Repair Shop Advice

Archive for January, 2021

Marketing with Integrity

January 27th, 2021

Some business owners really love running a business.  They love making customers happy and having a great place to work, but they also enjoy everything that comes with it – financial management, sales, competitive strategy, mentoring employees and putting out fires every day. Other business owners started their business because they wanted to do things right and give their customers what they deserve.  They accepted the logistics and paperwork that comes along with the job, but they really took the plunge because they just couldn’t continue to work for someone else who treated their employees badly and told them to do things that weren’t in the customer’s best interest.

Owners in either of these categories can find marketing distasteful.  But if you’re in the second category, the odds are especially high that you don’t enjoy advertising.  Sure, you have a website. And you especially love seeing great reviews come in for your shop online.  But does the thought of putting together a marketing slick about how great you are and sending it to every mailbox in town make you a little nauseous?

There’s a Reason Marketing Gets a Bad Rap

If it does make you nauseous, you aren’t alone.  There are plenty of people who associate marketing with vanity and hype.  In a study commissioned by the advertising industry’s own trade association in 2015, 4% of people believed that marketers behaved with integrity.  Whoever those 4% were, if they’re still around after this past year’s onslaught of political ads, they’ve probably changed their minds.

One reason people hate marketing is that many companies don’t use it to tell their customers who they are and what they represent.  Instead, they use it to convince customers that they’re something that they really aren’t.  These companies don’t use marketing to emphasize facts – they use it to sell lies.

USA Today compiled a list of the worst product claims of all time.  Did you know that 5 Hour Energy is recommended by doctors?  It isn’t – but they didn’t let that stop them from saying it was.  A TV ad showed a Nissan Frontier pushing a dune buggy up a sand dune, which it can’t even do.  The Cheerios box used to say they lowered cholesterol, which they don’t. Now the box says they “can help” lower cholesterol.  And the list is full of cigarette and weight loss product claims that were all bogus.

It only got worse when things moved online.  Now, advertising doesn’t just lie to you, it tracks your every move to figure out which lies you’ll believe.  Companies can (and do) show you completely different ads based on your demographics, beliefs or location.

Take It Back to Basics

Consumers have been sick of false claims for some time now. And marketing has already started to change as a result.  But it’s not going to disappear.

Sure, if your company gets as much press as Tesla, you can fire your entire PR department and still be the richest man in the world.  But small businesses still need to get the message out about who they are and what they do.

That’s what marketing should be – telling customers who you are and what you do.  Not trying to tell every possible customer what they want to hear.  Not trying to be everything to everybody.  Marketing should be about making a few big commitments that you intend to keep.

So if your repair shop could handle more business, don’t let your stomach turn over the thought of marketing.  Effective marketing doesn’t require anything that shouldn’t make you proud of why you started your business in the first place.  Tell customers about your shop.  Tell them about the type of people you hire.  Tell them about the types of problems you fix.

And then make one to three commitments that you intend to keep.  Most importantly, whatever it is that you come in to work every day and try to do better than any other shop in town, tell people about that.  It could be personalized service, or fixing the problem the first time, or never making a recommendation you wouldn’t follow yourself.  Tell them what you want to be held accountable for.

Since your principles aren’t likely to change, you won’t have to come up with a new marketing message every quarter.  Since your customers will see the same message over and over again, they should have a pretty good idea of what to expect when they visit your shop.  And if you and your staff stay focused on those few commitments, you’re probably going to do a good job of delivering them.

When you deliver on your commitments, you’re going to get referrals and great reviews.  And when you read reviews that state “They do exactly what they say they’re going to do,” you’ll know that your marketing worked.

Marketing like this is marketing to be proud of.  Making commitments and following through on them is a key element of integrity. And when potential customers see or hear the word integrity truthfully attached to your shop’s name, you’ll have a major advantage on all the other businesses making false claims.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help your auto repair shop get its message out with integrity, call us at 855-294-6397 or email us at

3 Opportunities for Auto Repair Shops Created by 2020

January 25th, 2021

This past year was one of the toughest our country has had in a very long time.  We suffered through waves of economic crises, health crises and political crises striking throughout the country on staggered schedules.

