Repair Shop Advice

Archive for August, 2022

Maryland’s Fleet Service Specialists

August 18th, 2022

To make sure your fleet of vehicles is always on the road, trust Maryland Recovery and Fleet Service in Halethorpe, MD. They can manage your fleet repairs and maintenance and make sure servicing is up to date and up to standards.

Maryland Recovery and Fleet Service can handle all aspects of fleet repairs and maintenance including  General ServicesFleet General ServicesFleet BrakesFleet Drive TrainFleet ElectricalFleet Engine WorkFleet Wheel ServicesFleet TiresFleet Electronics, and Towing & Recovery.  Additionally they use high-tech diagnostic equipment to guarantee your vehicles are repaired and serviced correctly the first time around. The team only use the highest quality replacement parts when it comes to your fleet.

Call the shop at 410-565-6703 to schedule an appointment or stop by at 4128 Washington Blvd in Halethorpe today for the best fleet maintenance and repair services in Maryland!

8 Ways to Get More Business into Your Auto Repair Shop Quickly Without Spending a Lot of Money

August 15th, 2022

In ideal circumstances, you will not find yourself in the position of needing to bring in more business to your auto repair shop quickly. But right now we are in unprecedented times as far as all the things that are happening in the American economy.

So whether you are in need now, or want to put a plan in place in case you need to bring in new business during a slowdown or dry spell, the following eight ideas can help. The ideas are mostly low cost, with the cost really going into the time for somebody to execute on them.

If you’ve got plenty of cash to spend to increase your car count, then you may also want to consider Google Ads. But I’m going to assume that if you are reading this article you probably don’t have a trunk of cash in the back room that you can put into additional marketing.

Here are eight ideas to help you get more business into your auto repair shop quickly without spending a lot of money, listed in order from what would likely produce the quickest results to those that we’d expect to take longer:

Call on customers, especially those who opted to not get work done that you recommended and those that should be due for maintenance services

Let’s get some appointments on the schedule! It’s always easier and less expensive to bring current customers back than to obtain a new customer. Leverage your shop management system to see who should be due for maintenance and who put off recommended work until their next appointment.

Call those customers and ask them if now is a good time for them to come into the shop for their next maintenance service or for the repair or service that they put off. If they scheduled an appointment previously that is still a month or so out, still call them and ask if it would be more convenient if they came this week or next week. People’s schedules change all the time and you may be able to give them a better alternative sooner.

Oil Change Special example

Post a special offer on social media

Utilize Facebook, Instagram and your Google Business Profile to post a special offer. And by special, I don’t mean deep discount, but a good offer that will attract customers. Again, make it expire in a couple weeks.

Don’t post a link to your website with the offer on Facebook though. If you do, it won’t show up your followers’ news feeds. Ask them to call you or Facebook Message you to set up an appointment.

Participate in a local event

Often times the cost to have a small table or some other role in connecting with the community at a local event is really low. This gives you an opportunity to talk to potential customers and share information about your shop. More than anything though, remember that people want to take their vehicles to somebody they trust. Build credibility and trust by building genuine connections. If you want to get people into your shop quickly, provide an offer that expires within a couple weeks.

Nextdoor feed

Ask a loyal, happy customer to recommend you on Nextdoor

Nextdoor is the online platform that many people get their hyper local news and recommendations from – everything from local road closures to home service businesses to new restaurants to auto repair shops. If there is a Nextdoor neighborhood forum in your area, ask a happy customer if they’d be willing to post a recommendation for you on there. It’s frowned on for businesses to make their own post to promote themselves but encouraged for individuals to post about a great experience they had at a business.

Give customers who come into the shop a flyer or card to hand to a referral with a special deal

This is a great way to keep your excellent service top of mind and to give a customer a chance to help out a family member, friend or neighbor. People like to make recommendations to others and if they can provide an incentive, then they are even more likely to talk about that auto repair shop that always takes good care of them. The deal you offer doesn’t even have to be huge savings for them, as long as you make a big deal out of it. And make sure you knock it out of the park when the referral comes in.

Partner with a complimentary business in town (or multiples)

An obvious one would be a car wash and detail facility. We also have customers who are strictly service that will work with strictly tire shops. By working together they can keep all the customer’s business within their two facilities. Roadside assistance or towing companies could also be a good partner. There are many other businesses that could work beyond this. The more you get involved with your community the more likely you are to find partners.

