Quantcast
Jump to content


Thinking about not giving anymore phone quotes. Thoughts?


Recommended Posts

I am contemplating on not giving out anymore phone quotes. My reason behind it is that most callers that ask for phone quotes are phone shoppers and bargain hunters. I am a specialist and they call around asking general repair shops their price on a certain job most of the time. I am usually not the cheapest around. I have tried everything in conveying that I am not the cheapest and that our shop provides a different level of service etc etc. Try to sell them on value. Most of the time it doesn't work. Of course a lot of these customers are not the type of customers that we want anyway however its frustrating try to sell them on something and then at the end of it all for them to huff and puff and ask for a price. Once they get the price and propositioned for an appt, they say "oh I am just shopping around" or the shy ones say, "oh I'll call you back." Usually these are calls spanning a few minutes that are incredibly frustrating and span over a few minutes.

 

Almost all of these phone shoppers ask immediately for a quote. To reduce wasted time I was thinking of just say, "I apologize we do not give over the phone quote. It is our policy to have vehicles properly diagnosed by our technicians before we present our customers with estimate." Or if they blatantly say they are shopping around for a price I'd like to add, "We do not give phone quotes because we feel a price doesn't properly convey the level of service and expertise we provide."

 

I am sure this will piss off some of the bottom feeders but I am worried it will turn off some borderline customers.

 

Thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites










BAIT AND SWITCH!!!! HAHAHA, I kid, I kid... kinda

 

Give them a 'best case scenario' quote. I feel I run an honest business, but if a customer is calling and price shopping, you know they are looking for the 'best' price. So I give them a 'best case' price.

 

e.g.:

'How much to replace an oxygen sensor?'

'$xxx.xx, but I might be able just to repair the wire to it and save you a bunch of money! Or it could be a fuse! Bring it in and I'll see if I can just solder the wires back together.'

 

'How much to replace my leaking steering rack?'

'$XXX.XX, but I might be able just to replace the boot for a lot less, and it would be a lot quicker too. Bring it by later today and we'll see what we can do.'

 

Once it's in your shop and on the rack, then sell your value. Walk them out under the car, show them the leak, the broken wire, the bent exhaust, coolant hose swelling, etc. Then show em your certifications on the wall, butter em up with how you only work on BMWs or whatever, your an expert, a professional, yes ma'am, no sir, please and thank you, and here is some free coffee, etc. After that, mention anything else you find on the car, because your a BMW expert and know what to look for on these cars. But, you can have it fixed in no time, because your a BMW expert and know these cars like the back of your hand. You might even have the parts in stock, because you specialize in BMW, and that's all you do.

 

I think you get the point. If nothing else, you get added traffic into your shop, customer information for future advertising, and it could all turn into a lot bigger job than you think. If nothing else, at least you're not having to tell a potential future customer 'no, we don't do that' right off the bat.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ask questions, steer them away from price. Find out what their concern is and try to solve it for them, it's not always a price concern. Most people just don't know what to ask, so they ask " how much". It's our job to educate:) Have a Fun Day!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@D.Larson - You are right however a good portion (don't want to say most) of those calls are for price specific questions. I go through the whole process of asking the source of the issue, who diagnosed, etc etc. Mostly its "another mechanic" or "forums" or "my friend who is a tech/dealer tech" that affirmed what they need to get done. They are adamant about getting a price. Had a lady the other day (she is a serial shopper and probably called me about 5x in the past few weeks always promising to being the car) call while her car was at another shop asking for a price! Same lady went through liike 4-5 shops, one shop even swapped her engine LOL. She was definitely one to steer away from but it all could have been avoided if I would have said, "We would love the opportunity to properly diagnose and repair your vehicle correctly and professionally however we have a policy of not giving phone estimates."

 

Additional thoughts? The above posts are great BTW, thanks guys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1) You spend a lot of money to make the phone ring

2) Most people don't know what to ask except price

I give phone quotes all day. I used to not...gotta do the test, etc. Now I give a quick est and then tell them that it is subject to change. The key is to try to get them in. Some will, some wont. And some have become very good customers. It is all about getting them in and EDUCATING THEM.

