Repair Shop Advice

Archive for April, 2020

Three Actions to Take When Stay-at-Home Orders End

April 28th, 2020

Your shop may have been open during the coronavirus pandemic, but most people were stuck at home for the last month or two.

Many states are beginning to lift stay-at-home orders in May.

Click here for information on how to build your car count as people begin to get back to living their lives.


For Exceptional Auto Repair in Clearwater Visit Randy’s Auto Repair & Tire

April 24th, 2020

Randy’s Auto Repair & Tire is the place to go in Clearwater, Florida for all of your car repair needs. All repairs are carried out by their certified, expert technicians, and they have years of experience. They do everything from oil changes to complete engine overhauls. They use high-tech diagnostic equipment to guarantee your vehicle is repaired. Additionally, they only use the highest quality replacement parts, filters, oils, and components.

Call Randy’s Auto Repair & Tire at 727-710-5408 for an appointment, or visit them at 13710 49th St N STE C in Clearwater, Florida today.

Tennessee Transmission – We do what regular mechanics won’t!

April 22nd, 2020

At Tennessee Transmission, their top tier mechanics will work their magic on your transmission. Whether you drive a standard vehicle, a heavy duty truck, or a specialty performance vehicle, there is nothing the experts at Tennessee Transmission can’t handle. For instance, they perform all transmission work, from routine flushes, to complete rebuild and replacement. Additionally, you can just drop off the whole transmission for them to work on. Call 423-339-9991 for more information, or stopby at the shop 875 Wildwood Ave SE, Cleveland, TN.

The Guaranteed Best Choice – Trustworthy Sales, Confident Repairs

April 21st, 2020

The Guaranteed Best Choice in Hollywood, FL not only sells trustworthy cars to the local area. Now, they repair them too. They have a passion for cars and will treat you and your vehicle with respect. Some of their services include transmissions, engine maintenance and repair, oil changes, and brake servicing just to name a few. Stop by the shop at 5601 Unit #2 Plunkett St or call (732) 890-1241 to schedule an appointment.

6 Critical Questions: Understanding Your Customers and Differentiating Your Auto Parts Store

April 16th, 2020

How long does it take you to identify the product that these phrases represent?


It Gives You Wings…

My guess is that it didn’t take you very long. (If you aren’t sure, just Google them.) Both of these products/brands have had those slogans in place for decades. They haven’t kept the same slogan because nobody thought of a better one. They keep it because they’ve spent years placing it into the minds of customers, and they don’t want to lose all of that work.

They know the slogan reinforces what the product does – and the product reinforces the slogan. The slogan tells customers what to expect, and when they buy the product, they get exactly what they’re expecting.

In its simplest form, that is the essence of marketing. A concept that seems simple but is much harder to execute well, and it’s this:

  • Find out what your product or service does better than anyone else’s.
  • Find the simplest way to reinforce that fact in your customers’ minds.
  • Reinforce it every single chance you get.

And at the moment of truth, when customers show up, never fail to deliver what you’ve told them to expect.

Customer Focus

But if you don’t know what you do better than anyone else in the world, or at least in your market, what’s the best way to figure it out?

This leads to the six questions that every business has to answer in order to know what value they’re providing to their customers. If you can answer these six questions you’ve laid the groundwork for growing your business profitably.

Who is your market?

Remember, unless you’re the only parts store in town, you’re not going to appeal to everyone. What type of customers prefer your store? Is it based on location? Price sensitivity? A particular brand or specialization of parts you carry? A service they can’t get anywhere else? Some combination of the four, or something else entirely?

Try to define your customers in a narrow enough way that most of the people in that group are – or should become – customers of your store. Making this definition too broad doesn’t do you any favors, it makes it harder.

How large is that market?

If it’s too small you won’t be able to earn enough business with that market. You’ll need to find a way to expand the audience by appealing to additional potential customers with new or different parts or services. On the other hand, if it’s too big competitors may step all over your message, and you might find yourself marketing a benefit that every other auto parts store in town has.

What problem is your customer facing?

This one is a bit more complicated than it seems.

You might say that your customers need brake pads or a battery or an A/C compressor. But for the vast majority of repair shops and consumers in the United States that’s not really a problem. There are hundreds of thousands of auto parts stores and online sources.

If they are a repair shop, their problem is more likely to be that they don’t know who to trust to consistently get them the parts they need that meet their quality standards as quickly as they say they will get them to the shop, at a fair price.

