As the slow-moving climb out of the Great Recession continues, it’s clear that consumer-spending patterns have altered – maybe not permanently, but at least for the foreseeable future. Many buyers have resorted to a lowest price mentality for goods and services – including tires and automotive service – that leaves repair shops in a challenging position when it comes to competing with chains, big boxers and online retailers.
Legendary UCLA Basket Coach John Wooden never focused on the score of a game. Wooden believed that success is achieved by paying attention to the details of the game, not concentrating on the score. He also knew that building a team of well-trained players capable of executing a plan, and encouraging personal performance and teamwork, would ultimately lead to success.
In our industry, there are unwritten rules that shop owners have followed for decades. They know that they have to hire gifted technicians, stay at the forefront of vehicle technology, and can never jeopardize their relationships with their customers; just to name a few. Unfortunately, there is another rule that far too many shop owners have believed in for decades. The one that says that whenever you have first-time customers in your shop, and you discover that their vehicles need a lot of work, you are better off holding back on some of the recommendations.
Most shop owners will start pumping more money into their marketing campaigns when they are looking to increase their car counts. This can help bring new customers into your shop, which is certainly important, but the value of your new customers diminishes if you’re unable to keep them coming back. There will be no greater key to your success in the coming years than your ability to create a memorable customer experience that shows your customers you genuinely care about them, so here are seven tips that will help you deliver extraordinary service, and keep your customers coming back to your shop for years to come.
The manner in which the majority of your customers prefer to communicate about vehicle service is changing, as their need for convenient and easy information access accelerates. You likely have noticed that their attitudes and expectations are vastly different than what you were used to encountering.
Last year, I described resolutions as promises you make to yourself in hopes of making a positive difference in your life and the lives of others. You know … those promises you usually break before the second week of January! How about breaking that cycle? Let’s revisit some of those resolutions from 2013 and take a look at new resolutions for 2014.
I recently attended the Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s 2014 Training Event and Trade Show in New Orleans. The main topic of discussion was R1234yf, or “twelve-thirty-four” in A/C lingo. There has been a lot of hype about the changeover to this refrigerant. Don’t panic. The reality is that it is not the “air conditioning apocalypse” some are predicting.
Are you one of the 7,570 technicians who are ASE-Certified Undercar Specialists? If not, you should be. I recently took the X1 Exhaust Test to qualify as an Undercar Specialist. To gain this certification, you must be concurrently certified for Suspension & Steering (A4) and Brakes (A5) from the Automobile & Light Truck Test Series, and Exhaust Systems (X1) from the Specialty Test Series.
With the increasing ability to collect data electronically, shop owners are sitting on huge piles of data relating to various facets of shop operation. What are the best ways to comb through the data and determine the metrics that describe the productivity and efficiency of your business and allow you to impact it?
Max Dull joined MAHLE Clevite, Inc. in 2013 and serves as the general manager of the company’s newly formed division to address the tool and equipment industry. Through its RTI brand, the division develops and distributes automotive maintenance equipment including air conditioning service, fluid exchange and nitrogen tire inflation systems into the repair shop equipment sector of the automotive aftermarket.
At the end of every year, I reflect on the events that transpired over the past 12 months that pertain to my business and personal life. Reflection can have a powerful impact on how you act in a similar situation you may encounter in the future.
In a society that is increasingly becoming accustomed to instant gratification (you can find just about any information with a quick Google search), it should come as no surprise that the motto at Mark’s Auto Service in Rockford, IL, is, “We fix it all, right here, right now!”