 

 

Yes i know what you mean. I am just finding it a high frequency of callers that you just cant get in your doors. Time wasters essentially... I guess it goes with the territory. I'll try my best and see what happens. I wish I could just have all great customers all the time, wouldn't life be great ???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ignoring the outright price shoppers, price enquiries indicate a lack of information about your business. People ask price because they don't know what makes you different from your competitors. If people are phoning strictly for price it usually indicates a big problem with your marketing. They can't find the info they need so they ask for a price to base their decision on. However, refusing to give estimates and pricing just slams the door in their face.

 

Customers want four pieces of information about your business:

  1. service level or quality (how you treat them),
  2. workmanship (quality of work performed),
  3. guarantee (if they have a problem are you going to remedy it without a big hassle),
  4. and lastly price.

Customers use a combination of this info to decide if they want to do business with you. How you define those elements of your business dictates the “type” customers you attract. For the customer "type" you want, the first three are more important than price. As someone else said here, price is just the default question. They use it when they don't have any other information to judge you on.

 

If potential customers don't have any other information about you, price is the easiest (only) way for them to compare you with other shops. And people are sick of sales pitches that try to justify pricing. It just makes them more suspicious and untrusting. They want clear, understandable information to base their buying decision on. And that information must be available long BEFORE they phone you. Selling them at the point of them asking price is too late to be successful.

 

Your claims must be supported by other customers for it to have any worth. People that don't know you have NO reason to believe anything you say. That is why online public reviews are so important! Public reviews can't be manipulated by you (main reason reviews services like Demandforce are viewed with a high degree of scepticism by consumers). The typical quick phone pitch about how good you are and the “trust us” that everyone pitches just doesn't work. Right or wrong the average consumer perception of ALL businesses, not just auto repair, is that they can't be trusted. You need to be transparent and give people the info they want. Your website is the only way to do that effectively and economically. And then you need to support that information with independent customer reviews. If you do it right they will only phone to make an appointment.

 

I don't think there are any of you on this forum that don't have a website. But the question is how many of you can honestly say a person who doesn't know you could clearly find out: 1) the service level you provide; 2) the standard of workmanship they can expect to get; 3) your warranty policy (what will you do IF there is a problem); and 4) your general pricing level (not specific services, just where on the pricing spectrum you sit). Most auto repair shop websites have the same tired old claims that say nothing about you and have no support or evidence for your claims. When you don't have a Competitive Advantage (VALUE you provide over and above your competition), or don't communicate those customer benefits, they will resort to the price question.

 

People are fearful of being sold one thing and getting something different. Sometimes this happens on purpose, mostly it happens due to confusion between what is communicated by the shop and what the customer expects. I see too many shops that are afraid to state where on the service and price spectrum they stand. They are afraid of turning away a potential customer and end up not attracting anyone or making everyone dissatisfied. Trying to be everything to everyone will not work! You need to make it clear if you are a concours white glove service level shop, or a deep discount, dirty, ramshackle shop that survives on Groupon bottom feeders. There is a market for both... but you can't service the whole spectrum. Unmet customer expectations, both high and low, are the greatest cause of unhappy customers and poor reviews. And with online reviews giving consumers a powerful way to voice their displeasure there is a world of hurt awaiting you if you get it wrong...

 

Another common problem is the mismatch between what is advertised and what is provided. Everyday I see auto repair ads for discounted services and in the same ad they talk about their high end shop, certified technicians, and quality parts. Anyone with a brain will see the mismatch. No wonder ad response rates for most auto shop advertisements are so low. The price shopper comes for the deal, feels pressured with the inevitable up-sell, never returns, and the shop owner gets frustrated with the “cheap” customers they are attracting. And your "good" customers are turned off by the image created by loss leader pricing and feeling gouged when they get charged more than the advertised specials... Define the market you want, promote that to the right people, and they will respond.

 

Too many businesses expect customers to do things the way the business wants. This is the slippery slope to eventual business failure. Consumers have changed greatly, and quickly, in just a few years. Consumer access to information has exploded and fighting their wants and expectations is bad for your business. I am not saying this change is good. It just is. Resisting change is the road to failure. Communicate your position. If it isn't working then what you are offering is in the wrong marketplace.

 

No intent to offend. Just presenting how I see it. Hope this helps.

