As miles rack up on your customers’ vehicles, are you getting the most mileage out of your oil change services and maximizing every service occasion? Oil change service is the leading driver of traffic through service bays and represents the greatest opportunity for cross-selling other services, according to new car care research from The NPD Group.
I’m going to level with you; there really isn’t some magic way to get the social media ROI you want (and think you need) as a shop owner. Sure, all the data may be there in one form or another, but it can take one heck of a lot of merging and purging to attribute that one sale to that one click on Facebook. Truth is; it’s a process that requires everyone involved to be all in. Yes, I am pointing directly and squarely at YOU.
Failing has a great way of teaching us valuable lessons. I learned the hard way that the skills of being a mechanic have nothing to do with the skills of running a business. So, in the early ’90s, I switched gears and began my quest to learn the skills of running a business.
Ok, I admit it. Let’s get it out in the open. I am a zombie movie fan. There is something about dead people shuffling around grunting in an expressionless, catatonic state that captivates me. The new TV series, The Walking Dead, is my current favorite show. However, when it comes to catatonic customer service people … well, that’s another story.
With the information we’ve attained from every customer panel we have moderated, with what we have learned from our focus groups, and with the feedback we have received from our members, one thing is certain: Customers like to know by 2:00 p.m. at the latest whether or not their vehicle will be finished that day.
Regardless of their income, the majority of your customers are very sensitive to price, even if they have been dealing with you for years. During these tough economic times they’re looking for value, and they determine value not by the lowest price, but by what they receive in return.
If you want to build a great auto repair business in the coming years, you’ll need to look into the future, and then make sure your business is on track with offering the right services, at the right time.
The other day, a customer brought his car in for a routine oil change service and the technician noticed a light stain from the water pump. The technician brought this to the attention of the service advisor, who informed the customer. This is a long-time customer who never questions us on any recommendations or work. Because this customer lives 30 minutes away, we always make arrangements to accommodate him while he waits for the vehicle.
We all know that the industry is continuing to evolve, and you will be seeing your customers less often as time goes on. Accordingly, you will need to find ways to keep your service bays full. One way is through commercial accounts, which we will call fleet accounts. Now, I realize that fleet accounts may not be practical for some of you, but for those of you who are open to servicing such accounts, here are some tips you may want to consider.
Recently, I was at an affair with a few people I met for the first time. As usual, once they found out what I did for a living, the auto-related questions directed toward me flowed faster than the wine was flowing.
If you would like to bring in more customers during these competitive times, and build employee morale all at once, then here’s a guaranteed way to do so that your competitors would never think of.
Have a clear understanding of where your advisors need help the most. For example, some advisors can perform very well with first-time callers, but they struggle when presenting sales, with sales objections, or with dealing with difficult customers. Before you send your advisors to any sales training, you should do a needs analysis and make sure that the course can help you in the specific areas of improvement that you are looking for.