Have you ever heard the phrase “Don’t burn your bridges”?
In business, nothing is more important than the relationships we foster. We are all familiar with networking and how critical it can be to success. On the other hand, negative networking can be even more critical. Like any school locker room, hair salon, or restaurant, nothing gets around faster than bad news!
In a worst-case scenario, one soured relationship could lead to an entire network of soured relationships. Your best bet is to treat everyone with equal respect. Good news gets around too, and before you know it, people will be recommending you as the go-to person for mentorship, advice, and service.
Which business relationships matter the most?
This is a trick question; they all matter! Why, you might ask? Because you can never predict or influence how one thing might affect another. We previously mentioned that with the phrase “burning your bridges.” If you outwardly show that you value one person or one relationship differently than another, you risk the chance of affecting things down the line. We highly suggest that you set a minimum standard for how you treat people. That means showing everyone respect. Go out of your way to ask them about their lives and interests, and request their help when you need it.
How do I build important business relationships?
That is an excellent question. It comes naturally for some people, but for others, it is a learned skill. We would like to urge you to look at this sector of your business development like you would any skill. Pour time, attention, and intention into it.
So, what does that mean? That means going out of your way to let people know how much you appreciate them. Reach out to them, ask if they need help, or request their help. Begin making emotional deposits with the individuals in your life; build up that bank account!
Business coaching with You Net Results
You Net Results can help you practice these skills and then plug you into a vast network of like-minded auto repair center owners. Our supportive and collaborative network of shops works together to build relationships and become the best version of ourselves. We do it for the industry because we know a stronger industry means more success for everyone!
Please contact You Net Results today for a complimentary consultation. Brian Gillis and his team will help you build your business bridges and come out stronger on the other end, bringing you one step closer to your revenue dreams! Let’s make this summer the greatest summer of your business life!
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! Everybody 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!
ExpandedHours 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. Sending periodic email blasts is a cheap way to let customers know about specials that 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.