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.
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!
Your 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 Gills? You have got nothing to lose, so sign up today!
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?
PMI – 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!
Your 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 Gills? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!
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 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!
Here is a great discussion on how we can document an auto repair invoice. In this clip, Brian and our guest Keith begin the process of writing a ten step SOP on building automotive repair invoices.
Auto Repair Invoice – When And How
Brian starts out the segment by setting the ground rules of the SOP. The front of house staff, specifically the Service Advisor at the desk, is responsible for writing the auto repair invoice. When you write a Standard Operating Procedure, you number the steps in order to clearly describe how the job is done. In this case, your front of house staff will have a handy guide to refer to when questions come up.
It is also a great idea for you to review this and other SOPs regularly when in team meetings and one on one’s in order to keep everyone sharp. Sometimes, it will help for individuals to taylor certain steps and scripts to their own strengths. However, when you have one standard form on hand for the whole team to reference, it makes a huge difference.
Auto Repair Invoice SOP Step 1
Next, Brian called on Keith to provide step one. Before we fill anything else out, we will need to gather the customer’s contact and vehicle information. The first question we always need to answer is “Why is the vehicle here?” Then, from there, we can fill in the rest of the blanks on the SOP.
Learn More – Book Your FREE Strategy Session Today
Does your independent auto repair shop business lack direction? Maybe your initial business plan has stalled out. You need to hire an experienced automotive industry coach who can help you. So why not schedule a FREE business strategy session today with Brian Gillis? You have got nothing to lose, so sign up today!
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.
Auto Repair Estimate Writing – When And How
Brian starts the conversation by reminding us not to rush into repairs before talking with our customers. Remember, the customer will tell us everything we need to know, and often will ask questions to steer us in the right direction.
Eric chimes in to walk us through his process of finding “one thing” during initial inspection that customers need to know about. Then, the Service Advisor will walk the customer back to their vehicle to explain the issue. After that, just listen to the customer. When they let you know their concerns about cost or time, let them know you can get right to work on the repair and provide them a shuttle to work. Make sure the conversation thoroughly addresses vehicle safety. You have yet to completely inspect the vehicle, so assure them you will call them shortly to let them know if there are any other concerns. You should only provide an auto repair estimate after reading the customer their vehicle’s inspection results.
Brian wraps up by remind us that both front and back of house staff should understand the “one thing” concept. Make sure you clearly mark what it is on your repair orders, so everyone knows.
Learn More – Book Your FREE Strategy Session
Does your auto repair shop lack direction? Perhaps your business plan has stalled out. You need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with YNR guide Brian Gillis? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!
Here’s one of our handy Service Advisor tips. 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 risk painting your staff as incompetent. That’s a recipe for wasting time and money. Ask the right questions up front!
Service Advisor Tips – Call Recap
Brian opens up the clip by presenting Step G in the Getting Acquainted / In Person Counter Contact form. This is probably the most important step in the process. All the Service Advisor Tips and voice tricks mean nothing if you are not listening, asking questions, and verifying the customer’s vehicle problem. Remember, at the end of the day, our customers have problems, and it’s our job to solve them.
We must gather as much information as possible from the customer. Brian confirmed this to be true with our guest Nick, who is an A Tech. When a Service Advisor doesn’t gather enough information and pass it all on to the Technicians, we’ve got big trouble.
Repeating the customer’s problems back to them builds their confidence in us, as well as helping us avoid missing an issue later. Nick verified that he has had many questions for Service Advisors immediately after receiving work orders. For example, he may not know how long a car’s transmission has been slipping. This question should have come up when the Service Advisor initially talked with the customer.
Learn More – Get 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 Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!
Gary Gunn, AAM shares some examples of flexible auto repair hiring processes and how they can benefit automotive repair shops. Would you consider changing to four day work weeks, or even hiring only technicians who hunt or have farms? Gary provides examples of shops who did – and, believe it or not – these hiring practices for employees were huge successes for decades!
How could being more flexible in your hiring practices benefit your mechanics and service writers? What about you? Couldn’t you use less stress in your daily life as an auto repair shop owner? Can you think of any other benefits to attract quality mechanics and front of house staff? Don’t miss this video – it could save your automotive shop!
Hiring Process Discussion Recap
When this Working On It Tuesday clip opens, Gary quizzes Brian Pickens on what he’s learned from the class. Brian listed several areas of his automotive business that needed work. He admits he is currently understaffed and his people are burnt out. His previous hiring process proved ineffective and he needs to become more flexible in order to attract the right people.
When Gary polled the class about whether changing hours to help employees’ work-life balance would help, they agreed. Perhaps they should poll staff to see what would work for them. Brian added that he needed to put his foot down, because the current work environment was leading to squabbles between coworkers and grumpy customers.
