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Free Auto Repair Management Tips Blog

You Net Results owner and guide Brian Gillis talks about how to increase auto repair sales using the Oil Change Chain. Oil changes are the lifeblood of your auto repair shop. You could even say they are a crucial loss leader.

When you blow off an oil change request, you may be rejecting a potential lifetime customer. For example, they may only come in for an oil change today. The next visit may be just for an oil change, too. On the third or fourth link in the oil change chain, they may need a higher cost service, such as a 60k maintenance or a brake job.

Remember: Your Ticket Average does not pay the bills – total sales does! Don’t break the chain! Creating lifelong customers is a long game, so patience is key.

Oil Change Chain - Replacing automotive fluids is just the beginning.The Oil Change Chain – Setting The Table

Brian opens up the clip discussing “real world language”. When we visit a foreign country, we want to know a little bit of the language in order to get around. In the automotive repair industry, a phrase we should all learn is “the oil change chain”. This phrase is such an important part of the language that makes up a repair shop’s “YES” culture.

What is the most requested service in an automotive shop? If you answered an “oil change”, you are correct. Everybody knows how important it is to regularly change your engine oil, so you don’t ruin your vehicle. Think back to the first time you met your most loyal customers. What need brought them into your shop? Again, it most likely was an oil change.

Some Service Advisors cringe at the thought of ringing up another oil change. Their ticket average is about to go in the tank. Well, that is short sighted thinking. As we mentioned earlier, your focus should not be on a short term ticket average. Rather, your total sales pay the bills.

Defining The Oil Change Chain And Explaining Its Importance

In order to fully explain the Oil Change Chain concept, Brian produces an actual chain for a visual aid. Each link in this chain represents a job the customer has done. The first three links in this particular chain were mere oil changes. On the fourth visit, however, the customer needed a higher ticket service: a brake job. The next two links represented oil changes, but on the seventh visit, the customer needed a 60,000 mile service. Two more oil changes followed, then a water pump replacement.

What if you blew that customer off when they needed one of those oil changes? “We’re too busy today. What about tomorrow or another day?” If you don’t say yes to their small request and find a way to fit them in, guess what? They will find another shop that will, and then that shop will reap the benefits of future high ticket repairs. Leaving out one link in the chain in the form of an inexpensive oil change just cost your shop the benefits of the whole oil change chain.

Is Your Auto Repair Shop Ready For The Next Step? Book Your FREE Strategy Session!

Brian Gillis - You Net ResultsYour independent automotive repair shop is lacking in direction. Maybe your business plan has stalled out. You are definitely not meeting your goals for growth. You need an experienced automotive industry coach who can help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with You Net Results guide Brian Gillis? You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose, so sign up today!

You have heard the phrase “Buy Low, Sell High” in regards to United States stock market on Wall Street. How about in reference to your auto repair parts margin? Just how important is pricing auto parts in the automotive repair business?

Order the right auto parts for the job, but protect your parts margin in the process!Buy Parts at the Right Price So You Can Protect Your Shop’s Parts Margin

When you buy a water pump for an auto repair job, for example, it may seem like it is a small expense. However, when you consistently forego the process of parts shopping, your parts margin can really get off balance.

When shopping, are you going with the cheapest part you can find online every time out? Those choices can come back to bite you as well! It literally pays off when you take the time in order to compare the parts available to you. In many instances, you may be able to a smaller price for the exact same part. Then you can mark them up for the repair job.

We are not suggesting that you price gouge your valued customers. When you take the time to look up parts, order them online, and inspect them upon receiving them, it is a job in itself. This is not to mention the cost of sending an employee out to O’Reilly or AutoZone in person for a rush job. Your time is worth money, and so is your employees’, so don’t sell yourself short! Parts margin may seem like a small piece of your overall financial picture, but it adds up quickly.

Ready For The Next Step? Book Your FREE Strategy Session!

Brian Gillis - You Net ResultsYour auto repair shop lacks direction. Maybe your business plan has stalled out, and you aren’t meeting your goals. You need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with You Net Results guide Brian Gillis? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

This clip is from our Clear Counter Communications Zoom video series. You Net Results Guide Brian Gillis explains the important and underutilized concept of Payoff Gestures to YNR members. Your Automotive Service Advisors can use these subtle, yet powerful, techniques in order to help them increase their repair job sales. They also help your Service Writers to explain regular maintenance and needed repairs to your customers.