The economic fallout left some auto repair shops hanging on by a thread.  But many other shops were struggling to keep up with the steady barrage of work coming their way.  Like so many other businesses, the financial impact of pandemic chaos depended a lot on where the shop was located and what types of customers the shop typically served.

So far, 2021 is feeling a lot like 2020.  But by the end of the year, the pandemic’s impact on daily life should begin to fade.  And despite all the pundits talking about how the world will be forever changed, most people will be thrilled to get back to the life they had before.

Here are some opportunities for shops ready to tackle another year of rapid change.

People Will Value Relationships More Than Ever

Big businesses have been able to move their customer service online and have saved a fortune.  It’s been great for their stock prices – when they move their customer service to emails, chat boxes and “call centers” staffed by home-based employees, those employees have almost no overhead costs.  It has caused many companies to reevaluate their work from home approach.

But this isn’t going to end like they think it is.

People who have socially distanced during this pandemic have also been socially isolated, and it’s made many of them miserable.  Personal service – from someone who remembers your name and face and actually cares about you – may command a higher premium than it has in years.  And independent businesses will be in the best position to provide that service.

When customers call your shop, does your employee seem like someone they’d like to meet?  Or are they distracted, impersonal or unhelpful?  Answering the phone in a friendly and caring way, and focusing on the customer’s problem instead of their automobile will build loyalty quickly, especially if they’re constantly dealing with businesses providing the same subpar service after the pandemic that they are today.

People Will Keep Their Cars Longer

Used car prices have finally plateaued after a major increase in the fall.  But the average new car price is now above $40,000, and it isn’t going down anytime soon.  In fact, crippling bottlenecks in microprocessor fabrication are forcing auto manufacturers to idle their plants, causing significant supply concerns.  For people who saw this year how quickly a steady job can disappear, a six-year auto loan is even less appealing than it used to be.

It’s long been a source of frustration for technicians and shop managers that people are unwilling to invest more in their car than the bare minimum required to keep it on the road one more day.  The good news is that, for any customers who have priced a new car lately, regular maintenance may be an easier sell than it was before the pandemic.   Problems are cheaper before they become disasters, and with the prices out there today, even a disaster might be cheaper than a new vehicle.  Why take a chance to save a few bucks?

Maintenance sales may also be bolstered by many peoples’ heightened awareness of personal safety.  Unfortunately many people are newly aware of how lost lives can impact those around them.  Each shop visit is another opportunity for your technicians to identify a problem in its early stages and fix it before it becomes a major safety hazard.

If you aren’t promoting a maintenance plan, this might be a great time to start.  Maintenance services can be a high-margin offering, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t also a good deal for your customers. In fact, any maintenance plan your service writers are selling should be structured in a way that makes them really believe in the value of the service.  Otherwise, they’ll hate selling it, and your customers will know it and resent being upsold.

Remote Work Will Impact Many City Workers

There’s plenty of talk about city workers moving hundreds or thousands of miles away to rural areas because they can work remotely.  That will probably take years to happen – most corporate professionals aren’t moving to a farm three states away until they know that’s going to be acceptable in their industries over the long-term.

What will happen is that some employees who were not allowed to work remotely before the pandemic will now be allowed to work from home more often.  These employees needed a repair shop near their office before the pandemic. But they may be looking for a shop closer to their house now, especially if it’s cheaper, less busy and more accessible.

If it turns out to be a year of higher-than-usual shop switching, that’s likely to benefit shops in the suburbs or residential areas.  Make sure your marketing is reaching people who live near your shop!  A strong showing on Google’s Local Pack will definitely help with this.

On the other hand, if your shop is near downtown areas or business parks, it might be more important than ever to build and maintain conscious customer loyalty.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help you reach new customers and get them into your shop, call us at 855-294-6397 or email us at

Advanced Automotive in Rogers AR Can do it all!

