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Free Auto Repair Management Tips Blog

Brian recently appeared on Remarkable Results Radio to discuss his involvement in the group CAMP (Coalition of Automotive Management Professionals).

Key Talking Points

  • CAMP- Coalition of Automotive Management Professionals started with a brainstorm 2 years ago – a casual get together with trainers at Vision 2019
  • Shops should spend time with like-minded people, peer network with each other- coaches need the same
  • As of March 2021 – Legal entity
  • Group of like-minded individuals that want to move the industry forward- find the shops that need help and make sure they receive help
  • Keep the consistency of message in the industry
  • Business coaches also need to be adapting and improving

Important takeaways

  • Multi-shop ownership vs single shop ownership – you don’t need multiple shops to be successful to stay relevant or a victim of consolidation
  • Have a life outside of the business
  • Average of 5 bay shop- missing between $25-30,000K net profit per bay per year
  • Having a coach doesn’t mean you’re out of the business- owners want to be able to enjoy working on their business and still being a part of it
  • Why are we afraid to help others? There is no secret, it’s time to help people move forward

Are you an automotive repair shop owner who is completely lost? Need help organizing your workflow and writing systems to guide your staff? You Net Results has the tool for you to write your own auto repair business systems – Action Flow Charts! This is a series of over 50 templates and documents that will help you, your technicians, your service advisors, and your customers, get the the best experience from your repair shop.

In this video, some of our members discuss how You Net Results’ coaching has benefited them. They then share their initial thoughts after taking time to review our new Action Flow Charts.

Shop Owners Tell Their Stories – Auto Repair Business Systems Testimonials

Auto Repair Team celebrating success

Auto Repair Team celebrating success

Joe Evans begins the discussion by reviewing many of the skills his team has learned from Brian’s coaching methods. He notes all of the useful documents in the Action Flow Charts folder, which correspond to those skills. The sheer volume of useful information is impressive.

Afterward, other shop owners talk about how easy the documents are to access anywhere online via Dropbox. The customizable templates are easy to use, so repair shops can continue growing their bottom line. Instantly, shop owners and managers see the possibilities, both in the pre-written flow charts, and the templates, which enable owners to come up with their own systems. From hiring and recruiting to service advisor training, it’s all there.

Many shop owners are not tech savvy, nor do they have much time to sit down and figure out complex solutions. However, Action Flow Charts are designed to be easy to use for anyone in the industry, regardless of computer knowledge.

Are Action Flow Charts for you?

Not sure? Watch the video above and hear from our satisfied customers. These downloadable SOP templates and documents have revolutionized their shops! We will make a believer out of you! Sign up today.

Did you lose something in the telling? Auto repair shops sometimes struggle with consistent communication.

Photo courtesy Ben White on Unsplash

Have you ever played the game “Telephone”? You start by lining up a group. Then, you whisper a sentence into the first person’s ear. That person then whispers the message to the next person. It continues until the message gets to the final person in line. They announce out loud what sentence they heard. It is often much different from the original sentence. Quite the exercise in communication!

At You Net Results, we think this game indicates what happens in business when messages, systems, and processes are undocumented. Just like in the game of “Telephone,” something can get lost in the telling. When you don’t write down instructions, client comments, or repair orders, this is inevitable.

Communication breakdown

In auto repair businesses, it happens like this:

The Customer tells the Service Advisor something. Time is short. The Service Advisor doesn’t write it down, but they repeat it verbally to the Technician. The Technician may also skip documenting it, so they present the Service Advisor with new information. The Service Advisor then reports to the Customer via phone. More back and forth happens, and then the Customer picks up their vehicle. Later, the Service Advisor is surprised to read the Customer’s one-star review. Why? Communication was not clear. They lost something in the telling.

How can you avoid losing something in the telling?

Do you see how simply repeating verbal information can lose accuracy? It is obvious how the customer felt wronged. How can your team reduce miscommunication? How can they improve clarity?

The answer? Use transparent systems and processes to document all communication. Enter repair issues through DVI reports, notes in your CRM, text messages, recorded phone calls, and other exchanges. When you do, you will reduce your chance of poor reviews.

Perfect your shop’s communication chain!