Service advisors can make more auto repair sales when they learn payoff gestures.Your Service Advisors Need To Learn Payoff Gestures

Whether your auto repair shop’s Service Advisors are on the phone with a client, or speaking with them face to face, their physical gestures can and will make a difference. Some examples of these payoff gestures can include standing up and sitting back down in their chairs while speaking. Using their hands and employing various facial expressions while talking with customers is also helpful. Small inflections can result in big results for your independent auto repair shop!

Each and every one of these payoff gestures can tell their very own unique story. Additionally, these methods will give different signals to each one your valued clients.

Some customers may respond better to certain payoff gestures than other ones. It is all in the process of getting to know them better. Guess what? That is also a key component in converting first time clients to loyal repeat customers!

Ready For The Next Step? Then Book Your FREE Strategy Session!

Brian Gillis - You Net ResultsYour independent auto repair shop is lacking in its overall direction. Maybe your shop’s business plan has stalled out. You definitely are not meeting your goals for growth. Face it, you are in need of an experienced, skilled automotive industry coach that can help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with You Net Results Guide Brian Gillis? You have got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

Delegate concept with hand pressing a button

As an auto repair shop owner, you wear many hats every day. Often, you have to be the head mechanic, the marketing manager, and the CEO all in one. However, if you really want your business to grow, then you will need to learn how to delegate effectively.

Delegation is the key to building a successful team and freeing up your own time. When you do this, you will be able to focus on high level tasks that will help your business thrive. In this article, we will show you how to delegate and deliver effectively as a leader. You will also learn how to build a team that can help you achieve your ultimate goals.

The Importance of Knowing How to Delegate Effectively

Delegation is an essential skill for any leader. However, it is especially important for small business owners. When you are running a small business, there are only so many hours in the work day. You can not do everything yourself. Trying to do so will only lead you to burnout and frustration.

Effective delegation will allow you to leverage the skills and talents of your technicians, general managers, and service advisors. That way, you can focus on the tasks that only you, the owner, can do.

Why is Delegation So Hard For Shop Owners?

Delegating your tasks is not always the easy thing to do. As an auto shop business owner, you have probably built your repair business from the ground up. Therefore, you may have a hard time letting go of control. You may worry that no one can do things as well as you can do them. Maybe you are afraid that delegating jobs to your staff will take too much time and effort. However, if you really want your business to grow, then you will need to learn to delegate effectively.

The Benefits of Knowing How to Delegate Your Tasks

Effective delegation has many benefits for your automotive repair business. It can:

  • Free up your own time so you can focus on your highest level tasks
  • Help you to build the most productive staff possible
  • Develop the skills of your auto repair shop team members
  • Increase your own job satisfaction, as well as bolster your employees’ engagement
  • Reduce both your stress and your burnout

How to Delegate Effectively

Delegating daily tasks effectively is not just about handing off those jobs to your team members. It will also require very careful planning and communication on your part. Following up with your staff is the key. Here are some steps that you can take today in order to delegate effectively:

Step 1: Identify the Tasks You Can Delegate

The first step in an effective delegation strategy is to identify the tasks that you actually can delegate to others. Look for the tasks that are:

  • Either routine or repetitive
  • Too time consuming
  • Not critical to your core business operations
  • Within the skill set of your team members

Step 2: Choose the Right Team Member

Once you have identified the tasks you can delegate, then you can choose the right team member to handle the job. Look for team members who have the right skills and experience. These staff members should be continually motivated to take on new challenges. Consider delegating tasks as a way to help your staff members grow and develop their own skills.

Step 3: Provide Clear Instructions

In order to delegate effectively, you will need to provide clear instructions to your team member. Be specific about what you want them to do, and when you need it done. Also, stress the resources they have available to them. Make sure that your employee also understands the importance of the task. Emphasize how it fits into the bigger picture of your business. Remember, every job is important to making a business run, no matter how small it is.

Step 4: Set Specific Expectations

Next, you will need to clear expectations for your team member. Define what success looks like for the task, as well as the metrics that you will use to measure progress. Make sure your employee knows exactly how to report back to you on their progress. It is also imperative that they know what to do if they should encounter any challenges.

Step 5: Provide Clear Support and Feedback

Provide your team member with the support they need to succeed. Check in with them regularly in order to see how they’re doing. Then offer them guidance and feedback as needed. Celebrate their successes and help them learn from their mistakes.