Hypothetical Candidate Interview
Gary then paints a picture of an interview with a potential new technician. The candidate required a four day work week before he would accept the position, and that is unprecedented in your shop. Otherwise, he is the perfect candidate, and you need him. The next step is gathering your staff and making that four day work week possible. Gary and the callers all provided examples of how to make that happen, including many nurses’ three day work week working 12-hour days.
Flexible work schedules in auto repair are not a new phenomenon! Gary told a story about a shop he used to sell lifts to in Texas. They implemented a four day work week, and employed staff who only liked to hunt. Hunting was an important part of the culture in that area. Since the staff knew they wouldn’t have to work on certain days, they could all relax and bond over their common interest. Some of you reading may think that’s crazy, and it gives employees too much power. It worked out fine for the owner of that shop, who sold it after 27 successful years in business!
Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session
Does your auto repair shop lack direction? Perhaps your business plan has stalled out, so you need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!
Here’s a great discussion from our You Net Results group about auto repair sales analogies. Most customers wouldn’t understand complicated automotive repair terminology. Here are some great metaphors your service advisor can use to help them, and then close the sale of needed repair in the process!
What if a customer asks why you can’t replace just one side of their brake system? Or maybe they are angry they had to bring their vehicle back in soon after their last visit? These sales analogies cover these situations and much more! This is a MUST WATCH for Auto Repair Shop Owners, General Managers, Service Advisors, and Service Writers!
Auto Repair Sales Analogies – Brian’s Prompt
As the clip opens, Brian is discussing phone scripts. He focuses in on the important topic of word analogies. Throughout the years, he has asked some of the most successful service advisors he has met what their best analogies are.
Moving on, he encourages the callers to share their best examples and write them down. At first, they were not ready to share, so Brian recalled his own sales analogy. The customer’s car needs new brakes, and he explained that even though one side was like a worn out shoe, the other was in brand new condition. You can’t just replace the worn out shoe. Both need to be the same condition to work properly.
Group Member Examples of Sales Analogies
Each of our YNR members then provided their own great examples. Steve volunteered his comparison between error codes and Christmas tree lights.
In the case of mismatched tires binding up wheel bearings, Gene compared the failure to a pretzel being twisted up. The customer would always be best served to replace both rear or front tires, instead of just one.
Nick then offered up the analogy that coolant can conduct and store electricity as it ages, just like a battery. Over time, this can corrode the metal parts of your engine. This reminded Brian of another analogy. We may put liquor into the freezer, in order to serve it cold. Because of the alcohol, it will not solidify. Just like alcohol, the chemicals in engine coolant prohibit freezing, and it will stay a liquid, no matter how cold the temperature it is stored in is.
Denise used the analogy of blood work getting done when you go to the doctor. You have blood drawn and tested in order to diagnose any health issues that you may have. This is the same with the Check Engine light in your vehicle. Once the shop scans the code, they know what the vehicle’s health issues are. Denise never uses the word “diagnostics”, but uses “testing” instead. Customers tend to understand that term better.
Additional Samples Your Service Advisors Can Use
Frankie compares ball joints to kneecaps. Eli reiterated Brian’s earlier sales analogy about why we need to buy brakes and rotors in pairs, just like shoes.
Brian added a metaphor to the list about carbon buildup. He has explained the accumulation of carbon in engines to customers with a couple of analogies. When carbon builds up in an engine, it can be flaky like tar when it is cool. Just like cleaning the soot out of your chimney, you periodically need to have carbon cleaned out of your engine.
Rechecks, Milkshakes, and the Chattahoochee
Every automotive shop hates it when customers come back soon after their previous visits for rechecks. Let’s say your shop just completed a costly repair. The customer returns with a new issue, angrily stating that you had just fixed all the car’s problems a week ago!
This is where a simple analogy comes into play. You go to a friend’s house for dinner. You excuse yourself to go to the bathroom. When you step into the bathroom and flip the lightswitch, pop! The bulb goes out. There was no way to tell that the light bulb would soon go bad. Such is the case with many vehicle issues. Usually, we can tell when a part or system is wearing out, but not in all cases. Obviously, if we could have detected the problem, we would have informed the client.
Next, Brian compares intermixing of oil and coolant fluids to a milkshake. He also shared a regional analogy native to his former home in Georgia. The Chattahoochee River is well known as a muddy mess. Anytime Service Advisors in the area need to make an analogy about something nasty mixing up in an engine, the Chattahoochee is an easy comparison.
Finally, Brian compares modern vehicles to smartphones. When you need to have your car or truck flashed or reprogrammed, it’s just like downloading a software update for your phone. It is a necessary update in order to ensure security and functionality.
Put These Sales Analogies In Your Toolbox!
The great thing about the automotive repair industry is that you learn something new every day. Once your service advisors memorize these sales analogies and put them into practice, you will see your sales go up. When your customers learn an important fact about their vehicles in plain English, they invariably respond, “Let’s get that repair done”.
Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session
Does your independent 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 Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!