At You Net Results, we dedicate hours of training to communication. Our coaching sessions help prevent mistakes and lost details. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation. Brian Gillis will discuss your business strategies and ways to improve revenue and company culture.

In this clip from our Leadership Process Webinar, Brian Gillis explains silent thieves in the form of poor systems and processes. These thieves can cause our automotive repair shops to literally bleed money! Listen up to learn what areas of your shop that these burglars could be lurking in. Then, join us for future sessions to see how we can identify them and kick them out the door, for good!

Where could they be hiding in your automotive repair shops

Silent thieves in your auto repair shop may not be as obvious as a technician stealing tools!

Silent thieves in your auto repair shop may not be as obvious as a technician stealing tools!

Every shop is unique, but, generally speaking, we all have weak points in certain areas. These poor systems and processes may include:

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Front Counter
  • How-to Manual
  • People and Staffing
  • Daily Operations
  • Financial

Luckily, You Net Results offers weekly rotational meetings you can join, in order to focus on these specific areas. Through group calls, as well as written systems and processes you can customize for your auto repair business, we can work together to stop silent thieves dead in their tracks.

Finally, Brian lists six steps to get started. Put these steps into place in order to build your own Leadership Process. Real change in business can only be made from the top down. Are you both ready and willing to do what it takes to implement change? Put these six steps into practice today, and get on the road to improvement:

  1. Thinking
  2. Words
  3. Action
  4. Habits
  5. Perseverance
  6. Attainment

Learn More About Eliminating These Silent Thieves – Get Your FREE Strategy Session

You know that you need to kick these silent thieves out of your shop, but you’re not sure where to begin. Why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian, so you can discuss your needs? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

 

In this video, Brian and and our members discuss advanced phone voice skills. These are tips that your service advisors can use TODAY to sell more jobs! This is must watch content for auto repair shop owners, as well as their service writers! Watch the video, then read on for more.

Phone Voice Tips for Automotive Industry Professionals

The more you practice phone voice enhancements, the more confident you will be selling auto repair jobs.First, Brian discusses moves on from previously discussing analogies that Service Advisors can use to close more sales. He shares a worksheet with lists of phone voices. These include Payoff Enhancements, which can help close more sales. Second, the worksheet lists Voice Enhancements to avoid. Finally, he points out a list of Payoff Gestures, which can help Service Writers on the phone or in person.

The Payoff Voice Enhancements, depending on the situation, can be invaluable tools. Imagine encountering a customer who is disappointed that their car broke down. They don’t know you personally and have never been in your shop. Because of that, they do not trust you. How would you cheer them up and put their mind at ease? Practicing a phone voice of empathy is key. Knowing the customer’s situation inside and out prepares you to know the right voice enhancement to use. This is especially important when making follow up phone calls where you must break unpleasant news to your customer about their vehicle.

Gathering as much knowledge as you can about a vehicle’s situation is crucial to building your confidence. Repair shop owners and Service Advisors may do this by personally inspecting the vehicle, speaking with your Technicians about the job. Sometimes, it’s a simple as Googling a particular issue or part. When you are fully prepared for your call, customers will recognize your confidence, and they will feel more at ease.

Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session

What to know more about improving your phone voice? Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

Are you selling all of the jobs you possibly can? Can your customers see the passion you have for servicing their vehicles? A Sense of Urgency (SOU) can really make the difference in creating lifetime customers.

Learning a Sense of Urgency for Customer Service

Urgency is important for an Automotive Mechanic.

Whether you’re a Service Advisor working front of house, or a Mechanic working in the back, a sense of urgency is key.

Brian opens up this segment with an analogy about walking into a local restaurant. Their staff instantly bowls you over by bending over backward to serve you. The host or hostess greets you with a smile and quickly directs you to an open table. Your Waiter rushes to your seats to take your order. How do you think that affects your buying mood? Aren’t you more likely to start with an appetizer or order a dessert afterward?

It should come as no surprise to you that many auto repair clients become repeat customers because of how friendly a shop’s staff are. When front counter staff are quick to greet you politely and take a genuine interest in you and your vehicle, you are more likely to want to come back. Brian provided evidence of this by using an example of one of his Service Advisors at the shop he once owned in Georgia. Since this employee demonstrated a sense of urgency, as well as an eager to please attitude, it made a huge impression on his clients. They even remembered him years later!

