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Repair Shop Advice

Archive for May, 2021

Three Things That Auto Repair Shops Want But Don’t Ask For

May 31st, 2021

Before my time working at Repair Shop Websites, I conducted business research in the pharmaceutical industry.  I interviewed some very smart people along the way.  Some of the best bits of wisdom I received were the ones that seemed the most obvious.

One quote that stuck with me came from an executive who helped small companies that were being acquired by some of the biggest names in the industry.

“When you want something, just ask,” she said.  “The worst that can happen is that they’ll say no.”


The truth is that it can be uncomfortable to ask someone for something they might not want to give you.  People miss opportunities for first dates, salary increases and lower car and home purchase prices because they’re too scared of rejection to ask for them.

Whether it’s the shop owner, service advisor or another employee, this can happen a lot in auto repair shops too.  Here are three things repair shops want (or should want) but often don’t ask for.

#1 Online Reviews

It’s a well-established fact that people rely on online reviews to decide where to buy local services including auto repair.  And Repair Shop Websites’ own research has proven that customers are over three times more likely to leave a review if they’re asked to do so.  Despite this, many repair shops don’t ask for reviews from customers they know are happy with the service they received.

The reasons vary.  In some cases, the service manager frequently forgets to ask.  In others, shop staff don’t want to make the customer feel pressured into saying nice things about the shop.  But one of the biggest reasons shop staff don’t ask for reviews is that it feels awkward to ask a customer for a favor right after they paid for service.

It shouldn’t. For most customers, it’s a much smaller request than asking them to part with a few extra dollars for high-mileage oil or upgraded wiper blades.  And even if they don’t intend to leave you a review, they probably aren’t going to tell you that.

If you feel like a customer had a good experience (or if they tell you they’re happy with the shop), take the extra ten seconds to explain that great reviews help bring more people into the shop. Tell them it would help you out if they could post a review about what services were done to their vehicle and what the experience was like.  We’ve even put together this quick guide on how to ask!  And we provide a tool to our customers that makes it really easy to email their happy customers to ask for a review.

If just 10% of your customers give you positive reviews, there’s a good chance you’ll be the most-reviewed (and best-reviewed) shop in town within six months. That will have a major impact on your shop’s search results.

#2 New Employees

There are some places where it makes sense to be careful advertising your need for additional employees.  If a Help Wanted sign is the biggest one on your shop window (or on your website) customers might assume you’re too busy to handle their vehicle and take their business elsewhere.  Competitors could also try and use your staff shortage against you when talking with potential customers.

With that said, you shouldn’t miss any opportunities to let people know you’re hiring new technicians or service writers.  As you are probably well aware, there is a major shortage of auto repair technicians in particular – if someone can get the word out to an interested technician that your shop has an opening, it’s probably worth the risk you’re taking to advertise that information. So be sure to let friends, family, business associates and anybody else who might be able to help know that you are looking for somebody.

Don’t be afraid to ask your employees for referrals, either!  If your employees are having to work extra hours to keep the doors open, they’re not going to be upset that you’re trying to fix the problem.  In fact, offering a sizeable referral bonus to any employee who helps you find a technician is a great way to show them that you’re willing to put money towards solving the problem.  Over-worked employees will appreciate that fact – even if they don’t have anyone to refer at the time you ask.

#3 New Service Revenue

Nobody enjoys the dreaded upsell.

When you buy an electronic device at the store and the employee at the checkout has to offer you a 3 year “replacement plan”, you can tell they hate asking if you want it.  You can tell they know your answer, too; they already have their finger above the button to take them to the next screen.

If your shop offers a service that your employees loathe selling this much, don’t ever ask your employees to sell that service to your customers again.

But you probably don’t have a service like this.  If you run an independent shop, you offer services that you believe are a good value to your customers.  And if you’ve invested in training or equipment to offer a new service, it’s because you think it’s valuable, too.  Ideally, your service writers and technicians have been trained on that value, and they believe in the service as well.

So don’t upsell customers – educate them!  The best way to make those investments worthwhile is to make sure your customers know about your new services.  If you were excited enough about a new service to buy the equipment required to offer it, let that excitement come through when you tell your customers about it.

If they don’t take you up on the offer, that doesn’t reflect poorly on you for offering it!  You’re just doing your job, which is telling them what you think is best for their vehicle.  Even if they don’t take you up on the offer today, they could always come back and ask for it when the problem it addresses becomes more obvious or more significant.