Doug

  • Like 1
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?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      Matt Fanslow explores the similarities between gaming and automotive diagnostic work. He uses the game "Elden Ring" as an example to discuss the importance of learning from mistakes, adapting strategies, and persevering through challenges—skills that are also vital in the automotive industry.
      Show Notes
      Gaming and the Lessons from Elden Ring (00:00:11)  The Importance of Training for Technicians (00:11:08)  Exploring and Embracing Challenges in Gaming and Real-world Diagnostics (00:12:08)  Free Thinking and Following Procedures (00:17:53)  Gaming Experience and Work (00:18:53)  Feeling Good about Accomplishments (00:19:57)  Learning from Situations and Journaling (00:21:01)  Improvements and Tools (00:22:10)  Business Decisions and Tool Acquisition (00:23:16) Applying Gaming Enjoyment to Work (00:24:17)   
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Autotech napaautotech.com
       
      Email Matt: [email protected]
      Diagnosing the Aftermarket A - Z YouTube Channel HERE
      Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com/
       
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Top tier shops want to have personalized marketing but often don’t know how to take the photo from their camera roll and convert it into a graphic for social media that’s pleasant and professional. In this episode, Kim Walker shares top tips from the pros on how to efficiently and effectively use the widely popular tool Canva for creating eye catching graphics.
      Thank you to RepairPal for sponsoring The Auto Repair Marketing Podcast. Learn more about RepairPal at https://repairpal.com/shops
      Show Notes
      Canva: what it is, why you need it, how to find it, who uses it
      April 2, 2024 at 12pm in our FB Group
      Keep it simple. Less is more. Be consistent! Maintain branding: company colors, fonts, logos, tone. Keep your posts personal! Use YOUR own photos.  Create the “brand kit” in Canva. A place to store your logo, select the fonts, colors.  Stay organized. Create folders.  Save your designs in calendar order to make scheduling more efficient. (Be sure to lock designs so moving things around is easier). Use grid-view to get a birds-eye view and ensure branding consistency and that your designs are pleasing to the eye Use moving elements and animations to help create eye-catching graphics. Use templates for things like birthdays, anniversaries, and hiring to save time. Create a few for each to keep them interesting. Explore and don’t be afraid of Canva’s AI like Magic Media to create fun new photos and videos Create a “Mood Board”  - a collection of images, textures, typography, color palettes and description words - or an ‘inspiration board’ to help when the ideas are just not there.  Canva Design School  
      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]
       
      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] 
       
      Lagniappe (Books, Links, Other Podcasts, etc)
      Canva - Mood Boards  
       
       
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • 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
      Setting up the story (00:01:07) Chris explains a shocking letter received from a potential client and the emotional impact it had on him.
      Discovery of theft (00:02:13) Chris recounts how he discovered theft in the client's business through inspection tickets and the importance of monitoring business activities.
      Theft details revealed (00:05:20) The client's email reveals elaborate theft involving stealing money, parts, and unauthorized vendor orders, leading to a shocking discovery.
      Impact and response (00:08:09) Chris reflects on the magnitude of the theft and emphasizes the importance of monitoring business activities and taking necessary actions.
      Connect with Chris:
      [email protected]
      Phone: 940.400.1008
      www.autoshopcoaching.com
      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
      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]
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • 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 episode, auto shop coach Chris Cotton advises auto repair shop owners on financial management. He underscores the importance of maintaining an income statement and organizing a chart of accounts for business health assessment and decision-making. Chris explains how these tools help monitor profitability, manage expenses, and comply with regulations. He also reviews a real income statement, showing how to interpret financial data for improved business outcomes. Chris advocates for the diligent use of these financial instruments to drive growth and success in the auto repair industry.
      The importance of income statement (00:01:09) Emphasizing the necessity of an income statement and its role in understanding business health and performance.
      Understanding the income statement (00:02:22) Explanation of the components of an income statement and its significance in financial management.
      Purpose and benefits of income statement (00:04:24) Highlighting the importance of income statement in analyzing profitability, trend identification, and expense management.
       
      The significance of chart of accounts (00:06:42) Exploring the role of chart of accounts in financial reporting and decision-making.
       
      Integrating income statement and chart of accounts (00:08:58) Explaining how aligning income statement and chart of accounts streamlines financial management and supports decision-making.
       
      Analyzing an income statement (00:10:17) A detailed breakdown of an income statement, including identifying areas for improvement and understanding discrepancies.
       
      Connect with Chris:
       
      [email protected]
      Phone: 940.400.1008
      www.autoshopcoaching.com
      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


  • Our Sponsors

×
×
  • Create New...