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CAR_AutoReports

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CAR_AutoReports last won the day on December 4 2018

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About CAR_AutoReports

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    Posting Member

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  • Business Address
    701 N Stiles Street, Linden, New Jersey, 07036
  • Type of Business
    Marketing to Auto Shops
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    Shop Owner
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  1. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    Just wanted to follow up with everyone and let them know that we have implemented a variation of what we discussed here. We are adjusting the matrix slightly, but our overall prices were raised 8% while raising labor the rate 15.8%.
  2. CAR_AutoReports

    Free Simple Shop Management Software

    Hi Sam, We will reach out to you today and learn about how you do things and how we can help. Thanks for your interest.
  3. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    It's also worth noting that dealers in my area are @ $125 for Japanese $155+ for German and $100+ for domestic. In most circumstances we are at least 25% cheaper than the dealer. That gap needs to be closer to 10% if you offer dealer like amenities such as a clean waiting room, loaner cars and pick up/drop off service. Which we do. To maintain those services and grow (hopefully), we need a stable labor rate to allow the flexibility to hire without regret. Standardizing the parts prices is a two fold incentive. It eliminates a point of contention at the counter and it provides a selling point. "Our promise to you is to always be fair in pricing of our parts in the age of Amazon. Our parts margins are constrained to help ensure that you receive value with each service here at XXXXXXXX." We are also working on a larger initiative with the entire model, a combination of a membership model with baked in prices for regular service, no frills pricing with dealer level service on maintenance.
  4. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    I am contemplating something more along these lines for price standardization. In conjunction with that, a modest increase in labor price and an adjustment to our advertising campaigns. All in an effort to completely eliminate the focus on parts pricing and focus on containing labor and getting paid to reflect the labor needed to do the job in an industry short on staff and high on demand.
  5. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    Overbid and explain the overbid and how experience shows we will encounter hardships that are not our fault and will still need to be addressed. We are in the business of doing it once, not twice. With that comes someone who doesn't rush through your job to "just get it done". That takes time and a team. When I see something major is about to happen to cause a drastic change in price, everything stops and I call the customer immediately.
  6. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    Just had this discussion yesterday at the shop, the exact same retaliation was given on all sides. It's pretty funny actually. In short, we're still contemplating it, but maybe altering it. Maybe have a more reasonable tier of markup. Like 100% for $25 and under, 75% for up to $50, 50% up to 75% and 20-25% from $100 and up. With a rate drop at let's say $500+ to 18.5%. And instead of full frontal with the larger labor rate, a more modest bump to make the change less noticeable. So if we were at $95, maybe $115 (domestic) to $125 (foreign), which is still cheaper than local Toyota dealer in this area. But I'm also talking about billing actual time or book time, whichever is greater as often as humanly possible. Precision labor billing is the key we think, with some room for the nightmares we all encounter from time to time.
  7. CAR_AutoReports

    Free Simple Shop Management Software

    Hi lakesidetire. I'm going to send you a message about it. Thanks for your interest.
  8. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    So advising is a lot like being a friend, or at least how we've adopted the principle. I sit down with people and ask them really hard questions. How long are you planning on keeping the car? How much money have you spent on this car since you've owned it? If it hasn't been serviced with us. Are you looking for short term solutions or long term solutions? Based on the answers I get from each customer, I will then put together a package for the services they need that fits their budget. This has lead to some insanely creative estimate building. Each customer budget and their plan for their vehicle will help determine that quality of parts I use and where I order them from. What we've noticed is that this approach completely disarms every single person that we sit with. Their approach is no longer, "Why is this so expensive?" it flips to "Thank you so much for taking the time out to help me see this clearly.". We have a running joke at the shop, roughly 1 out of 3 times we tell a customer to not fix a car... they actually will. We also find that when taking that approach most customers will develop a plan to come in every few months and get each line item addressed, exactly as we discussed it. Just some food for thought, we are encountering all of the same problems as a shop as have been outlined all over this thread about "fighting" to get customers in the door and keeping them in the door. But using this approach, we have more of them returning and with positive attitudes about how we handle things here. Which in turn has positive effects when it comes to referrals. In short, we don't sell anything. People pay us for a service and we take it seriously. Using our auto software we educate and inform our customers, using our people skills we teach them how to make better decisions. The combination has lead to a great shop attitude overall, better customer relationships and a reputation that starts to break the mold that society has given this industry for generations.
  9. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    Ok that makes a lot more sense. Direct mailers definitely work, but it's chasing the wrong customer personally speaking anyway. You're getting a customer that comes in because you are offering a price point they want. I'm sure I can get mailers here and they would be effective, but the $1,000 a month are better off spent trying to build a brand through online portals and advertising. I don't even look at mail at home unless it's from an attorney, utilities or an insurance provider. If you want to reach me, I have to be able to search for you. Speaking of search... you do rank up for those keywords you mentioned... problem is... not many people are using them but you. At least according to this.
  10. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    There's A LOT to take in there. I'm going to leave you with some food for thought. I opened a new private window and searched for "auto repair rockville maryland"... the results don't list you on the front page. See attached file 2018-12-06_12-04-03.png I then did a search for "auto repair linden nj" which is where I am located. Our shop is the 3 listing. See attached file 2018-12-06_12-04-54.png Personally speaking, you're doing amazing things at your shop with the way you handle the technology, don't stop. You're spending all of your marketing and advertising budget on the wrong form of advertising. I've never done a mailer in my life, I've built this business on SEO and word of mouth. I bet we can turn your business into a machine diverting your budget.
  11. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    A lot of that comes with how we treat people... if you have that happening... you're doing something right.
  12. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    Sent you an email Scott, in an effort to keep this thread on topic. Sales are dropping because we don't have the marketing teams that larger facilities have to keep getting customers in the door. Dealers and larger facilities (think 10 employees plus), have a much larger machine that can absorb an employee for marketing, community outreach and advertising. With that, they've been able to take business away from the smaller players, creating a vacuum that forces a dangerous cycle where smaller players are forced to adapt or close. In order to keep getting business in the door, EVERY business must have the following: Strong web presence Strong social presence Community support Advertising That's just not in the cards for a lot of the smaller guys who work on cars themselves. The guys in between are working 80 hours a week trying to crack these codes to keep business moving... or they are paying $1,000+ a month for companies that do it for them. I opt for the 80 hour weeks, but the lessons I've learned are slowly starting to pay off. The next generation of auto technicians, will be computer technicians... that work on computers with wheels. I've actually noticed manufacturers are now making parts with predictable time frames for failure, this isn't an accident. They want to make sure they can survive as well.
  13. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    Hey Scott, Have sent you a message for us to have a conversation offline. Would love to hear more about what you have done in the past. Our product is www.completeautoreports.com I don't think we as an industry can go away that fast, there's simply too many cars to be serviced. What I see happening is that the tech shortage will have to lead to a price increase and the technology gap will push many people to get educated or look for a new job.
  14. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    There's nothing unpatriotic about making things better at your business and not having to hire a fancy accountant to help you keep more of your money. I'd say this has been a great conversation with good insight for us to really think about the direction of our businesses. I have 20 years left of this, 10 if I'm lucky. Change, is my only way to survive. I have been trying to think of how to separate myself from the pack since about year 3 on my own. By year 6 I started the software company to compliment my ideas about customer engagement and transparency, by year 7 I started to adapt my selling to advising. By year 8, I questioned everything.... But now, I see things pretty clearly and I think I left most of the rocky road behind me. Or I hope so anyway.
  15. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    This must be the 30 year club. Family started the business in April 1989, I took over alone in April 2008.


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