There’s no reason why this can’t work for your shop! When you encourage the traits of friendliness and speedy service in your Service Writers, Managers, and Technicians, everybody wins.

Learn more about customer service – get your FREE Strategy Session

Did you enjoy this clip on Sense of Urgency? Why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

How much can we influence buying mood when we increase customer comfort? From our members only Clear Counter Communications Series, here’s some great advice for your Service Writers on how to make customers feel at home. If you really want to make auto repair sales, then you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and do whatever it takes to make them feel comfortable in your shop.

Customer comfort factors: restaurant analogies

Brian opens up with an analogy about restaurant service. You made plans with a friend to meet for lunch at a local taco restaurant. You show up, walk inside, and you have to wait to be seated. The staff seems to be ignoring you! When the host finally shows up to seat you 2-3 minutes later,  they don’t even apologize for making you wait! In this environment, how likely are you to spend extra money on cocktails or dessert after your meal?

In much the same way, you must make the effort to get acquainted with customers when they walk in the door. Engage with them by making small talk, or even complimenting them. Nobody likes having to spend extra money for repairs. Beginning the process with a friendly Service Advisor will make it less painful. You’ll be surprised when you start getting more “YES” answers, just from implementing this simple step.

Could you increase customer comfort in this situation?

Could you increase customer comfort in this situation?

Influencing your customers’ buying mood through personal connection

Many customers have made buying decisions before they’ve even walked in the door. Like it or not, factors outside your control may have influenced them negatively toward paying for necessary service. As a front counter worker, you will be the first person clients see when they walk in the door. Can you go above and beyond to break the ice?

Ready to take it to the next level? Get Your FREE Strategy Session!

Did that clip about customer comfort strike a chord with you? Why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

 

video

Here is a clip from our General Manager Process meeting. The whole discussion is available in our You Net Results members library. In this video, Brian Gillis asks a roundtable of automotive repair Owners and GM’s to list ten things that every General Manager must do well. Once our discussion was done, we had compiled a comprehensive list of duties. Read through them and focus on each one today, and then you will up your game!

Tasks 1-3 for Effective General Managers

After Brian set the table for the members, he called on veteran shop owner Jerry Kaminski. Jerry suggested that keeping an eye on your numbers is imperative. Whether you review your financial records daily or monthly, taking a regular look is key.

Next, Andy Arndt stressed how important it is to delegate tasks to your staff. No matter how skilled you are, you can’t do it all! You must trust your staff to take some of the workload off of your plate. Your time is valuable! If a general manager is stuck under a car, he or she can’t handle their administrative duties.

Task Three that a general manager must do well involves both finding and maintaining the right staff. Jim Ryckman invokes the acronym PAHR – Prepare, Attract, Hire, Retain, which is the method we teach for staffing. Without the right crew on hand, none of these other tasks are possible.

GM Duties 4-6

Our friend Dana stresses that good communication skills are essential in any management situation. You must stay cool under pressure, and learn the right things to say to both your staff and concerned customers. Above all else, listen!

Brian then called on Bart Brown, who listed leadership as his task of choice. Repair shop General Managers must continually train, and then put into practice, the methods they learn in order to guide their team. The importance of having the proper leadership vision can not be underestimated.

Edward Couture weighed in with two more tasks that every GM must master. In order to improve workflow, you must learn to manage your time. Edward credits his time management skills with many of his business successes over the years.

Tasks 7-8 that a General Manager Must Do Well

General Managers must get buy-in from their staff

General Managers must get buy-in from their staff

Edward continued, saying that managers must learn to be diplomatic. When you are managing a team of automotive technicians and service advisors, conflicts will inevitably arise. You can not show favoritism between your children. In much the same way, you must learn to step in and resolve disagreements between your staff, whether they are personal or professional ones.

Leon says that every owner, as well as every manager, needs to designate a time one day per week to focus on the business itself. We have always taught this concept as “Working On It Tuesdays”.

It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks going on in an automotive repair shop. If you do not reserve a block of time to work on the nuts and bolts of your business, then it is not going to happen. Go in your office for an hour and shut the door. Don’t forget to also tell your crew that you are not to be bothered for that hour. During that time, study the methods that will increase your effectiveness as both a leader and a general manager. It will save you countless headaches and so much time down the line. Do not do this at home! Operating hours are for business, so you need to take that time to find perspective. Then go home and recharge with your family.