Conclusion: Delegation is Key to Leadership Success

Remember to identify all of the tasks that you can delegate. Then, when you choose the right team member, provide clear instructions and expectations for them. Finally, offer them your support and feedback.

With these skills, you can become a much more effective leader, while also growing your business. Do not be afraid to let go of control. Learn how to trust your team members to help you achieve your automotive shop’s goals.

You Net Results Can Teach You How To Delegate

Contact You Net Results today, and let us help you begin the process. Book a complimentary consultation. Brian Gillis and his team will help you build your leadership foundation and plug you into a vast network of auto repair shops. We all work together to strengthen the automotive industry! Let’s make June the best month of your business life!

What is the one thing that every successful auto repair shop has in common? All of them provide their customers with a detailed Preventive Maintenance Inspection form, or PMI. How important is this form? YNR Guide Brian Gillis discussed the ins and outs of the PMI with Service Advisors on a recent Advisor Results Academy meeting. Watch and learn how this vehicle “bill of health” makes a difference in cultivating repeat business. This form effectively helps customers budget and create a game plan for needed future repairs and services. See how it builds trust yet?

Mechanic Technician reviewing the PMI Preventive Maintenance Inspection FormPMI – The Name of the Game

Preventive maintenance is the name of the game when it comes to making a vehicle last longer. Do your customers want proof of how thoroughly you have inspected their vehicle? Then you need to provide them with a detailed Preventive Maintenance Inspection form. In short, a PMI.

This gives them the peace of mind that your Technicians have gotten to closely know their vehicle, both inside and out. Your Mechanics and Service Writers will recommend the services that they would perform on it if it were their own. Your front of house staff can then confidently present and review this PMI form to customers. This gives them the chance to either sell customers additional repairs on the spot, or plan out a timeline for those services to be done in the future.

Ready For The Next Step? Book Your FREE Strategy Session!

Brian Gillis - You Net ResultsYour independent auto repair shop lacks direction. Maybe your business plan has stalled out. You definitely are not meeting your goals for growth. You need an experienced automotive repair industry coach to help you! Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with You Net Results guide Brian Gillis? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

How can your auto repair service advisor sell more jobs? Brian and You Net Results members discuss a method to help automotive service advisors sharpen their phone skills and sell more repair jobs. One of the cornerstone teachings we stress is PARP: Prepare, Audit, Rehearse, Present.

Want to Sell More Repair Jobs? Learn From Tom Brady and Metallica (Really)

You can sell more repair jobs when you work as a well oiled teamDuring the off season, as well as between games, NFL football superstar Tom Brady still trains and reviews game film. He is not required to, but he knows he has to in order to be the best. This is why Brady is a household name.
Metallica is one of the biggest arena rock bands in the world, but they don’t just step on stage cold. They put in thousands of hours when they rehearse and write. They employ a crew of over 100 roadies, sound engineers, and lighting technicians, who also have to test everything over and over to make sure the show goes smoothly. Not to mention the pyrotechnics crew who ensure all of the fireworks, fire, and explosions are done safely and up to code.
Your auto repair staff is just like a group of star athletes and musicians. If your team wants to win big and sell more repair jobs, then they have to put in the time. This means writing phone and in-person scripts and role playing them repeatedly, until they can present them in their sleep! Soon, you will have more happy customers and more money in the bank. Practice makes perfect!

Ready For The Next Step? Book Your FREE Strategy Session!

Brian Gillis - You Net ResultsYour auto repair shop lacks direction. Maybe your shop’s business plan has stalled out, and you aren’t meeting your goals. You need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with You Net Results guide Brian Gillis? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!


Brian opened up this segment asking if any of the Action Flow Charts (all 50 of which are available for YNR members) in particular interested the group. Fred Wilson wanted to specifically focus on the Comeback Customer Tracking Form.

Customer tracking will make sure you know the history of comeback repeat customers.Comeback Customer Tracking Form and Technician Reviews

Once Brian brought the form up on screen, he read through each field with the group. The form covers any detail imaginable for a repair shop to track customers and their vehicle repair. Everything from the customer’s information and their concerns to the parts ordered appear on this Action Flow Chart.