Join a local business/referral group

There are several different types of groups that may be operating in your area. Or perhaps there is an organically grown group. Join the group. Try to help out as many of the members as you can by providing leads to them. As soon as the group sees you are helping others, they’ll quickly do their best to feed you business too.

Partner with large businesses in the area to see if you can offer your services to their employees

Depending on the area you serve this may or may not apply to your shop. But if you have a few large businesses around you it wouldn’t hurt to ask them if they’d be willing to allow you to offer your services to their employees as a perk with free pick up and delivery of their vehicle. For most people there is nothing more important than time these days. Providing this service while they are working with minimal disruption to them is a great time saver.

The key to getting customers in the door quickly is to diversify the ways that you are trying to connect with the vehicle owners in your community. There are likely to be additional high touch, low cost opportunities beyond the eight mentioned here. It’s also important to provide an offer with a call to action and an expiration date.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help your business perform well in challenging times, call us at 866-665-1605 or schedule a meeting with us at a time that’s convenient for you.

How Does a Recession Affect Independent Auto Repair Shops?

August 2nd, 2022

For most industries, a recession is bad news.  During a recession, people make less and spend less.  That means fewer jobs and lower pay, which helps to feed a negative cycle.  While there are very few industries that are recession-proof, there are some that are recession-resistant.

Is auto repair one of those industries?

The answer is yes – but that doesn’t mean that the industry isn’t affected.  For every person who holds on to their vehicle longer (providing more revenue to the shops who maintain them) there’s another person who puts off a needed repair because they can’t afford it. 

Because even the economic experts can’t truly predict what’s going to happen under the current circumstances, we also can’t be sure how a pending recession will actually affect us. And it’s quite possible that the regional or local impacts could be much bigger than the overall national impact.

In short, auto repair shops that survive best during the recession are those that understand how the customers and community are being affected, and adjust their services to help them meet their current challenges.  This isn’t a wordy way of saying that you should lower your prices – if that’s necessary, it’s still only one component of an effective response.

Here are three things that happen during a recession, and what you can do to help address them.

  • Consumers are less able to handle large purchases. When recessions hit, many consumers are forced to dip into savings to handle large expenses – if they have any savings at all.  This is due to job losses and a reduction in hours worked for hourly workers.  Consumers are also less likely to have large lines of credit available, because credit standards tighten during recessions.  Selling maintenance plans and emphasizing warranties will help consumers have confidence that they’ll avoid an expense they can’t afford, and end up without a means of transportation.

  • People hold on to cars longer. People don’t want to make large purchases during a recession, so they hold on to cars instead of trading them in.  Remember “cash for clunkers”?  It was a vehicle trade-in program funded by the government during the late 2000s recession. The program was intended to boost the economy by encouraging people to trade in their old vehicles, in part because dealers were badly hurting for sales.

    People holding on to older vehicles is great news for independent shops, because those older vehicles will need maintenance to stay on the road.  To really benefit from this, however, you’ll need to put time into customer education.  Customers must believe that the trade-off between short-term maintenance and long-term reliability is real, or they may elect to delay maintenance, too.

    If there’s wear on a part, make sure to show the customer what a worn part looks like and what a new part looks like.  Provide customers with an honest explanation of what might reasonably happen if they don’t take a preventative step, and leave the choice to them – once they understand the consequences, they might reconsider their decision to wait.

  • Consumers start to cut costs. It’s often during recessions that new business models overtake old ones.  Some shops may be tempted to start a race to the bottom by cutting their prices to try to get customers in the door.  While customers might not appreciate the cut-rate quality of the parts and service they’d get for the cheaper price, a product like this is primed to take off during a recession, where people are looking for easy ways to cut costs.

    As your customers go down their bank statement looking for monthly transactions to cut, will your shop stand out as a cost-cutting opportunity?  That may depend on whether they view the service your shop provides as a cost or an investment.

    Do your customers understand and appreciate all the value they get from having a home for their car that’s staffed by technicians they trust?  Every time you present customers with information about their car that will help them make good decisions in the future, you’re reminding them of what they’re going to lose if they move to the cheapest alternative in town. 

    Take advantage of the opportunities you get to influence and connect with customers, because you’re not likely to be a part of the conversation when they decide whether price-shopping for cheaper shops is worth it when they’re in a financial pinch!

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help your business perform well in challenging times, call us at 866-665-1605 or email us at