ALLDATA is in business to support the automotive repair and collision industries with proven systems and services that make a positive difference. Over the years, we have learned a thing or two about what it takes to help a shop succeed. We are sharing a few of these “best practices” in the interest of keeping your business strong and healthy.
Limit discounting. Shops often offer discounts to family and friends, and you may occasionally feel obligated to discount your services. Before you create that next discount line, consider that people today are looking for fast, friendly, professional service, not just discounts. Check these huge mark-ups for products and services that consumers pay every day:
Bottled water – 4,000%
Movie theater popcorn – 1,275%
Brand name drugs – 200% to 3,000%
Coffee – 300%
Drivers are willing to pay a fair price for work that is done right, and you deserve to make a fair profit. Offer value… not discounts!
Enroll with a few fleet companies.
This can be a great way to eliminate downtime and open the door to additional opportunities. Fleet work is usually discounted a bit, but generally increases your car count. Reach out to fleet management companies, such as:
Ask for testimonials and referrals from your loyal customers.
When you build relationships, you may benefit from referrals, and referrals are vital to business success. Each of your customers can potentially generate additional business from their friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. Referred customers can help maximize your profit on each ticket, because trust has already been established. And if you attract fleet business, you may also draw business from individual fleet drivers and their referrals.
Create a positive customer experience.
Here are some tips to ensure a great experience for your customers:
Educate and inform your customers. Explain additional recommended services and give them advanced notice of upcoming maintenance items. Print and hand them the factory maintenance schedule for reference.
Always let your customers know that you value their business. Thank them in person and with follow-up emails, texts or letters.
Maintain a clean, welcoming counter and waiting area. Don’t lose business because of uninviting facilities.
Stay on top of your inventory.
Inventory is money, so don’t let unused inventory sit for too long. Ask vendors to pick up and immediately credit your returned parts. Consider selling stale parts.
Only you know what works best for you, but many shops have adopted these practices and are realizing increased profitability as a result. Please contact ALLDATA with questions or comments.