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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/24/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Do it right with quality parts but mainly if something is going to go wrong it will happen a lot sooner than 2 or 3 years after the repair but it's good peace of mind for the customer
  2. 2 points
    Cintas that will nickle and dime you to death. You'll have a 5 year contract that only benefits them plus the drivers get incentives to get you to sign a new contract so theyll tell you that you need a new 5 year contract every year or 2. I bought a washer and drier, order very nice embroidered shirts and dickies pants, ordered red rags that cost less to use once than Cintas charged for their smelly, oily rags with holes in them. You only need to order 5 set of clothes since you just wash them at the shop, everyone looks and feels more professional and I'm saving 400 to 500 a month.
  3. 2 points
    Spring is here! Market you shop in your community. Dollar for dollar, the best marketing you can do is right in your own back yard. This is the time of the year when a lot of outdoor events begin: From youth sports to adult golf games. In addition, there are fund raisers each weekend. Find out what's going on in your community. Get involved. Sponsor a youth sport's team, sponsor a golf tournament fund raiser or other fund raiser events. Get your shop known for being part of the community, not just another repair shop. The more you stand out, the more people will take notice and stronger your business will become!
  4. 1 point
  5. 1 point
    With Mother's day approaching soon, plan on a Mother's Day promotions. It could be an individual flower, like a rose, to all the Mom's a few days before Mother's day, or little boxes of candy. It does not have to be a big deal, just something that tells your customers you are thinking of them. So, think about a small promotion and trust me, it will be a hit. Another marketing tip: Father's day is coming; so don't forget the dads!
  6. 1 point
    “Your labor rate is too high. If you can’t negotiate your labor rate, I will have the car towed from your shop to another shop in your area that will do the work at the labor rate we want to pay.” Those were the words spoken to my service advisor a few weeks ago from a claims agent at an extended warranty company. The name of the company doesn’t matter. What does matter is what would you do when faced with this situation. Here’s another scenario you’re probably familiar with: After diagnosing a failed steering rack, the customer informed us that she had an aftermarket warranty policy. She asked me if I could find out if the steering rack is covered. I said, “Sure, I will be happy to help. But, just to let you know, most of the extended warranty companies I deal with have their own labor and parts pricing policies, which may not be aligned with our pricing. So, whatever they don’t pay, you will be responsible for. Are you OK with this?” My customer said, “Absolutely. I understand. I appreciate anything you can do for me.” I thought the hard part was over. What came next was bizarre. The insurance adjuster I spoke to authorized the repair, told me the labor dollars they will pay and then said, “OK, it looks like I have a used rack in a salvage yard in South Carolina. I can have that rack to you in two days.” I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t in a weird dream. Used steering rack? Salvage yard? Is this guy for real? I quickly shot back and said, “Let me ask you a few questions. First, where does is state in the contract that your company will supply a junk yard part for your insured? And why in the world would I remove an old worn-out steering rack from my customer’s car and put back an old used rack from a junked vehicle? Is that really in the best interest of the customer?” The claims adjuster replied back, “Well, shops do it all the time.” I said, “I don’t think so, and I won’t do it either. Let me tell you how this is going to go. I am replacing the rack with a quality part, and I will make sure that my customer gets the best job possible. So, please give me the authorized amount and I will let the customer know what the balance is that your company will not pay.” He said, “You can’t do that.” I said, “Yes, I can. My customer is already briefed on the situation.” He reluctantly gave me the authorization number along with the dollar amount. I relayed the story to the customer. My customer then called the insurance company and gave them hell. They did end up authorizing additional money for the part I installed. Before we continue, I want to be fair and balanced. There are some extended warranty companies that try to offer their customers a peace-of-mind policy, and do pay a good portion of the repair. However, far too often, it’s a struggle to get an extended insurance company to agree to our labor and part prices. Here’s the deal. If you’re like me, you have spent countless hours understanding the numbers of your business. You’ve also spent a great deal of time and effort to put the right people in place, develop the right pay plans and have created the systems to run an efficient business. You know the balance between being competitive and profitable. When you consider all this, we need to carefully consider how negotiating our prices will affect our bottom line. I understand the reality too. Sometimes, you really need the work. You don’t want to lose the job. And settling for something is better than losing the job. I have been there. But the truth is that negotiating your prices, in the long run, will not only hurt you, but will also hurt our industry across the board. By the way, my service advisor never did negotiate our labor rate. He simply told the agent, “Our labor rate is non-negotiable. Do you have any other questions?” The agent eventually backed down and paid us the job at our labor rate. Be upfront with your customers. Clearly explain to them that their warranty policy may not cover the entire repair and come to an agreement with your customer before you call the warranty company. Lastly, make sure you know what it takes to earn a profit. Profit is needed to pay your expenses, put a little money aside for the future, pay your employees a decent wage and also pay yourself the salary you deserve. When you really analyze the bottom line and what’s really left over, do you really want to negotiate your prices? This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on May 1st, 2019
  7. 1 point
    Have you ever called your own phone just to make sure it's working? I laugh because even the robo calling telemarketers dont call during those times. Its erie.
  8. 1 point
    Thank you very much! I'll definitely look into that, excellent tips. I do appreciate your advice.
  9. 1 point
    A woman called her dentist the other day and asked how much would a root canal cost. Her dentist replied, “Sure, hold on, let me look that up. Ok, that’ll be around $1400 for that job. Would you like to come in and have that root canal done?” Ridiculous scenario, you’re thinking? I agree! A dentist would never give a price over the phone without first examining the patient. Why do some shops continue to give prices over the phone? Even something as simple as a wheel alignment price can lead the customer and you in the wrong direction. Do you really know the car needs an alignment? Pricing over the phone is the same as giving them a diagnosis. When a customer calls for a price on a water pump and you give a price, you are saying to them, “Yes, it IS the water pump and here’s the price. And then you get the car in the bay and it needs hoses, a thermostat, and the radiator is leaking, not the pump. Giving prices over the phone also tells the caller to please judge you on price alone; a road I refuse to go down. I know this is going to push a lot of buttons today, but my tip today is to resist giving prices over the phone. Get the car into you bay, perform the inspection and/or the proper testing and then when you know what the problem is, sell the job. We are professionals, no different than the Dentist. Your thoughts?
