Are your sales not where they should be?
A lot of factors go into a shop’s sales, and profit. With varying labor rates around North America, tough customers, and costly mistakes it can be tough breaking even AND paying out your shop’s salaries.
When you’re having trouble selling and getting customers to approve work it can be very demoralizing. Thoughts often spiral and know you’re worried about the health of your business. Is it your technicians’ fault for doing poor work leading to bad reviews and no repeat business? Are your advisors’ sales skills lacking? It could be as simple as the season you’re in or how your local economy is performing.
Instead of dreading on these things, look at your weaknesses in terms of areas you can improve. This is what resourceful leaders do. They analyze where they can improve and focus on these things like a hungry dog eyeing a steak dinner.
“That’s the way we’ve always done it!”
When your shop is in a sales slump and you can’t seem to get customers approving work this is your kryptonite. Just because the systems and processes that have worked in the past, doesn’t mean they will work now.
It goes back to the definition of insanity. You can’t keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results. Go back to the drawing board and take a deep look into what is working and what isn’t.
This may very well be a sign that it’s time to make a switch to new technology, new tools or a change in staff. Really take a look at what days your strongest, which are the weakest. This should help uncover some insights that can help you work out the kinks. Is it the same staff working on your weakest days?
We also understand that change can be quite difficult for some. There may be concerns around spending (we like to call it investing) on new tech. Calling it an investment is a much better practice as you won’t see an ROI immediately just because you have new tech. Would you expect a noticeable ROI after investing in stocks only a day or two in? No of course not it takes time and energy to get the most out of your new tech.
To help ease this worry we put together a case study to prove just how much implementing tech in the shop can help. In this case study, we analyzed over 200 shops and 600,000 invoices. What did we find? We found an average increase of 25% to shops’ repair orders that implemented digital inspections!
Having the best possible technicians is key for an auto shop’s success. If you decide to hire the cheapest techs, you can expect rushed, poorly done work for your customers. This would leave a sour taste in anyone’s mouth who was expecting their car’s problem to be solved but wasn’t. In today’s digital age it’s almost a guarantee that unsatisfied customers will go to the internet to voice their displeasure.
When you hire the best available for the job, that goes without saying you’ll also have the best work done. When your shop is getting consistently well-done jobs done, customers will take notice. People talk and talk is good. People are always looking for shop recommendations and when you produce quality work through quality techs you can expect your shop to get recommended by satisfied customers.
Looking for ways to generate more reviews and appear on Google? (Click here to check out another blog post)
As there is a shortage of top auto technicians, there are other options available to shops. The first thing we would recommend is hiring young. More and more young people are going to trade schools to avoid massive debt that comes with traditional schools. This means thousands of young workers are learning auto repair in school and are being taught industry-leading methods. Make no mistake, these younger people deserve a chance. Younger techs may even be more knowledgeable in new tools and software that older “experienced” techs may have never even heard of before.
Underqualified technicians can also be what you least expect. If you have a shop full of veteran technicians who’ve been in the industry for 30+ years you may need to invest in some training. You want to ensure your shop is ahead of the times. Training veteran techs on the latest shop technology or how to use the newest tools may sound frustrating but it will help you in the long run. The vets may even have some resistance to training but to progress, you never want to stop learning.
Learning keeps you fresh, and by refusing to train further you risk falling behind other shops that DO embrace a learning culture. A perfect example is the rapid advancement of electric cars. Will you just ignore those customers? No of course not. The strategic shop will train their techs on how to fix these electric cars.
Outdated Inspection Process
This is one of the leading reasons shops have a tough time selling auto service. Traditionally shops would do their standard inspections on all cars that come into their shops for maintenance.
They would do their 50, 60 and even 100 point inspections by hand on pen and paper. This leaves so much opportunity for disaster. The report could get ruined right at the end due to fluid dropping on it, the paper could be pulled away by a gust of wind or the actual report is so difficult to read the advisor doesn’t give the customer all the details. When the inspection is sent to the customer, you’re then waiting on them to call back (or get an annoying voicemail) to actually start the work.
Not only is it an annoying waiting game but when they do call back they often refuse many of the invoice items. They brush it aside and assume they don’t actually need the work done on their vehicle. The worst part is they may be putting themselves or other people on the road in danger! Unfourtantly a lot of people have the impression that their technicians out to only sell them unneeded work (due to some bad apples…)
A lot of customers refuse to believe shops as they believe they’re being lied to. It could be urgent work like fixing a timing kit and they still wouldn’t believe you until they were out on the road and stranded when it finally broke…
At AutoServe1 our goal is to bring light this issue by creating a culture of trust and transparency in the automotive industry. To do this we built our digital vehicle inspection software with technicians, shop managers, advisors and most importantly the customers in mind.
Digital vehicle inspection software is where the industry is headed, quickly. More and more shops are making the switch to digital inspections. Why? Digital inspections are proven to be a more effective tool in upselling service repairs to customers.
This tool helps show customers exactly what is going on under the hood, and under their vehicles. With old school inspections, people essentially had to take a shop’s word for it that repairs were needed.
With digital vehicle inspections, it shows customers what’s wrong with informative pictures and video highlight problem areas. This does wonders when it comes to building customer trust. Customers value honesty and transparency. When you give them what they want it’s clear customers appreciate as shops that implement AutoServe1 see their average repair orders increase 25%.