January 21st, 2021

Advanced Automotive is proud to be a new auto repair shop in Rogers Arkansas. Located at 2412 S 8th Street, they’ve built a team of skilled and experienced team of technicians and are excited to be Roger’s new one-stop shop for auto maintenance and repair. Advanced Automotive offers a wide variety of services including oil changes and maintenance services, engine repairs, brakes, alignments, auto and ac/ services and more. Give them a call at 479-903-5302 if you have questions or to schedule an appointment.

JRG Industrial Diesel can handle the heaviest of vehicles.

January 21st, 2021

JRG Industrial Diesel is the place to go for diesel repairs when you are in Ferriday, LA. Throughout their years of working with heavy duty trucks, Justin has developed and earned a reputation for honest service and straight-forward advice. Their loyal customers keep coming back because they know that they can trust the team to give them all the information they need to make an informed decision. Some of the services they offer include heavy duty hydraulics, brake service, tires, and more. Stop by the shop at 458 Deacon Wailes Rd or call 601-807-2890 today to schedule your appointment.

Car, truck, or boat; Mike’s Automotive Services Inc will get it done!

January 21st, 2021

Mike’s Automotive Services Inc. in Wonder Lake, IL is the place to go to get your vehicle up and running in top condition. Owner Mike has 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. Additionally, they work on high performance vehicles, body repairs, and boats. Stop by the shop at 7402 Hancock Dr or call 815-653-2886 to schedule an appointment.

At Smith’s Service Center LLC They’ll Treat Your Car Like Their Own.

January 20th, 2021

Car repairs can be stressful, but it helps when you have a repair shop you can trust. Family owned and operated since 1923, Smith’s Service Center LLC will give you honest advice, top-notch service, and fair prices – just like family. Smith’s has been a part of the Evansvill, IN area community for almost 100 years and their trained technicians strive to treat you and your vehicles with the utmost respect. They offer an extensive variety of services including alignments, brake repair, electrical services, heating and air, tires, and engine repairs. Save time by calling 812-423-0929 to schedule an appointment or just stop by at 101 East Walnut Street and drop your vehicle off today.

Willow Glen 76 is San Jose’s One-Stop shop for All Things Auto

January 19th, 2021

Whether you need a full tank, a smog inspection or an oil change, you can count on Willow Glen 76 in San Jose. Since 1985, Willow Glen Union 76 has provided motorists in the San Jose, CA 95125 area with comprehensive auto repair services. You’ll be hard-pressed to find the same level of expertise that their auto mechanic specialists provide! Owner Matt Horton has years of experience working on both domestic and import vehicles of all makes and models and can work with you to find cost-effective repair and maintenance alternatives. Save time by calling (408) 212-0622 to schedule an appointment or just stop by at 1104 Meridian Ave and drop your vehicle off at their repair shop.

Leasure Automotive provides Honest Professional auto repair.

January 19th, 2021

Brandon FL area Leasure Automotive 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 813-684-1553 for an appointment. You can also visit them at 2015 Town Center Blvd today.

Elite Onsite Fleet Services Will Come to You

January 14th, 2021

Elite OnSite Fleet Services provides General Maintenance services for vehicles and commercial fleets in the Portland, OR 97217 area. Whether your vehicle needs basic maintenance, a thorough examination by an experienced mechanic, or something more complex, Elite OnSite Fleet Services can meet your vehicle’s needs with no need to visit a shop. They come directly to you! Call  971-724-4475 today to schedule an appointment.

Scholls Ferry Automotive is Portland’s One-Stop Car Repair Shop

January 12th, 2021

Car repairs can be stressful, but it helps when you have a repair shop you can trust. Family owned and operated Scholls Ferry Automotive will give you honest advice, top-notch service, and fair prices – just like family. Their trained technicians strive to treat you and your vehicles with the utmost respect. They offer an extensive variety of services including alignments, brake repair, electrical services, heating and air, tires, and engine repairs. Stop by the shop at 6600 SW Scholls Ferry Road in Portalnd or call 503-246-9781 today to make an appointment.