  10. 1 point
    Yes we use Cintas at our shop for uniforms, pant and shirts, rags, hand soap, toilet paper, and smell goods for rest room and office. The total cost like to blow my mind when I first heard it. I was shocked actually, but in a positive way. Before I called and eventually chose them for the services I went to a T-shirt place and had 13 tees printed and 2 collared shirts the coat was above $475 fasure. But cintas came through and for 13 pant and shirts, we pay 11 bucks a week. Per tech. Now add in the other supplies we get it’s only like 60 bucks a week which in my opinion is a great deal. The staff that serves our shop has been more then courteous and professional and friendly. Now the catch is for each shirt (13) per tech and service writer and or manager they charge a one time name plate/ logo plate and charge a 5 bucks per shirt, tech, missing days or time standard fee due after 30 days. In my opinion still worth it no doubt. I paid the $5 charge for each template and then they pay for the uniform rentals individually via auto draw from payroll check. So far no complaints but we know how that goes. The second u pat backs you better duck bcuz you may just get slapped in return. Great thing is any button falls off or hole needs to be stitched they handle it in house as long as we mention it. Side note- if termination of a shop employee before you do the final assessment and have employee sign proper documentation, make sure he returns all uniforms before they get the last check. If not you will pay full price for any unreturned uniforms
  11. 1 point
    Yes I am. I created it and own the company. And yes, I'm plugging my own business just like every good business person should be doing every day. Someday soon, when you get your own shop (I see your profile says you're a "Future Shop Owner"), you'll be doing the same. Good luck! 😉
  12. 1 point
    Hi gandgautorepair! With respect to your first comments, "So how do you track brand awareness marketing", it's actually easy. You DON'T DO BRAND AWARENESS. Sorry, but that's the blunt answer. Building a "brand" is expensive - and you can't track it. You're trying to do what the "big boys" are doing - but you don't know why they're doing it. Do they have to satisfy egos? Make shareholders feel warm and fuzzy?? You'll never know. But what I can tell you is that when you do stuff you CAN track, you will build a brand as a result - not as the focus of your efforts. And what better way to invest your money in marketing knowing that you'll send out $1 and get it to come home with it's friends! Just for openers, start with creating a "title" for yourself. No, not the CEO and President stuff - I'm talking about a title that your customers will relate to. I have a client where in a testimonial, a customer called him a "5 Star Auto Repair Genius!" THAT became his title! Then, use your picture EVERYWHERE. I know, I know, everybody hates their own picture - but you've got to get over it. Really. Next, get your picture taken with EVERYONE that you can. Happy customers, local celebrities, anyone who will stand still long enough to get a picture. The smiling customers go a long way. Then, you get those customers to give you a review or testimonial. I know, that's a problem too! But if you only followed my "One Question Review" you would get a ton of "perfect reviews" (Sorry, I don't make that public, but I am happy to share it with anyone who PM's me) So, pictures of smiling faces - killer reviews - put them in simple (read that as cheap) document frames that you get at Wal-Mart - (a couple of bucks each) and PLASTER YOUR WAITING ROOM with them - and keep adding! ( I know everyone wants that new fancy coffee machine... but it does NOTHING! Your waiting room should be YOUR SHINE TO YOURSELF!) Why all the pictures?? Because it's FACT "familiarity breeds trust" - and when you think about it - what's the biggest hurdle you have in getting new customers?? THEY DON'T TRUST YOU! Now, I am NOT saying that you aren't worthy of their trust. NO! If you're like most shop owners I talk to - you're hard working and trustworthy. BUT NEW CUSTOMERS DON'T KNOW THAT! So there you go - build THAT brand - as you continue to do stuff that you can track. ONLY Send out your marketing dollars when you know that they will come home with their friends! Heck, start with a simple stupid thank you cards. I know... that's a waste of time - but every client I have that started them keeps telling me they ALWAYS get comments from customers. Do you know why?? Because the average American receives between 0 and 3 of those small thank you cards a YEAR! Then put that on "steroids" and add a small "special gift" coupon. Now, the caution I have is that this is a little work! I know, that's a DIRTY WORD! I get it. But if you want to make more money, you've got to do work. Actually, I did a video about this and included LINKS below to help you get the right stuff - You can see that "Thank You Card video here" So with all that said, tell me, how well is your Facebook and Social Media marketing doing?? How many jobs did it generate? Okay, don't tell me here in public.... because I am thinking that it's just about the same as every other shop that spends a ton of time posting... and getting nothing back. Sorry if I am a little "abrupt" here - but I've dug deep into stats - and if you knew the typical "click thru" and "responses" from Facebook - you would CRY! Instead of wasting time there - why not do a little research on how you can better present your shop - and the tiny little things you can say to customers to influence them to buy more - or buy the "upgraded" offers you present. Now THAT'S DEAD EASY TO DO - and produces results. I could go on and on... but start with things that you CAN TRACK. Then, as they evolve, YOU BUILD YOUR BRAND AS A BY-PRODUCT OF YOUR MARKETING. Hope this helps! If you want any details, don't hesitate to PM me on this forum. Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" Join Me On This New Training Webinar
  13. 1 point
    I knew this would push some buttons. Thanks for the reply. Let's here from other shops...

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