Fred especially appreciated how thorough the Comeback Customer Tracking form was. He mentioned that he had all of these details listed in separate forms for his staff, but not all in one place. This form will replace several others in his library. Fred’s employees struggle with corrective actions in their systems, so it is up to him to proactively move that ball forward.

Jerry had a similar form in place for his shop’s SOP collection. However, he found the Corrective Action section to be a useful addition.

Jim asked the group whether the original technician should review this form after repairs, or if the senior tech should. The class agreed that the senior technician should handle that responsibility. It’s always a good idea to have a second set of eyes to review work, in case the original technician missed something. Keith mentioned that reviewing returns like this helped his team identify a problem part that AutoZone had been supplying them. Another owner added that both the original V tech and the A tech should review the comeback together.

Staff Reviews Of Comeback Tracking Form Information

Fred asked the group if anyone had a system in place for their whole staff to review jobs with this form in meetings. He mentioned that he had success gathering Front of House and Back of House employees pinpointing issues that technicians had missed. Brian mentioned from experience that it eased customers’ minds to tell them their comeback issue would be addressed in the next staff meeting. Want to keep save any chance of that customer staying loyal? Honestly explain the whole team will ensure their issue won’t happen again.

Ready For The Next Step? Book Your FREE Strategy Session!

Brian Gillis - You Net ResultsYour auto repair shop lacks direction. Maybe your business plan has stalled out, and you aren’t meeting your goals. You need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with You Net Results guide Brian Gillis? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

piggy bank showing your ability to save money in a tough economy and increase car countEconomic scares can affect any industry, even relatively recession proof businesses like auto repair. Every auto repair shop’s main goal is to maintain or increase car count. How can you do that when times are tough? Many customers are in dire money straits. They could tend to put off auto repairs because of other expenses. In this article, I share my top tips to increase car count, even when times are tough.

Want To Increase Car Count? Let’s Examine the Challenges Involved

Before diving into the tips, let’s understand the challenges that auto repair shop owners may face in a down economy. When people feel the pinch, they often cut back on nonessential expenses. This may include both car repairs and scheduled maintenance. Additionally, competition can be fierce in the auto repair industry. Standing out and attracting customers can be difficult.

Tips To Increase Car Count

Here are some areas where you can increase car count in a struggling economy:

Price vs. Value

In a tough economy, most people are more price sensitive than ever before. That is why offering a value first approach is key. Your marketing and sales team wants to help customers know your service’s value.

People try to save more money when they are struggling. Does putting off your vehicle repairs really save you money, though? Sell the future value that your maintenance brings. In reality, you can help people avoid costly future repairs when times might be even worse.

Consider offering specials or promotions to entice new customers. Just make sure that you still make a profit. Dive deep into your copywriting. If you need help, then try AI for inspiration!

Focus on Customer Service To Increase Car Count

Providing great customer service is the best way to attract and retain customers. Make sure that your team is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. Train your staff to go above and beyond to address customer concerns. All the while, make sure your shop is clean and inviting.

Leverage Social Media

Social media is one of the most effective tools for reaching new customers. It can also keep your existing customers engaged. Having a Facebook page for your business is a no brainer. It is so important to regularly post updates, promotions, and helpful tips. Encourage  customers to follow you on social media and to leave reviews on your page.

Utilize Google My Business to start a review campaign. Contact previous customers and then ask them to share their experiences with your shop. More reviews will help you rank higher on Google.

Offer Financing Options

Many people hesitate to repair their cars because of the cost. When you offer financing options, it can help alleviate this concern. It makes it so much easier for customers to get their repairs. Consider partnering with a financing company in order to offer your customers payment plans or other financing options. It’s all about lowering the barriers to entry, thus helping more people trickle into your shop.

Expand Your Auto Repair Services

Offering a more comprehensive range of services can both attract new customers and increase revenue. Consider expanding your services to include additional repairs, maintenance, or other offerings. These could include car washes or detailing services.

Focus on Efficiency

Efficiency is so critical in the auto repair industry, especially in a down economy. Train your team to work efficiently and well in order to reduce repair times and increase output. You will serve more customers to increase car count and revenue.

Build Your Relationships with Local Businesses

Network and build relationships with other businesses in your community. That also helps to attract new customers. Consider partnering with local dealerships, car rental agencies, or other companies outside your industry. They can refer their customers to your shop.

