No matter how lucrative a particular industry is, success is never guaranteed.
Many auto repair shop owners think that since everyone will always have cars and cars will always break down; they will always stay in business or increase their business without the necessary steps.
To a certain degree, this thinking can be true.
After all, nothing lasts forever, and cars are at the forefront of this. The brakes will squeak, it won’t shift out of third gear, or it just will start making weird noises. Finding a good auto repair shop will be a necessity as long as cars run.
The bad news? Yours is not the only garage around town. The rapid pace at which the automobile industry is increasing is completely rivaled by the increase in auto repair shops.
The good news? Yours can be the only one who has the following qualities that can propel your business to new heights.
This might seem a bit cliché and general. However, everyone in their lives has experienced dishonest technicians whose livelihood appears to be scamming and not auto repair.
Your job is to convey the message to your customers that your shop is not one of these con artists.
When a customer brings their car to you, it is not a secret that you and your technicians have more knowledge than them.
An imbalance of knowledge as such requires trust. Your client needs to trust that you will be giving them all the relevant information related to their problem.
The customer is presented with two choices: trust you or take the car elsewhere. They do not have enough knowledge to tell a technician that they are not telling the truth.
This is often the cause of many technicians charging for bogus repairs behind their boss’s back. Some mechanics will show the customer a dirty air filter from the shelf and charge them for cleaning. Yes, this is actually a widespread problem. Others will even spray liquids on the engine and show the customer a supposed leak.
You should put honesty at the forefront of your policy for your employee. Even if they are not quite so deceptive, make sure that they understand that no problem should be exaggerated for more money. This includes acting like the car is nearing its funeral when it merely has a busted tire.
A genuinely successful auto repair shop would never pull such a stunt because one slip up and their carefully built reputation shatters.
When customers look for an auto repair shop, they do not peek into every business they encounter, especially if they do not have technical car knowledge. They need someone to put them back on the road.
And they love to share their experiences.
The lesson? Demand utmost honesty from your workers, from dealing with customers to ensuring that their certification is valid. Another good policy is also to hang these certificates in plain sight.
Exemplary Customer Service
You must have had an experience of subpar customer service in one business or the other. Does it make you want to never see the sight of that shop again? This is how auto repair customers also feel about bad customer service.
Here are some of the ways your employees might be unintentionally driving away customers:
- Not explaining what the exact problem is with the automobile
- Refusing to use layman terms
- Ignoring the customer’s concern
- Dismissing concerns
- If their service isn’t enough, refusing to accept that they made a mistake
Successful auto shops fix the problem and fix the customer’s concern, which is their loyalty. Not just exemplary services.
Make it a policy that the customer has to be the first priority for the business, beyond the profits even. This is because the referrals and revisits that come will easily combat the profits earned at a customer’s expense. This sort of tradeoff is never worth it.
In the digital age, customers tend to prefer an auto shop that is not hiding from modern technology. You can leave a terrible impression with manual invoicing and the slow service that accompanies pen and paper.
This is not the only reason you need an auto shop POS system.
By manually working spreadsheets and relaying information, the margin for human error is massive, so much that you can lose multiple customers with one slip up. Not to mention that the lack of communication between employees will inevitably lead to lesser efficiency and lower profits.
The ROI on auto repair software is incredibly high; it is equal to putting your garage on autopilot so that you can focus on getting more and more leads for not only maintaining your business but expanding it at the same time.
Broad Client Base
As mentioned previously, your garage is not the only one in town. Competitors are racing to get a piece of the auto repair pie. This is why living in the age of spreadsheets can be detrimental and why you need auto repair software.
But this also means that you cannot stay complacent with your current number of customers. All your clients may be from the same area, and another garage opens nearer to them.
You need to broaden your client base through marketing and make sure that the base itself is diverse.
To make your garage more successful or even retain the customers you have now, you need to take specific steps to provide value to your business. If you wait around for clients to come to you, they will go to your competitors instead. Obtaining and retaining clients should be at the forefront of your business.