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    • 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 AutoShopOwner
      Advance Auto Parts Expands TechNet Program with New and Enhanced Offerings for Professional Shop Owners Improvements designed to help strengthen relationships between shops and customers
      RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 29, 2019-- Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP), a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers, is introducing new benefits and enhanced offerings to TechNet Professional members in 2019. These new benefits and offerings include insurance and affinity benefits, enhancements to the nationwide warranty, digital menu boards, a TireAmerica.com partnership and a TechNet-branded Virtual Vehicle tool.
      TechNet is a business solutions partnership program from Advance designed to help independently owned repair facilities grow their business and develop customer loyalty while maintaining their own identities and serving their local communities. More than 10,000-member shops across the United States and Canada are part of the TechNet banner program creating a trusted network of automotive repair shops across North America.
      “We continue to listen to our TechNet members, many of whom have been partners of the program for more than 20 years, and are leveraging the feedback of shop owners and operators to introduce new benefits and optimize the banner program,” said Walter Scott, Senior Vice President of Professional Marketing and Programs at Advance. “TechNet is a key component of delivering the right experience and solutions to Professional customers. Ultimately, we strive to help our customers serve their customers better and grow their business as independent operators.”
      The launch of a new insurance and affinity benefits program was a top priority to current TechNet customers. The insurance benefit program enables TechNet member shops to access health insurance plans for the individual, family or small business, including medical, dental, life, prescription discounts, disability and pet insurance. Business coverage, as well as HR and payroll services, launched in May.
      Among the new enhancements for 2019, TechNet’s nationwide warranty has been simplified for an improved customer experience for both motorists and member shops. When motorists have service and repairs performed by an authorized TechNet professional service facility, they are covered by a nationwide limited repair warranty that extends across North America for 24 months or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. At the same time, TechNet also increased value for member shops by increasing the rate paid for local labor reimbursement claims.
      The TechNet digital menu board is a new benefit included in membership that displays the shop’s services and pricing, as well as educational programming related to car maintenance and care, on a smart TV in the customer service area of a TechNet member’s shop. This digital menu board is customizable, enabling shops to make updates in real time to showcase their offers, and TechNet can also provide custom content tailored to the shop’s program preferences.
      TechNet’s new national installer program partnership with TireAmerica.com gives shop owners the ability to offer their customers access to Tire America’s inventory for a wide range of vehicles. This partnership allows customers to select the necessary tires for their vehicle online, with Tire America shipping the tires directly to the TechNet shop for installation.
      Virtual Vehicle, another important element of TechNet, supports the service recommendation by bringing the inspection results to life via vehicle system animations that illustrate the cause and effect of each problem. The inventory of more than 400 animations can be viewed in the shop lobby or can be emailed or texted to the customer allowing them to make an informed decision with confidence. Virtual Vehicle is also integrated with several shop management systems that enable the animations to be included in a regular communication process, and can easily sent to a customer via text or email. Finally, a customized loop of animations can be served on a lobby monitor or embedded in the shop website providing customer education opportunities.
      “The enhancements introduced recently are programs that truly benefit our business,” said Christa Browne of Dave’s Automotive in Stockertown, Pa. “For example, increased labor rate reimbursement for warranty items speaks volumes to Advance’s commitment to bring us the best quality parts backed by the best industry warranty. We’re keeping our customers very happy knowing we stand by our work. That is commitment.”
      For more information about TechNet and other services available from Advance, visit technetprofessional.com or call 1-877-280-5965.
      About Advance Auto Parts
      Advance Auto Parts, Inc. is a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers. As of April 20, 2019, Advance operated 4,931 stores and 146 Worldpac branches in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Company also serves 1,238 independently owned Carquest branded stores across these locations in addition to Mexico, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands. Additional information about Advance, including employment opportunities, customer services, and online shopping for parts, accessories and other offerings can be found at www.AdvanceAutoParts.com.
      View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190529005545/en/
      Source: Advance Auto Parts, Inc.
      Advance Auto Parts Contact:
      Media Relations
      Darryl Carr
      T: (540) 589-8102
      E: [email protected]
      Investor Relations:
      Elisabeth Eisleben
      T: (919) 227-5466
      E: [email protected]
    • 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? 
       
    • By UsedTireShop
      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?
       
      Jeff
    • By alfredauto
      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?
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