Brian’s thoughts on the tried and true Employee of the Month concept and how it can help auto repair shop Employee Retention. Keep your morale up, encourage your employees on staff, and let them know they are important to your automotive repair shop’s success! Programs like “Employee of the Month” can be crucial to your hiring and recruiting strategy!
Would you add one of these to your waiting room? What are some other perks you can think of that would make your customers’ experiences better?
Brian and the You Net Results group discuss the concept of auto repair speed of service – or SOS. What systems can you put in place to quickly identify the “one thing” that needs repair on the customer’s vehicle, then quickly fix it so they are safely on their way.
What happens without Huddles? Auto Repair Staff huddles are a crucial factor in encouraging employee teamwork. Listen to our YNR roundtable discussion on regularly rounding up your technicians, General Managers, and Service Advisors to make sure you are all on the same page.
Here’s a great discussion on how to document an auto repair invoice. Brian and our guest Keith begin the process of writing a ten step SOP on building automotive repair invoices.
Do you know when to write an auto repair estimate? Brian and the YNR group talk about identifying the “one thing” – i.e. the first major item of concern on a vehicle – and alerting the customer to it. Then what? We go through a quick scenario with reassuring a price shopper that we will get the job done quickly and affordably. It’s not about money, it’s about their safety. Get the customer on their way via your shuttle, and give the rest of the vehicle a thorough inspection. Then and only then is when to write an auto repair estimate.
Brian and YNR Member Andy read a passage from Gary Gunn’s book Turnaround Point – The Recipe for Going Broke. Are poor auto repair systems processes leading to you ultimately shutting your doors?
Brian details the six steps to auto shop leadership mastery – aka The Lotus Code :
Take a look at your Auto Repair Shop Systems, and you may be in for a surprise. In this clip from our Leadership Process Webinar, Brian Gillis explains how poor systems and processes can cause our automotive repair shops to literally bleed money. Could this describe your shop?
Here’s a handy Service Advisor tip. Are your service advisors asking the right questions up front? This is mission critical to avoid having to call customers back when your Technician finds something unexpected with a vehicle and has questions of their own. Don’t waste time and money. Don’t risk looking like your staff doesn’t know what they’re doing. Ask the right questions up front!
Let’s talk about auto repair customer service. Are you selling all of the jobs you can? Can customers see the passion you have for servicing their vehicles? Add a Sense of Urgency (SOU) can really make the difference in creating lifetime customers.
Are your auto repair staff order takers or difference makers? Technicians and Service Writers must work together to educate customers on their vehicles’ needs. Only then can automotive repair employees make a difference for your shop’s bottom line, as well as your customers’ safety and vehicle life.
12 Ways To Make Each Car Count More
Everyone wants to increase their Auto Repair Car Count. But what about making every car count more? This supersized session from our Advisor Results Academy webinar features automotive shop owners and Service Writers just like you sharing how they get the MOST out of each automotive repair order ticket! Everyone could learn something from this video, so strap in and get ready to take some notes!
Making Every Car Count More – Tips 1-3
First, Dave mentions his shop’s VIP Cards Program. Brian then shows an example of this in action. A shop he knows sends out personalized gift cards for service to their top spenders. The customer is encouraged to give some of the cards out to friends and family, and keep one for themself. Programs like this generate return business and promote goodwill amongst your customer base.
Brian then segues to a discussion about marketing companies vs Grass Roots Referrals. He noted that, in his experience, companies who promise to hunt down customers for shops rarely help with raising car count. Instead, grass roots referrals from existing companies bring in business hand over fist.
Next, Haylee mentions how much Speed of Service makes a difference. When all of your staff are prompt and working like a well oiled machine, what happens? It establishes a sterling reputation amongst your customer base, and frees up bays for the next job on the docket. Make sure your systems allow for your team to not only do the job right, but quickly as well. If you implement this principle, don’t be shocked if your average repair order doubles!
Brandon then mentions the importance of Expanding Your Knowledge, as well as Offering More Services. When a shop is stuck in a box, only working on certain makes and models or only offering limited services, they hamstring their business potential. A repair shop in this position will never thrive, and likely will not survive long.
Tips 4-6 On How To Make Each Car Count More
Curb Appeal may not be the first factor you consider in increasing car count. Perhaps it should be, though! When people drive by your shop, what do they see? Is the parking lot full of trash? What about the landscaping? Could someone mistake your shop for being out of business, due to weeds surrounding your lot? Is your signage bright and modern, or faded and worn?
Furthermore, if the outside doesn’t scare people off, will the inside? A clean waiting room with comfortable furniture, wi-fi, and fresh, free coffee brewing are the minimums you should consider. Not to mention cleaning the bathrooms regularly! Put yourself in potential customers’ shoes. Consider all of these factors. Would you bring your car to your shop?
Nick suggests Loaner Vehicles and Shuttles. We’ve heard many customer objections to car services. Needing their car for transportation to work or school is a reason we all hear. We all know what a hassle it can be to bother friends to drive you everywhere when you are out of pocket. Investing in a few loaner vehicles, or providing a shuttle car (with your branding on them of course!) could pay for itself quickly!
Expanded Hours of Operation are a no-brainer. Think how many other enhancements link to this one. More open hours or days ensure your speed of service increases and more bays open up for other cars. This also adds convenience for customers who need repairs, but can’t fit them into their schedules.
Increasing Your Average Repair Order – Tips 7-9
Brandon continues the conversation, bringing up the importance of Community Presence and Involvement. When a repair shop organizes food drives, sponsors a little league team, or donates services to community organizations, everyone wins. Your automotive business should make an effort to be a valued part of your community. This is how you earn trust.
Brian contributes an example of how one of his former shops did this. His plaque denotes the shop’s work with their local Partners for Education, auctioning off their services to help out. Other owners and service advisors discuss how their own community involvement programs help car count.
Aaron stresses the importance of Having All The Tools You Need On Hand. You can’t offer Speed of Service if you don’t have all of the tools on hand to do the job right. Not to mention, you should invest in top quality gear. Remember, you get what you pay for!
Haylee hits a home run with her next tip. Callbacks and Collecting Customer Info are crucial to boosting car count. By the nature of our business, we must collect phone numbers. Having email addresses helps so much as well. Periodic email blasts are cheap ways to let customers know about specials you’re offering. Even if your client can’t pick up the phone, leaving them a voicemail is a huge opportunity to let them know you’re concerned about their vehicle’s health.
Tips 10-12 For Making More Money From Each Auto Repair
Dave feels that taking on Fleet Accounts is the best car count booster, bar none. You a company a discount on parts and services. Since you will now be servicing guaranteed multiple vehicles, you will make up for that margin quickly.
What about Outside Sales and Networking? Send out some of your service advisors to local businesses. They can let other business owners know about your services. This is a great way for you to score the fleet accounts Dave mentioned.
Finally, we discuss three methods to make each car count more. Offering Vehicle Customizing Work (Jeep Ducking), using Direct Mail Marketing services, and writing customers Personalized Notes all can boost your numbers.
Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session
Interested in making every car count more in your shop? Why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!