service writers

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!

Here’s a clip from our Advisor Results Academy meeting, where we talk about Auto Repair Financing. First, Brian and the service writers on the call touch on the importance of financial assistance. We discuss comparing ourselves to other auto shops in our area. While we may charge more for labor, do our customers get what they pay for? Do your competition offer shuttle service? How about preventive maintenance inspections, and other perks to ensure customers return?

Why are auto repair financing options important?

If not for the repair shop offering financing, this customer couldn't have gotten necessary repairs!

If not for the repair shop offering financing, this customer couldn’t have gotten necessary repairs!

Finally, we transition to our main topic, another key feature all automotive shops should offer. Financing is so important for many customers.

Having a reliable vehicle is a basic need for most people, since they need a safe commute to work. Most of our customers are hard working, honest people who hold down full time jobs. However, they have fallen on hard times or have bad credit. That is no reason to punish them further!

Affordable financing could determine whether or not they opt in for necessary repairs. As an auto repair shop owner, you must offer a financing option for these customers.

As the video concludes, service advisors discuss the financing companies their shops work with, in order to add needed flexibility to customers. They also add dollars to their bottom lines. Services such as SNAP, Car Care One, and Easy Pay are all discussed.

Does your automotive repair shop offer customers financing options? It could make the difference on selling auto repair jobs that you might not otherwise! Survey the other automotive shops in your area and see what they’re doing right or wrong. It may make a huge improvement to your own shop’s financial health!

Get in on the discussion – join one of our Tuesday calls for free!

Why not sign up to join a FREE live Zoom meeting with Brian and your fellow shop owners? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!


SOP Formation and Review

0519- SOP Action-Flow-Charts

17. Brainstorm with your team to help get buy-in. ASK these questions. How could our Action-Flow-Charts help our:

  • Service Advisors?
  • Technicians?
  • Customers?
  • Communications?
  • Time efficiency?
  • Customers see the value?
  • Technicians become better at diagnosis?
  • Team members learn from others’ knowledge?


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