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stowintegrity last won the day on April 9 2016

stowintegrity had the most liked content!

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About stowintegrity

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    Experienced Poster

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  • Business Name
    Integrity Auto Care
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
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    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
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  1. Mr. Marconi, you've been doing this job for a long time, and although I truly don't want to come across as rude, I must remind you all that you can't fix "stupid". My wife complains sometimes that she thinks I'm too cynical, and I always respond by telling her that I think I'm more of a realist. In any industry we're going to find that there are people who simply won't listen to reason, or be willing to open their minds to hear a kind word from an honest professional. This is largely because: 1. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world, and it's full of some truly rotten people. 2.
  2. Things I am looking for - 1. Website design 2. Social media management (Facebook and Google+, mainly) 3. Customer reviews 4. Email campaigns 4. Optional - online advertising (Google/adwords, bing, yahoo, etc). We've been using Social CRM for nearly a year, and although we're very pleased with the results, you should understand what they're offering so your expectations are in line with their program. Their service doesn't include website design, or social media management, as you've indicated. They won't post content for you on Facebook or Google+, or keep up on a blog for your
  3. A shop's maintenance profit center is one of our industry's unicorns. We chase it, continually, but are never quite able to catch it! Our shop's maintenance revenue consistently lands at right around 20% of our total sales, and our goal is 33%. It requires a commitment to ALWAYS be executing a plan that involves educating our customers on the importance of the maintenance their vehicle needs, to avoid the perception that they're being sold "work my car doesn't need". The great thing about building a maintenance program, and encouraging your SA to work the system constantly, is that o
  4. We give out Christmas cards each year to our staff, and enclose some cash in each envelope. I realize it's subtle, but the understanding at our shop is that the Christmas cards & the money that goes with it isn't a bonus or a commission or an entitlement, but simply a gift. I generally take the time to personally write more than a few words in each card, and my staff is nearly always overwhelmed & willing to express their gratitude. It is, after all, a gift. (Not unlike anything else that they may receive from others on Christmas morning) We truly appreciate our staff, and ha
  5. Are you seeing "loss of pressure" above 40mph EVERY time, or only intermittently when braking at above that speed threshold?
  6. CarER, Like everyone else has been mentioning already, it's difficult to pinpoint a singular "golden" nugget of advice to offer in this setting, but I think everyone here truly empathizes with your post....we've all been in that spot, so you couldn't have posted in a better place. I think everyone's response so far has been correct. I can only offer my own personal opinion, and I surely don't want to sound as though there's just one correct answer. This is simply what's worked for us in the last five years, and in our community. We carefully track what we refer to as our "10 Key Econo
  7. Alfredauto, As usual, I appreciate your approach & thought process. I swear, one of these days, I'm going to make a personal introduction, and take you out for lunch! We've "had the softest year so far in average growth, but are still very much holding our own in the market we're in. My wife tries to convince me that our much more aggressive sales history "has to plateau" sometime, and has assumed that this year has been the year. As chief marketing/promotional guy at our company, I couldn't disagree with her more, and in spite of softer-than anticipated numbers, our 2016 marketing
  8. Kudos to all of you on the implementation of an inspection process! We're currently in the midst of developing our own digital inspection app that'll allow us to get the very most out of the process, & the sales psychology behind what we do. In the meantime, the single most powerful element to the process as it pertains to ARO is what we call "Quick Notes" We've chosen 6 service items that are checked on every car that comes through our doors, and those items are checked "FIRST & FAST", giving our SA ample time to include them into the estimate we offer our customer once we've de
  9. After a bit of research, we ended up taking a slightly different approach to utilizing a digital menu board by creating our own. As it turns out, most newer flat screen TVs have a USB port, and many (like ours) has a built-in Media Manager. All that means is that we sat down and planned out what we wanted it to look like, then created a series of "slides". I found out that we can even embed video clips into them, and play short videos periodically. (It's really no more complicated than creating very simple "web pages" with any commercially available software, then turning on the slidesh
  10. Mspec, Just keep doing what you've always been doing, first of all. If this incident is representative of only one issue in 5 or more years, for instance, it doesn't make good sense to upset your apple cart with the rest of your customers. However, I can share a simple, extra step we've taken with our customers that might help you out. Immediately before you pick up the phone to call and discuss your findings,create a text message (do not send it yet) that says: "Hi Bob! The service we're recommending based on our conversation today will bring your total to $xxx. Please reply
  11. Lakeside, there is another thread here that talks about this, as well: Do you use a Digital Inspection Process? We still haven't chosen a process yet, and truthfully, we've begun talks with a company on the west coast to enlist the help of a development team to design one from scratch. I see the great value in using such a process, and I do believe that in the near enough future, it'll become a matter of staying competitive, even. (There are still shops that don't even have a computer in their building as a standard piece of business equipment) If a piece of equipment cost $10,000,
  12. Let's face it - we make money supplying parts to our customers, and anyone that's not making a healthy margin on parts needs to re-evaluate why. For the record, we've stopped accepting customer-supplied parts on any job, regardless of who they are to us. The reason is simply that despite their "explanation" as to why they have their own parts, they're doing it to save a few dollars. They can always take them back to the parts store, and get a full refund. It's a non-issue. This is an emotional (or psychological) challenge, not a financial one. Anyone that is still compelled to find s
  13. Whoah. I love my staff, I really do. They are some of the most dependable men & women in the industry, highly skilled, with a generally positive attitude, and with a reasonably healthy pride about the manner in which they complete their tasks. There's not a single member on the team that I would "cherish" losing, and each one of them would create a unique vacuum of lost talent if I lost one of them. That being said... When we add an addendum to our employee handbook that requires the staff to read/sign off on the policy, I do the best I can to educate them all on the rational
  14. Well, offering full disclosure, I certainly couldn't honestly say that my staff has never used "the devil" for a quick lookup on something. I sat in on a meeting with some of the execs from Mitchell1 when I learned that ProDemand offers data/answers from sources outside of OEM data sources. The general line of thinking is that it shouldn't matter where the information comes from...if it helps to fix a car right the first time, then I'd sure like access to that information. On the other hand, however, the times that I know our guys are reading anything & everything they can on a looku
  15. Hilarious, Alfredauto. My wife does this for us, too...and for the exact same reason. I'm not sure I understand why the government cares one bit if I want to reimburse my people a little something towards what they are paying into the "Marketplace" Obamacare benefits. No, really...I feel dumb here...I don't get it. It's like flacvabeach once said, "Good point. It's utterly incomprehensible."

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