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There is a method of thinking that says saying YES to every customer and offering extended hours is a road to success. Gary Gunn and his company the Turn Around Tour promote this heavily. Also Greg Sands of Mudlick Mail talks about this here:

 

http://www.ratchetandwrench.com/RatchetWrench/January-2015/The-Road-to-a-Better-2015/

 

 

I don't neccessarily subscribe to this way however it may work for you. I wish I had more advice for you. I don't know what it looks like in your market. If you are on a budget then certainly grassroots method of marketing is probably best. Set a quota for the amount of cards you want to hand out in your community a week and make sure you do it. Stuff like that. Also stay on top of and mine your Customer Database. This is probably the cheapest and most effective way to boost your sales in the immediate if you are not already doing so.

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Jeff,

I was wondering what changed about your business? For example did you loose car count, or ARO? Maybe you can get back on track without extended hours. Obviously extended hours costs more in the immediate, and maybe just masking another symptom of slow business. I like the idea of 8-5 M-F. Extended hours may cause your team and yourself to suffer burn out quickly. We all need a break. I suggest make it work without spreading your assets any thinner.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know your clientele, but it definitely sounds like your ARO is way low, or your customer count is low, or maybe both. You sound like you work a lot of hours already. It isn't always necessary to work extended hour. I would look to see if how I could get my ARO higher before I would work more hours. Great Quote:

 

It's not the time you put into your work, it's the work you put into your time!

 

Words I live by!

Edited by KMS
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Thanks for the input folks. Car counts and aro are down. Really don't have any good answers. Will be spending more time going over the reports to see who is due, who hasnt returned etc. Like I said I am not hard to find and my reviews are stellar.

We hit a little rough patch through the last 2 months! It'll come back!

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk

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I have though about extended hours on many occasions but I think it could be risky move because it can train your customers to try to come on that day and not figure out how they can drop the car off.

Also most customers during extended hours would be waiters and that would get the ARO WAY down.

Also parts delivery is an issue because most parts stores close at 5:30 - 6 pm so you may be stuck with a customer that needs his car back TONIGHT and you can't get a 2 dollar part that you accidentally broke till tomorrow = unhappy customer.

And last - I believe if customers don't consider it important to make arrangements during regular business hours to leave the car and service it right with no rush, they will try to get you to hurry up, cut corners, "just pass the safety anyways because I need the car back RIGHT NOW" and just overall not quality customers that we are all looking for.

At my shop we have night drop and late pick up option if the customer pays over the phone. We have a lock box outside that the customer gets a code for after paying the bill and they can pick up any time. That solves pretty much all of our problems with customers that work late. Just my 2 cents 😄

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      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.
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