If you really want to avoid the perception of an upsell, there are even more laid-back ways to educate customers.  You can tell them about the service after you’ve given them the receipt for today’s service, which makes it a nearly pressure-free interaction.  You can staple printed material about the service on their invoice, which lets customers read about it when they aren’t face-to-face with you.  But don’t be shy about letting customers know all about your new services. That’s the best way to earn a return on your investment – and to allow you to keep investing in new services, so your shop can keep up to date with fast-changing vehicle service requirements.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can bring more business to your shop, call us at 855-294-6397 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com to learn more!

Best Collision Service In Town!

May 27th, 2021

COLLISION/BODY SHOP/AUTO INTERIORS

Car accidents, fender benders, dents and scratches are all a part of life when you own a car but there’s no need to worry if you’re in Jupiter, Florida. East Coast Automotive Services is the premiere body shop in the Jupiter area. They specialize in collision repair and auto body paint and have the tools and experience to bring your damaged vehicle back to life! They’ll get your car up and running and looking great. Give them all call today at 561-743-3697 to schedule an appointment or stop by the shop at 134 Fern St Jupiter, Florida 33458

CT Automotive and Cycle is Columbia’s Engine Repair Expert!

May 27th, 2021

CT Automotive and Cycle in Columbia, MO is your full service auto and cycle one-stop shop! From brake repairs to oil changes to full engine overhaul and replacement, they’ll you get you back on the road in no time! Stop by the shop at 1305 Olympic Blvd in Columbia or call 573-818-1455 to schedule an appointment today!

AutoMedic Total Car Repair is the best in town!

May 27th, 2021

Bradenton, Florida area AutoMedic Total Car Repair 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 (941) 444-5577 for an appointment. You can also visit them at 5127 14th Street W. today. 

Making the Most of Too Much Work

May 27th, 2021

After a year of crazy ups and downs, the US is finally turning the corner on COVID-19.  Case rates are declining throughout the country, schools and businesses are opening back up, and families are booking summer travel.  All of those things mean that once mostly-idle vehicles are being used more regularly and for longer drives. And that’s causing more customers to visit auto repair shops for repairs and maintenance.

Unfortunately, there can be too much of a good thing.  Most people received large checks from the US Treasury, and some are using that money to pay for major vehicle repairs.  An unprecedented processor shortage is idling vehicle manufacturing plants, driving up new and used car prices and causing people to repair vehicles they’d otherwise sell.  And home sales were at their highest levels in recent history at the end of 2020, meaning more people than ever are looking for a new shop in a new town.


For many shops, all of these factors are leading to too much of a good thing: business.

Of course, if your shop is in one of the many areas still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, then too much business is a problem you’d be happy to have.  But just because shops with too much business are in better shape than those with too little doesn’t mean that customer overflow can’t hurt you in the long run.  In fact, in many industries, a small business facing a sudden barrage of demand is a potential deathblow.

If you’re getting more repair requests than you can possibly handle, here’s what you can do to make the most of all those requests while protecting your shop’s reputation over the long term.

Be Thankful

When you’re overbooked, it’s tempting to let that call from an unknown number ring a couple extra times and hope the customer gives up and calls someone else.  The last thing you need is a customer giving you a minutes-long description of the squealing sound they’re hearing before you can even tell them how far you’re booked out.

The problem is that every caller considers themselves a customer – even if they never even talk to anyone in your shop.  If a caller can’t reach anyone, or if a staff member seems disinterested or rushed on the phone (or in person!), there’s a good chance that the “customer” will tell others about that experience.  They might even give you a negative review online.

It’s really important to meet or exceed customer expectations – and that means it’s really important to set them.  If you’re too busy to give customers the level or speed of service you’d typically provide, it’s better to tell them right away than to wait until it’s time to deliver the vehicle, or worse, when it’s time to pick it up.

Most important of all, be grateful!  Many businesses are struggling to keep the doors open right now. If the person on the other end of the line works at one of those businesses, they may be resentful if they feel like you don’t appreciate the fortune of “all the customers you could want and then some.”

Be Selective

The ideal repair job differs from shop to shop, based on technician expertise, available tools, facility layouts and shop processes.  But no shop should value every job equally.  Some jobs are simply worse than others.  Some jobs come with low margins.  Some jobs require variable labor hours that are difficult to estimate.  And some jobs (and customers) are just really demanding on your staff.

The easiest thing to do when you’re booking work is to say yes to more customers until you have to start saying no.  But it’s not the most profitable thing to do, it’s not a morale booster, and it doesn’t help you get the best customer base.