If they are a consumer, their problem may be that they know they need a new battery to make sure they can get to work tomorrow but they have no idea what type, or how much it should cost. They’re worried they’re going to be taken advantage of, and they could use some help installing the battery as well.

The odds are that you can handle some customer problems better than others. If you have a delivery service with an employee who is always on point and communicates well with customers, then you are going to be the parts store that shops trust.

If you or one of your parts experts excels at talking to stressed out customers and helping them make the best decision for their vehicle, you can probably build a strong reputation for helping people that are worried about being taken advantage of.

The problems you’re best at solving do a great job of helping you define your market.

Your problem also has to be an actual problem. That’s why the fourth question is here…

What pain does the problem cause?

The examples above provide clear pain points. For the repair shop that can’t find a parts store they can depend on, they suffer the pain of not being able to accurately communicate expectations to their customers, and not being able to complete repair orders fast enough to hit their daily car count or revenue numbers. For the consumer that needs a battery – without a battery they are not getting to work tomorrow so their pain is loss of income and potentially loss of their job.

This question encourages you to think beyond initial requests and to empathize more with your customers in a way that will not only help you with marketing, but also in customer communications. It can sometimes help to use the “One More Question” framework to dig in and identify the pain.

The customer needs a battery. Why?

Because her battery is dead. How does that affect her?

Her car won’t start and she has no other transportation. Where does she need to go?

She needs to go to work tomorrow. Why?

She needs to make money to be able to feed her children.

What is your solution to this problem?

Does the customer believe it solves their problem? This is important. You thinking it solves the customer’s problem isn’t enough. They need to tell you that it solved their problem.

If you’re trying to be the best parts store in town at helping the customer feel like they’re not being ripped off, they need to tell you that they feel like they can trust you.

If you want to be the best at speedy parts delivery to repair shops, the customer needs to believe that you helped them quickly.

Whatever their deeper level problem is, you need to solve it. If they don’t believe you did, they will be moving right on to the next auto parts store next time.

If you’ve made it this far – you’ve accomplished a lot – but you still don’t have a way to profit. That’s because there might be a dozen other auto parts stores near you that are marketing to the same customers, with the same problem, and they might be offering the same solution.

That leads directly to question number six…

What is different – and better – about your solution compared to other parts stores?

Whatever you’re offering has to be different in some way that’s actually important to your target market. It also should be able to be quantified.

In today’s world – the easiest way to quantify quality is with online review scores. Most customers that look online for a parts store will take a look at their reviews on at least one website, most likely Google. And they aren’t going to go somewhere that’s consistently getting trashed by former customers.

Another major way to differentiate your shop is to offer the lowest price. In fact, price is a customer’s ultimate tie-breaker. If nobody has given a customer a compelling reason to select one parts store over another, they’ll just pick the one with the lowest price or the best deals.

Consider gas stations – it’s all the same gas, so without a special reason you are likely to consistently go to the station that has the cheapest prices…and not spend money on anything else there. But, you might always go to Sheetz if you (or your kids) love the food options there. You might always go to a specific gas station because they give you a thorough window washing while you wait.

Price is not usually a good differentiator to have. For an independent auto parts store price is one of the worst differentiators you can have. That’s because you can’t make much money and still offer the lowest price unless you’re such a large company that you can do everything more cheaply than anyone else.

The good news is that there are a number of potential differentiators. But whatever differentiator you pick – make sure that it matters to customers, make sure it really matters to them.

It needs to matter so much that they’d pick your store over other parts stores even if yours is a bit more expensive. If that’s not the case – then price is the differentiator. And whether you win over price-shoppers or lose them – your bottom line is going to lose either way.

These six questions will help you do more than just market your shop. They’ll help you build a strategy for profitability. They’ll help guide you through tough decisions on specialized parts to offer, services to add and what traits matter most in new hires. Here they are one more time:

  • Who is your market?
  • How many people are in that market?
  • What is their problem?
  • What pain do customers feel as a result of that problem?
  • What solution does your store offer to the problem?
  • What is different (and better) about your solution compared to other stores?

If you don’t have these questions already answered for your store, now is the time to identify the answers.

