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Repair Shop Advice

Archive for October, 2016

Diamond Jim’s Auto Service, 2009 Best of Burton Award Winner in Burton, MI!

October 31st, 2016

Diamond Jim’s Auto Service features Bridgestone, Firestone, and Fuzion tires. They perform quality, affordable repairs on most domestic & import vehicles. The mechanics are honest and trustworthy and come highly recommended! Drop by G-4112 S Dort Hwy, Burton, MI 48529 or give them a call today at 810-743-4210 to see what they can do for you!

Landmark Auto Group is Alexandria, VA’s best kept secret!

October 27th, 2016

Specializing in Import & European Auto Repair, Landmark Auto Group provides honest, professional, fairly-priced work and the customer service they provide is TOP NOTCH! Stop by 5350 Duke St, Alexandria, VA 22304 for all of your auto repair needs or call Max at 703-955-4525.

Turning Price Shoppers into Repeat Customers

October 27th, 2016

If you manage a repair shop, you probably regularly get calls from customers that are price shopping. While it’s true that some of these customers will always search for the cheapest price, many of them are price shopping because they don’t know how else to compare repair shops. If you can make your shop stand out in the two minutes you have them on the phone, you’ll have an opportunity to capture this customer for life.

How do you do this? Click on the infographic below to learn how to convert a price shopper into a customer in a two minute phone conversation!
 

price shopper repeat customer

Quality, Honesty, and Pride is what Larry’s Auto Clinic Inc. has been known for since 1987!

October 24th, 2016

Larry’s Auto Clinic Inc. located at 4719 Northgate Blvd Myrtle Beach, SC 29577 is the place to go if you need Automotive, Truck, RV, or Motorhome maintenance!  Larry specializes in Chassis work but can handle anything from routine maintenance, diagnostics, and oil changes to engine and transmission repairs, brake services, and alignments.  For your convenience Larry also offers Wi-Fi, water, electrical, sewer, and TV hookups for RVs.  Call (843) 293-2205 today to schedule your vehicle repair.

Three Threats to Independent Automotive Shops’ Relevance – And How to Stay Ahead of Them

October 21st, 2016

Automobiles have been the primary mode of transportation in the United States for nearly a century – but that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been big changes in that time.  Changes to any industry bring threats and opportunities.

Independent repair shops, in particular, face unique threats because there’s always an incentive for the companies that manufacture vehicles to try to cut them out of the industry, taking that repair revenue for themselves or their franchisees.  Here are three threats that independent automotive shops are already facing, but will become more intense over the next decade.

technology and independent repair threats

 
Threat #1 – Manufacturer ownership of telematics system data.

Independent shops are always fighting to maintain access to the information they need to repair vehicles, from repair codes to installation diagrams.  Vehicle telematics systems present the most recent informational threat to independent shops.  The most modern vehicles can self-report many repair needs directly to the manufacturer, who can them forward that information to the dealership where the vehicle was last serviced.  That dealership then contacts the customer to schedule an appointment, cutting out independent shops entirely.

This makes it more important than ever to establish a relationship of trust with your customers before they move to one of these new vehicles.  Make sure you retain the technical expertise to repair modern vehicles, and as customers near a new purchase, remind them that you are happy to help them more affordably once the vehicle is no longer warrantied.  If you know they’re looking at one of these vehicles, offer a free inspection or two while the vehicle is under warranty, so they can take their vehicle back to the dealership for free repairs before their warranty expires.  Ultimately, when the dealership calls and tells them they’re due for maintenance that will be invoiced, you want them to say “thanks for the notification, I’ll call my own mechanic and get it done”.

Recommendation: Build relationships with your customers that are powerful enough to withstand the effort to cut your shop out of the repair business.  Also, keep up-to-date on the Auto Care Association’s efforts to gain independent repair shop access to this telematic information.
 
Threat #2 – Technician Shortage

We discussed the difficulty of hiring techs recently and also provided some tips on attracting great technicians.  This challenge is only going to get worse, as fewer and fewer high-schoolers consider skilled trades despite relatively strong pay for these careers.

The problem finding new technicians is going to be compounded by the cost of maintaining the knowledge base of your existing technicians.  While there has been a shift in web-based training in the past few years due to scheduling convenience and affordability, there’s now a slight trend back towards in-person training because systems are becoming too complex for a quick video and web-based quiz to suffice.  Small shops will find it especially difficult to retain a strong knowledge base across so many different vehicle systems and vehicle manufacturers, as they can’t spread this knowledge across a half-dozen mechanics.  If you get behind the curve on this training, catching up will be even more difficult than staying up to speed.

Recommendation: Establish an expectation that your technicians keep current on vehicle technology, maintenance and repair, and make sure you’re providing them with the time and resources to meet that expectation.
 

Threat #3 – Electric Vehicles

Doomsayers have been predicting the end of the internal combustion engine at least since the release of GM’s first electric vehicle in 1996.  They’ve been wrong for 20 years, and they’ll be wrong for 20 more.

But there are going to be many, many more electric cars on the road in 20 years than there are today.  How many?  Audi predicts 25% of all US sales will be electric by 2025, and Honda says 66% of all models will plug in by 2020.  It’s not just goodwill – battery prices have dropped from $1,000 to less than $400 per kilowatt hour in the last five years, and electric vehicles are slowly becoming the most affordable way to meet ever-more-stringent fuel economy standards worldwide.