If you (and your technicians) are already working overtime and you’re still turning away work, there’s no need to put low-value, low-margin jobs on this week’s calendar unless it’s a customer you really want to impress.

That doesn’t mean you can’t help the customer at all. You can offer them a time slot some number of days or weeks in the future when there aren’t that many jobs already booked.  You can also refer them to another shop who would be happy to have that business (ideally, that shop will also refer customers who are better fits for your shop than theirs).

But if you’re fairly certain that accepting a less profitable job now means deferring or rejecting a better one later, it’s probably best to take the small chance that the calendar slot won’t get filled.  The most likely worst case scenario is that you lose a low-margin job and give your team members a chance to catch their breath.

Be Strategic

There are plenty of reasons for auto repair shops not to specialize.  It shrinks the potential customer base.  It increases the risk that specific car makes fall out of favor or that specific services are needed less often in the future.  It may also require shops to purchase additional equipment to better serve the narrower market segment.

When you have too much work, however, the equation changes.  If you’re managing your calendar well, elevated profits should make it easier to afford new equipment.  Focusing on specific services can help you further grow the percentage of your jobs that result in more profit.  And shrinking your customer base a bit over the short term isn’t likely to present much of a risk when you’re turning away work anyway.

Greater specialization isn’t the only strategic shift that might make sense for shops.  Considering a larger shop (or an additional one), giving the shop a facelift to create a more “premium” image or adding new staff are all easier to do after a period of higher revenues and greater customer exposure.  Just don’t commit to any long-term expenses without considering whether the newly increased workflow is permanent or a short-term post-pandemic surge.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help you bring in more of your shop’s favorite work, call us at 855-294-6397 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com to learn more!

Aliso Viejo Auto Service – Maintenance When You Need It!

May 27th, 2021

Aliso Viejo Auto Service in Aliso Viejo, California  is the place to go to get your car up and running in top condition. Owner Shane 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. Stop by the shop at 27802 Aliso Creek Road D 110 or call (949) 362-1961 to schedule an appointment.

Accuracy Auto are the Salt Lake Valley’s Honda, Subaru and Acura Specialist

May 25th, 2021

Accuracy Automotive services and repairs all makes and models and specializes in Honda, Subaru and Acura vehicles. You can trust that no matter what repairs you need from brakes to transmission to complete engine overhaul, they’ll get you back on the road in no time! They even offer turbocharger services!  Stop by the shop at 4036 S. Main Street in Murray today or call 801-266-3609 to schedule an appointment.

Superior Tire & Auto in Grand Rapids Will Get you Back on the Road in No Time!

May 20th, 2021

To keep your vehicle running properly at all times, Superior Tire & Auto offers a number of services in the Grand Rapids, MI 49508 area that are carried out by their certified, expert auto service and repair technicians who have years of experience performing everything from oil changes to a complete engine overhaul. They use high-tech diagnostic equipment to guarantee your vehicle is repaired and serviced correctly the first time around, and they only use the highest quality replacement parts, filters, oils, and components when it comes to your car. Call 616-241-1118 the shop at to schedule an appointment or drop your car off at 928 28th Street in Grand Rapids today!

J&D Machinery Is the Premiere Body Shop in the the Noblesville Indiana Area

May 17th, 2021

Car accidents, fender benders, dents and scratches are all a part of life when you own a car but there’s no need to worry if you’re in the Indianapolis area because J&D Machinery will get you back on the road and looking great in no time! J&D Machinery Repair in Noblesville is the premiere body and repair shop in the Indianapolis area. They specialize in collision repair and auto body paint and have the tools and experience to bring your damaged vehicle back to life! They’ll get your car up and running and looking great because J&D is also a full service and repair shop that can truly take care of all of your automotive needs. Give them all call today at 317-770-9410 to schedule an appointment or stop by the shop at 486 S 11th Street  in Noblesville.

Big Dog Fleet Services Coming Soon to Edison, New Jersey

May 13th, 2021

Big Dog Fleet Services is a new Truck and Fleet repair and service shop coming to the Edison New Jersey area. From brake jobs to oil changes to complete engine work Big Dog will get your fleet back on the road and in tip-top shape. Their certified mechanics have the expertise to take care of even the most challenging repair problems and they’re excited to bring that knowledge to Edison and the surrounding area. Grand Opening is coming soon so call 732-377-2252 to learn more!