GM Checklist, Tasks 9-10

Next in line, Jerry Kaminski returns to stress the importance of writing and training systems (SOPs). Writing down every task that runs a shop is necessary to get buy-in from your staff. When everyone knows the who, what, when, where, why, and how, they don’t have to hunt you down to ask!

Finally, Andy Arndt mentions that General Managers must motivate their teams. Remind your staff members regularly that you are working toward a common goal. Share your vision when you hold your daily and weekly team meetings. When your technicians and service writers are in tune with that vision, then your shop will run like a well oiled machine!

General Manager Task List Review

To summarize this session, Brian surveyed our group of experienced auto repair shop Owners and General Managers. They determined the following list of ten things every GM must do in order to succeed:

  1. Review your numbers regularly
  2. Delegate tasks to your staff
  3. PAHR – Prepare, Attract, Hire, and Retain the right staff
  4. Master your communication skills
  5. Lead with a defined vision
  6. Manage your time
  7. Be diplomatic with your team
  8. Spend time working on the business one day each and every week (Working On It Tuesdays)
  9. Write and train SOPs
  10. Motivate your team

Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session

Schedule your own FREE business strategy session with Brian right away! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so sign up!

 

 

video
Our chief strategist Brian Gillis recently made a return appearance on the Town Hall Academy podcast. This time on the automotive industry standard show, Brian discusses how to create and execute procedures and systems (SOP’s) for your shop. If you need to get organized and create your shop’s how-to manual, then this episode is for you!

Systems and processes podcast discussion

First of all, Brian gives host Carm Capriotto the low down on how to get started with SOPs. If you start out by organizing the systems you will need to run your business smoothly, that will save you headaches later on. Starting with the basic “SOP on how to create an SOP” will be a valuable to resource for you and your staff when you need to write new systems. Create a template with the key questions (how, what, when, where, why, and how) that the SOP will answer for your business. Store all of your documents in either Dropbox or Google Drive.  Then link all of your team members up to them for quick access.

Brian and Carm then go through a sample system, the Incoming Phone Call SOP. This process details who needs to answer the phone, as well as scripts they can use, depending on the customer’s needs.

Why are SOPs so important? Staff turnover is inevitable. Easily accessible documents can help both new recruits and employees changing positions to quickly learn. When your staff members know how to do tasks consistently, they improve their value. Down the line, this will also increase your business’s value to clients and potential investors.

This is how we do it! Get buy-in from your staff on documenting the systems and processes. Well defined and organized SOPs are the first step to create a culture of success and efficiency in your shop.

Interested in learning more?

Organized systems are crucial to a successful automotive business. You Net Results is a coaching group that helps you navigate and apply these processes. Why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!

How to Become a Confident Leader

video
Are you an auto repair General Manager who struggles with confidence issues? Then you must watch this clip from our members only General Manager Process! Our host Brian Gillis asks the round table of automotive shop managers what being a confident leader means to each of them.

General Managers sound off on what it takes to make a confident leader

First, Brian calls on veteran shop owner Jerry Kaminski. Jerry jumps right in, asserting that both owners and managers must continually examine and refine their systems. Our friend Leon then adds that regular training sessions with a coaching group are crucial. Jim Ryckman expands on that point that your group must be made up of like minded people who are just as passionate about the automotive industry as you are. If all parties are dedicated to studying and improving, then you will benefit from the time you have invested.

Edward, a successful Midas owner, chimes in to say that a confident leader must trust their own knowledge, as well as their shop’s processes. General Managers must ensure that all of their team members are consistently executing their processes and procedures. Following up is key.

Andy Arndt then reviews our company’s mission statement on helping general managers. Here at You Net Results, we are committed to teaching repair shop owners and managers how to become fearless. Jim Ryckman then continues by reminding the class of our 25+ years of automotive industry experience. We work with individual general managers in order to help them define what success means to them. Then, we step by step help them to reach those goals.

Finally, Brian reviews. He stresses the importance of surrounding yourself with the right staff, as well as encouraging them to learn and implement the right systems.

Want to learn more?

You Net Results is here to help you become a confident leader! Why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You have nothing to lose, so sign up today!

 

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