As gas vehicles get replaced with electric ones, independent automotive shops without the ability to service these vehicles will find fewer and fewer customers.  However, independent shops that can repair these vehicles will be well-positioned to grab market share.  The labor rates will likely be higher, too – this market will be much less competitive than repair and maintenance of traditional gas-only vehicles, simply because fewer shops will be able to do it.

Recommendation: Make sure you’re up-to-date on electric vehicle purchase rates in your area in the coming years.  When they start climbing, make sure your shop, and your technicians, gain the knowledge and certifications to service them before the majority of them are out-of-warranty!

 

Repair Shop Websites is here to keep your shop up-to-date on all the latest marketing trends as well. If you’d like to us to take a look at your website and provide some suggestions on how to improve its results, give us a call at 866-665-1605 or email us at Team_RSW@repairshopwebsites.com.

Boyd’s Automotive, where Integrity is of the utmost Importance

October 20th, 2016

Boyd’s Automotive  is a family run business located at 1615 Hawkins Ave. Sanford, NC 27330.  They can handle any automotive maintenance issue from brake repairs, engine and transmission services, to oil changes and collision repair work.  Their mission statement is to conduct all business affairs with integrity, while having personal accountability for the quality of work.  Give them a call today (919) 708-5650 and see what they can do for you.

WELCOME TO RICK’S PARKSIDE AUTO CENTER

October 20th, 2016

Rick’s Parkside Auto Center in Fredonia, WI is owned and operated by Rick Shepherd who has over 27 years experience as an automotive technician and is an ASE Certified Master Technician. We are a complete auto service repair shop committed to customer service and that your vehicle is repaired right the first time. Our services include auto maintenance, oil changes, tires, brakes, transmissions, exhaust, engine services,  alignments, and much more! The most common question we hear is, “What do I need to do to take care of my car and avoid big repair bills?” Our answer to that is to establish and follow a maintenance plan. A maintenance plan is essential for protecting your automotive investment and maximizing the reliability and safety of your vehicle.  We encourage you to consider Parkside Auto Center if your vehicle is due for vehicle maintenance or service.  We are conveniently located at 420 Park Ave in Fredonia, WI 53021. Please call us at (262) 923-3930 or visit our website to schedule your next appointment.

Tom’s Automotive | Family Auto Care Done Right!

October 18th, 2016

Tom’s Automotive is conveniently located in Ormond Beach Florida at 285 Kenilworth Ave. Our auto repair specialists have been providing comprehensive auto repair services to the Ormond community since 1983. Our services include transmissions, brakes, alignments, engines, transmissions, electrical, diagnostics, and more! We are also home of the $17.95 oil change! Visit our shop or call us at 386-676-9700 to learn more about the services we offer.

Trustworthy Vehicle Repair at Central Jersey Automotive!

October 18th, 2016

Central Jersey Automotive offers expert automotive repairs that range from state inspections, oil changes, alignment and wheel services, engine repairs to 4×4 services and transmission replacements.  Stop by 178 Rte. 35 Cliffwood Beach, NJ 07735 or call them today at (732) 583-6831 and schedule your vehicle’s maintenance today!

Measuring Website Return on Investment

October 17th, 2016

If you’ve owned or managed a shop for more than ten minutes, you’ve probably had a salesperson call you and tell you how much business they can get you with one of their websites.  It’s a fair point – if a person doesn’t already have a shop picked out, most people look online to find shops these days.  But a few minutes into the conversation, they start telling you how they’re going to prove results – website ‘hits’.  They offer to show you regularly just how many people are visiting your website.  If this is their idea of return on investment, this is a red flag.

Why?  Let’s take a look at the value of a website ‘hit’.

They may call it a ‘visit’ but that’s not entirely accurate.  That’s because, half of all ‘visits’ to your website are just other computers that are taking a look at the material.  Search engines like Google must visit your website often, for instance, to make sure they know what content is there and can direct their users to your site. Furthermore, if you run a shop in Wisconsin, how useful is it really that someone in South Carolina visited your site?  In most cases, not at all.  Unfortunately, the majority of ‘hits’ your website gets provide no value to you at all.

A website cannot prove a return on investment based on how many visits the site gets.  True ROI comes from a customer visiting your shop.  Here are a few ways to know your site is providing a good return.

Coupons – Some shop owners prefer not to use coupons, but if you do, it’s a great barometer for where your business is coming from.  Collecting the coupons used by your customers, and matching them up with where they found the coupon, is a great way to measure what’s bringing in business.

Phone Calls – One of our website packages includes Call Analytics – a special phone number only located on your website that is tracked and recorded.  In addition to allowing you to analyze your customer service, this also enables you to see how many customers are going to your website and calling your shop each month.  By listening to the calls, you can even figure out exactly how much money those calls brought into your shop!

Online Quote Requests – Although our sites are designed to encourage customers to contact you via phone (as that leads to a higher close rate) we also provide online forms for customers who prefer to make requests this way.  Much like the phone calls, each of these forms tells you what service the customer is seeking, allowing an easy calculation of ROI.

Asking Your Customers – One way to figure out where customers heard about you is to ask!  Be careful with this one, though.  They may have gotten your name from a friend, but then gone online to learn more about you and find out your location.  Without the site, it’s possible they would have never found you.  So, in addition to asking how they heard about you, make sure to ask if they visited your website for directions or to learn more.

To learn more about how to measure your website ROI, call us at 1-866-665-1605 or email Team_RSW@repairshopwebsites.com