March/April 2012 Archives - Shop Owner Magazine
Why Does A First-Time Caller Choose Your Shop?

We do a lot of coaching and training in the auto repair industry and have had the privilege of working with some really amazing people and businesses. Often, we will ask folks we are working with, “Why does a first time caller decide to bring their car into your shop?” Inevitably, we will get a chorus of voices saying, “Price!”

Guerrilla Marketing For Your Auto Repair Business

The term “guerrilla marketing” is used to describe marketing methods that allow small businesses to compete with larger businesses, and they typically include grass roots marketing campaigns. Participating in Chamber of Commerce meetings and local events are a couple of examples. Although there are hundreds of methods, there’s one auto repair marketing goldmine that is overlooked by most auto repair shops and dealerships. It’s targeting what we here at Elite refer to as “communities within communities.”

Drive Up Your Service Sales! The #1 Tool For Service Advisors

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to employ some of the best service advisors in the industry, and our company has trained thousands of industry superstars. So, I can tell you from first-hand experience, one of the best tools you can provide your service advisors with is a digital voice recorder.

Are Your Techs Asking You For Recommendations?

When your techs come to you and tell you they’re stumped, if you give them a recommendation, you’ll lose regardless of the outcome. If you solve the problem, you’ve sent a message to your techs that you’re more knowledgeable than they are, which is not going to build confidence in your employees. But then it gets worse; you’ve also taught them to come to you when they’re up against a wall. This is a lose-lose situation, in that if your recommendation doesn’t solve the problem, the tech will come back to you looking for your next recommendation because you now own the problem.

Exclusive Auto Caters To Customers: Yucaipa, CA, Shop Awarded Top Honors For Customer Service With ‘Perfect’ Rating

When a customer visits Exclusive Auto, located in Yucaipa, CA, the staff’s goal is to greet that person immediately, and then to always exceed their expectations. It’s that kind of customer service ethic that has helped make the shop what it is today.

Let’s Clean Up: Shop Appearance Speaks Volumes About Image And Professionalism To Your Customers

Let’s talk about cleanliness. And, I mean more than just surface cleaning. Ever walk into a business that looked clean initially, but really wasn’t? You could just tell. The next thing you know, you’re looking more closely under the tables and chairs, and then it’s pretty obvious that it’s not very clean at all.

What Does Shuttle Service Say About Your Business? Consider A Hybrid Or Electric Vehicle

Offering a shuttle service for your customers provides some great opportunities. Many times, customers drop by with an unexpected issue and have not planned for a ride back home or to work. By providing a shuttle service, you give your customer added value that may help them decide to leave the vehicle for repair and, hence, provides you with the opportunity for revenue.

Executive Interview: Jeff Blocher, Vice President Sales, & Dave McColley, Vice President Marketing and Product Development, Wix Filters

WIX Filter’s Jeff Blocher, vice president of sales, and Dave McColley, vice president of marketing and product development, work hand-in-hand to build the WIX brand. In their time working together on WIX Filters marketing, these two dedicated members of the WIX Filters and Affinia Group families have led a shift in the ways which WIX engages with customers, markets its brand and serves the aftermarket.

Pricing Your Shop’s Services Without Adversely Affecting Those Priceless Customer Relationships

There’s no doubt that pricing is one of the most misunderstood elements of business. There’s not only a lot of bad information out there, but with these tough economic times, there’s a lot of uncertainty, as well.

Brand Building: Plan For The Future … Now!

The great thing about a strong brand is that it works very hard in portraying exactly who you are and what your unique offer is. Ideally, when customers quickly see your logo, they should get a quick take on who you are as a business. So, yes, a logo is a real workhorse. But it does not work by itself. Designed well into your marketing materials, it should complement your message.

Harley’s Automotive: Resilient North Dakota Shop Bounces Back After Severe Flooding; Stays True To Core Values

When residents and business owners in the Souris River Valley were told last May that a flood was imminent in the coming weeks as a result of heavy rains and snow runoff, the owners of Harley’s Automotive Center in Minot, ND, sprang into action.

Traditional Vs. On-line Media: Tips For Evaluating Ad Buys

The most successful advertising investments target high-traffic customer locations – and, these days, that means shifting at least a portion of your ad spend to a growing list of on-line channels. To make the right decision, shop owners need to research potential return on investment and other factors before committing to any ad buy, and base their advertising investment decisions on a thorough understanding of the options.