Dave’s Pro Auto Service

April 15th, 2020

Williamsport, PA area Dave’s Pro Auto Service is the place to go for all of your car repair needs. All repairs are carried out by their certified, expert technicians, and they have years of experience. They do everything from oil changes to a complete engine overhauls. For instance, they use high-tech diagnostic equipment to guarantee your vehicle is repaired. Additionally, they only use the highest quality replacement parts, filters, oils, and components. Call the shop at 570-320-0030 for an appointment. You can also visit them at 224 South Market St today. 

Coming Out of Coronavirus: Independent Auto Repair Shops Face a Challenge and an Opportunity

April 15th, 2020

While this economic shutdown is terrible for most businesses, it’s only going to last for so long.  Within a couple of months, the economy will slowly start to open back up, and businesses will have an opportunity to finally learn what kind of economy they’re going to face immediately after the crisis.  Some experts say it’s going to be pretty bad; others say we’ll recover a good portion of what we lost. But most everyone agrees that we are going to have at least a short-term recession coming out of this.

The good news is that recessions aren’t all bad news for independent auto repair shops.  While auto manufacturers were crushed in the last recession, that wasn’t the case for all independent auto repair shops.  They might have lost some business, but many also found new opportunities that they’ve held on to for years. took a look at data from the 2008-2009 crisis, and found two data points in particular that might affect independent auto repair shops. 

  1. The percentage of auto parts that were purchased by car owners for self-installation increased from 30% to 34% over those two years.
  2. Independent repair shops, however, increased their share of the auto repair market by 1.5% over that same time period, taking it mainly from dealer service centers.

This points out the complexity of recessions for independent shops.  For every customer that puts off a needed repair because they can’t afford it, another customer might visit an independent shop after running away from excessive maintenance or repair prices at dealerships.  Another customer might decide to have a repair done to an older vehicle (or bring it in for recommended maintenance more often) rather than purchasing a new car when their car payment is completed.  So while price sensitivity may put pressure on shop margins, it’s not likely to be universally bad for independent shops.

As we enter a less robust economic environment than we’ve experienced over the last decade, consider not only how to keep your existing customers coming back, but how to attract customers who may have previously not visited an independent shop. 

How do you reach them?  How do you convince them that your work is just as good as a dealership’s work, if not better?  What advantages can you offer them beyond better pricing?  Existing customers can only put off repairs for so long – but these new customers might stay with you forever.

To learn more about how Repair Shop Websites can help your auto repair business earn more customers, call us at 855-294-6397 or email us at


5 Steps to Becoming Known in Your Community

April 9th, 2020

What percentage of the people in your community know that your business exists? What are you doing as the auto parts store owner to increase that number?

Between running a business, serving customers and taking care of your family, it can be difficult to feel like you have any time to contribute to raising awareness of your store in your community. But, there are steps you can take to increase your visibility and memorability, and they don’t have to cost much or take much time. Here are five of the most effective techniques.

RSW AutoParts

Invest In Your Logo

Have a visually appealing logo made for your auto parts store, and use it everywhere you can. Ask a local marketing agency to design a logo for you, or use an online resource like 99designs, where you can have it created quite inexpensively. If you have a motto or a slogan, make sure it appears alongside your logo in places where it makes sense and won’t be too small. If you do use a motto or slogan, make sure that your employees exemplify everything the motto promises.

Sponsor Community Events

Sponsoring youth sports, holiday celebrations, or disease awareness walks and runs is a great way to contribute
to your community. It also gets your logo on banners and websites, as well as shirts that will be worn by local residents for years.

Become a Local Media Resource

Despite the long-running rumors of their demise, local television stations and newspapers are still the most-favored source of news for many people. They will often provide tips to residents on car care and safety, especially when severe weather is around the corner. Give those media outlets a call ahead of time and
offer to serve as an expert resource for their news pieces.

The local media is also always looking for business owners to help them understand what is happening in the local economy. Let them know that you are happy to be a resource for those stories as well.

Make People Laugh

Social media is powerful, but businesses that use it only for promotion will quickly be ignored. Instead, find ways to make people laugh related to car parts and accessories, or something altogether different. These pictures or stories will be shared, providing free exposure for your business.

Boost Your Online Visibility

More than 80% of people go online to look for local service providers, so it’s important to have a presence there. A great web presence requires more than just a website – your auto parts store needs to search well on Google, have a completed Google My Business profile, look clean and professional in photos that are posted, and have several great reviews from the past few months.

