more customers in his shop because he 'doesn't charge to check out cars'


Scenario #2:


Customer - "My car shakes when I drive down the road. How much do you charge to check it out"


Joe - "We don't charge just to take a look at it. Let's go for a quick ride"


At this point, you could walk outside and see a flat tire in the back on the passenger side. Skip the test drive and sell a flat repair. Inspect brakes while you have it in the shop. Or maybe the tire shop down road forgot to tighten a wheel and it's about to fall off. You see it and save the day! Now you are a hero, tightened the wheel for free, and probably have a customer for life. Or you go on to test drive...


Literally drives the car 3 miles and come back


Joe - "Hmmmm, I've never felt or heard something like that. Strange. I think we'll have to put it on the lift and get some diagnostic tools on the car to locate the source."


Again, Joe walks a new customer into his shop and starts taking down information. All while the other shops who told that customer they charge 1 hour diagnostic time to even look at it, are sitting around wondering why no one is coming in. And it's all because Joe is giving away FREE diagnostics


Let's admit it. Refusing to even look at a car without diagnostic time is really translated as "I want money up front because if it's something easy, I wan't to get that money for doing nothing." If it's hard or complicated, stop, ask for diagnostic time, then proceed. Something tells me Joe has given away more "free" diagnostic time that, in the end, made him 10x what a 'diagnostic fee' would have made him.





Or I could be completely wrong, and Joe will correct it... for free ;)

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

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
  • Available Subscriptions

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      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.
  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi

      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
      The Weekly Blitz is brought to you by our friends over at Shop Marketing Pros. If you want to take your shop to the next level, you need great marketing. Shop Marketing Pros does top-tier marketing for top-tier shops.
      Click here to learn more about Top Tier Marketing by Shop Marketing Pros and schedule a demo:https://shopmarketingpros.com/chris/
      Check out their podcast here: https://autorepairmarketing.captivate.fm/
      If you would like to join their private Facebook group go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/autorepairmarketingmastermind
      In this podcast episode, Chris Cotton from Auto Fix Auto Shop Coaching underscores the significance of professional attire in the auto repair industry. He connects dressing well with increased confidence, employee morale, and customer trust. Cotton shares personal anecdotes and cites studies on "enclothed cognition," reinforcing the idea that appearance can influence performance. He offers practical advice for shop owners to elevate their business's professionalism through attire, leadership, and delegation. Cotton concludes by advocating for a standard of respect and dedication in the industry, supported by the episode's sponsor, Shop Marketing Pros.
      The importance of dressing professionally (00:01:15) Chris discusses the impact of dressing professionally on business perception, employee morale, and customer confidence.
      The psychological impact of dressing well (00:03:22) Chris explores the psychological connection between dressing well and feeling better, projecting confidence, and improving performance.
      Supporting data on the importance of dressing well (00:05:33) Chris presents data on perception and trust, employee morale, and customer confidence related to professional appearance.
      Setting a new standard (00:06:45) Chris provides practical tips for setting a standard of professionalism, including investing in quality uniforms and leading by example.
      The role of the owner in dressing professionally (00:07:49) Chris emphasizes the role of the owner in creating a culture of professionalism and setting boundaries through professional attire.
      The pledge to elevate industry standards (00:11:15) Chris encourages listeners to join him in pledging to dress professionally, reflecting respect for themselves, employees, and customers.
      Connect with Chris:
      [email protected]
      Phone: 940.400.1008
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
      AutoFixAutoShopCoachingYoutube: https://bit.ly/3ClX0ae
      #autofixautoshopcoaching #autofixbeautofixing #autoshopprofits #autoshopprofit #autoshopprofitsfirst #autoshopleadership #autoshopmanagement #autorepairshopcoaching #autorepairshopconsulting #autorepairshoptraining #autorepairshop #autorepair #serviceadvisor #serviceadvisorefficiency #autorepairshopmarketing #theweeklyblitz #autofix #shopmarketingpros #autofixautoshopcoachingbook
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX, NAPA TRACS, and Automotive Management Network Recorded Live at the TST Big Event, Michael Ingvardsen, Global Technical Training Manager from Nissens Automotive, discusses the evolving challenges and advancements in automotive air conditioning systems, including the potential warranty issues arising from using alternative refrigerants. This episode is a roadmap for staying informed, proactive, and environmentally conscious as we navigate the transition to new refrigerants. Michael Ingvardsen, Global Technical Training Manager, Nissens Automotive Show Notes
      Impacts of new refrigerants (00:03:07) Discussion on the impact of new refrigerants on the automotive aftermarket industry. Testing and approval of new refrigerants (00:04:44) Testing and approval process for new refrigerants, including warranty implications. Industry response and concerns (00:08:07) Concerns and responses from the industry regarding the use of replacement refrigerants. Challenges and best practices (00:09:23) Challenges and best practices for shops in dealing with new refrigerants and components. Warranty implications (00:09:49) Discussion on warranty implications related to the use of new refrigerants and components. Industry communication and training (00:10:37) Importance of industry-wide communication and training on the use of new refrigerants. System maintenance and practices (00:11:34) Impact of new refrigerants on system maintenance and best practices. Industry readiness and response (00:13:15) Discussion on industry readiness and response to the introduction of new refrigerants. Cost and environmental considerations (00:18:04) Considerations for choosing replacement refrigerants based on cost and environmental impact. The concern about heat pump systems (00:19:22) Discussion about the technical concerns and impact of heat pump systems on warranty situations. European focus on heat pump cars (00:20:15) Insights into heat pumps by European vehicle manufacturers. Training for diagnosing heat pump systems (00:21:21) The necessity of understanding heat transfer and the flow of refrigerant in a heat pump system for effective diagnosis. Life lessons and analogies with heat pumps (00:22:47) Humorous analogies and life lessons related to heat pump systems and relationships. Challenges and changes in refrigerants (00:26:15) Discussion about the re-evaluation of refrigerants in Europe and the challenges in adapting to new environmental regulations. Importance of staying updated and educated (00:27:09) Encouragement for professionals to stay updated, attend classes, and be experts in air conditioning systems. Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX, NAPA TRACS, and Automotive Management Network 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/ Get ready to grow your business with the Automotive Management Network: Find on the Web at http://AftermarketManagementNetwork.com for information that can help you move your business ahead and for the free and informative http://LaborRateTracker.com Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -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
    • By carmcapriotto
      In this episode, Hunt tackles the pressing issues facing the housing market in 2024, discussing the impact of interest rates and the real affordability of homes.
      • Interest Rates Surge: Exploring how doubled interest rates are drastically affecting monthly payments.
      • Affordability Crisis: Delving into how rising home prices are outpacing income growth, making home ownership a distant dream for many.
      • Economic Insights: Analyzing the mismatch between the growth in home prices and stagnant wage increases.
      • Future Risks: Assessing potential market corrections and their consequences on homeowners and the economy.
      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 Changing The Industry
      The Basics of Owning An Auto Repair Shop - Advocacy Over Sales in Auto Repair

  • Similar Tagged Content

  • Our Sponsors

  • Create New...