Increase Car Count By Using Email Marketing

Email marketing is a proven way to stay in touch with customers and engage them. Consider sending regular email newsletters. You can send promotions to your email list to encourage repeat business. Mailchimp and other apps offer free tiers, so you can test out their services.

Focus on Branding

Branding is important to any industry. It can be especially so in auto repair. Ensure that your shop has a strong brand that stands out. Create a logo, tagline, and other memorable branding elements that will help build brand recognition. What if nobody in your company has these talents? Hire a qualified local graphic designer or marketing agency.

Offer Free Inspections or Diagnostics

Free inspections or diagnostics may help to attract new customers. This may encourage them to bring their cars in to fix. This can also help you identify more repairs that need to be done. This is a simple method to increase your revenue.

Join You Net Results and Increase Your Car Count Today

Increasing your auto repair shop’s car count in a struggling system is tough. Focus on customer service, value-based sales, and gripping social media. By doing so, business owners can attract and retain clients. When using these strategies, we can stay driven in a tough economy and keep growing our businesses.

Contact You Net Results today so you can begin the process. Book a free meeting. Brian Gillis and his team will help you build your leadership foundation. Plug into a vast network of auto repair shops. We all work together to strengthen the industry! Let’s make this the best month of your business life!

Brian Gillis 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? How quickly can you fix it so they are safely on their way?

Speed of Service - Mechanic Helping Auto Repair CustomerSpeed of Service  Concept – What and How

Brian starts the clip by breaking down the SOS concept. We have to have all of our systems in place in order to quickly resolve customers’ needs. We must properly train all staff on their duties in order. Only then can we process cars more efficiently, while not missing opportunities.

Eric clarifies that the heart of the Speed of Service concept is how quickly we can return our customer’s vehicle to them. He likens it to a visit to a doctor’s office. Normally, we come in and fill out our pre-visit paperwork. Then, we wait to be called back to the doctor. What if we came in and were immediately called back without filling out the proper paperwork first? How strange would that be? We would doubtless feel uncomfortable in that situation. In the same way, Eric doesn’t want a customer to even sit down before his staff have identified “one thing” the vehicle needs.

Joe adds that we ease customers’ minds with our ability to quickly identify that one thing. Brian then presents the secret move to starting the Speed of Service chain of events – get the customer’s keys and hand them off to a General Service Technician before you even start data entry. By the time you are done entering data, your GS has performed a thorough visual inspection. The customer is still at the counter, and you can share information on an issue you can help them with.

Finally, Brian adds another helpful hint. We need to take inventory of all of our key to key systems. When we do this, we will find areas that are costing us time. Shaving down a few minutes here and there will make a huge difference in improving Speed of Service.

Learn More – Book Your FREE Strategy Session

Does your auto repair shop lack direction? Perhaps your business plan has stalled out, and you need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with guide Brian Gillis? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

One of the many reasons that a customer may enter your shop is to ensure that their family vehicle is prepared for an upcoming road trip. Before heading out on vacation, it’s reassuring to know that your trusted independent repair shop has fully inspected your ride. After all, none of us want to end up on the side of the road, at the mercy of a potentially untrustworthy repair shop far from home. That is where this Action Flow Chart comes in. Having a thorough, customizable inspection form on hand for these customers is a life saver!

This customer could have avoided this if he had filled out the trip inspection form.

Your service writers and the trip inspection form could’ve helped him avoid this situation.

Inspection Form for Upcoming Trips

Brian starts the clip by introducing the inspection form to the group. He points out the spots in the document that can be personalized, then mentions that some shop owners prefer to color code the sections. One such owner chose to color code the tasks to indicate whether they were a front of house job, a back of house job, or both.

Brian runs through the list of under the hood, interior, and exterior items to check. We could easily forget many of these items without using the inspection form. For example, do your mechanics always check the spare tire? What about the trailer hitch wiring? If the customer will be pulling a trailer or camper, this is a must.

Technicians should perform a test drive for certain aspects. Specifically, when driving the vehicle, they should make sure the speedometer and the cruise control are working correctly.

After completing all 22 inspection points and taking any necessary actions, don’t forget to wipe off any potential handprints and return the vehicle clean.

Ready For The Next Step? Book Your FREE Strategy Session!

Brian Gillis - You Net ResultsYour auto repair shop lacks direction. Maybe your business plan has stalled out, and you aren’t meeting your goals. You need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with You Net Results guide Brian Gillis? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!