None of these five things will bring you overnight success. But getting started with one, two or three of them can help you steadily raise awareness of your auto parts store in your community.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help you attract more customers to your auto parts store, call us at 855-394-6397 or email us at

Speedy Tune & Brakes

April 8th, 2020

San Marcos, CA area Speedy Tune & Brakes is the place to go for all of your car repair needs. All repairs are carried out by their certified, expert technicians, and they have years of experience. They do everything from oil changes to a complete engine overhauls. For instance, they use high-tech diagnostic equipment to guarantee your vehicle is repaired. Additionally, they only use the highest quality replacement parts, filters, oils, and components. Call the shop at (760) 591-3920 for an appointment. You can also visit them at 736 W. San Marcos Blvd. today. 

How Do I Get More Customers Into My Auto Parts Store?

April 8th, 2020

If you are looking for marketing help, everyone has something to offer you that they say has proven to work.  Get your logo in front of thousands of eyes!  Photos and videos keep your potential customers engaged for much longer!  Guaranteed results!  Surely if these companies are able to stay in business, they’ve got to work for somebody.  Right?

Not necessarily.  More than 90% of those postcard mailers will get thrown away before anyone looks at them.  A big visual ad is useless if someone isn’t actively thinking about auto parts or auto repair when they see it.  That video doesn’t help if it’s buried somewhere that nobody goes. And about those guaranteed results – if a marketing company could really get 100% of all small businesses a giant return on their marketing investment, don’t you think you would have heard of them by now?  They’d be working with every small business in town.

The truth is, many of the most effective marketing techniques don’t cost as much as you’d expect.  Some of them are even free!  Here are three ways to get more customers for your auto parts store.

Show up where it matters online

If you’re trying to get your parts store in front of customers right when they are online thinking about auto parts, here are three important facts to consider.

An important point here is that to get new customers from the internet, you don’t need a beautiful, custom website.  You need a website with the content and the architecture that gets you on the first page of the Google search results. 

And, if you want to earn all of those potential repair shop and consumer customers who are looking for an auto parts store in your area, you want to have a Google Review rating above 4.0.  That means you need to ask your happy customers for Google reviews, even if it feels awkward.

Ask for referrals (and explain why)

So many unworthy companies run marketing campaigns asking for customer referrals that it’s easy for consumers to dismiss them.  That’s a shame, because referrals can be the lifeblood of a small business.  A great referral source is the easiest way for one raving fan to turn into a hundred customers, or maybe better yet to turn into your two or three most profitable customers.

When you ask for a referral, don’t do it like large companies most often do it – with an off-hand, scripted remark from an employee that’s said very quickly because it’s awkward and just an item to be checked off.  Do it in a way that is genuine and establishes a connection with the customer.

After a customer tells you that they appreciate your advice and/or your service, thank them for the business and the feedback.  Then tell them you are a local small business, and you’d really appreciate it if they’d let any other repair shops, family or friends in the area know how happy they were with your store. Tell them referrals are one of your auto parts store’s most valuable sources of new customers.  Give them a few business cards and ask them to hand them to anyone who they think will be buying auto parts or accessories in the near future.

It’s likely that most people won’t make the effort of referring you even if you do ask.  But if you can increase your referral rate, you can have a dramatic effect on the amount of new customers coming your way. And, any number times zero is zero.

Surprise your customers

Years ago, marketing guru Seth Godin mentioned that the key to being remarkable is to be worthy of a remark. Unfortunately, most businesses are happy with hitting the low bar of customer service for their industry. That shouldn’t be you.

When you break through that low bar of customer service with a truly unique way of showing your appreciation, you can earn loyal customers for life.  How do you do this?  There are lots of options – and it’s important to know that creativity is much more important than cost.

One auto repair shop that we work with partners with a local bakery, and every customer car is returned with a bag of freshly baked cookies.  Another one keeps a stock of new Matchbox cars on hand, and customers’ kids can pick out a vehicle each time they visit.

You may not be able to execute these repair shop examples at your parts store. But consider what they represent – creative ways to show that you are looking for every opportunity to improve customers’ lives.  That’s why these inexpensive gestures can turn first-time customers into lifetime customers.

Why do lifetime customers matter so much?  Most businesses would go bankrupt fast if they had to attract a new customer for every transaction.  New customers become profitable when they turn into repeat customers.  If you want repeat customers, you’ve got to give them a reason to always choose your store.  For many customers, showing them that you really care about them is enough to do just that.

If you’re looking for more business for your auto parts store, call Repair Shop Websites at 855-294-6397 or email us at