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Repair Shop Advice

The One Thing that Generates the Most Profit

August 19, 2019

It’s expensive to gain a customer.  That’s because other shops want those customers, too.  In fact, big shops and franchises spend tons of money advertising to get new customers – sending coupons or mailers to their houses, buying Google ads, and in some cases even buying TV or radio commercials.

They do all of this knowing they’ll never make that money back when a customer stops by for an oil change or a brake replacement.  They’re doing it because they’re hoping that the customer keeps visiting them for years.

After the first visit, the big franchise shops and dealerships also spend heavily to keep them coming back.  They might give them a rewards card or a coupon book.  They might collect their email and address so they can mail them even more discounts.

None of this early business is profitable.  These shops are spending tremendous amounts of money to build a habit.  They want the customer to passively return to the shop without considering the alternatives.  Once the customer starts visiting the shop by habit, the business becomes profitable.

Great Customer Service is the Best Business Hack in the World

Most independent shops don’t have enough money laying around to buy business like this.  Fortunately, if you’re doing a great job at the front desk, you don’t need to.  If you’re just opening the shop, you might need to work hard to get your first customers in the door, but once they’re there it’s not hard to provide service that far exceeds expectations.  Pay attention to the customer when you’re on the phone with them.  Give your service advisor the tools they need to work with the customer.  Patiently explain problems to customers, and give them options to get their vehicle back on the road.

When customers feel like you provided honest service and took their needs and requests into account, they won’t need a coupon book mailed to them to remember which shop they visited last.  If you go out of your way to help them get to a meeting on time, or if you tell them they have a problem but it doesn’t need to be fixed immediately, they’ll remember that you looked out for them.  They’ll turn into loyal customers that follow advice without questioning the price – in short, they’ll turn into your most profitable customers.

Unlike the customers who are lured in with repeated coupons and radio ads, these customers also won’t be coming to you out of habit.  They won’t be passive customers – they will be active ones.  That means you can rely on them for referrals and online reviews, especially if you ask them for the favor.  Both of these things will bring you new customers, but they don’t cost a dime.  All you have to do is to keep knocking customer service out of the park.

Don’t get complacent!

It’s easy to focus on customers when you don’t have many of them.  It gets a lot harder when your shop is full of vehicles and the weekend is nearing.  You’ve still got to make sure your service is top notch – even phone calls with customers you don’t have the time to help.

A great reputation can be destroyed even more quickly than it was created.  An unfriendly response from your business can turn into a one-star review whether you perform work on the person’s vehicle or not.  Negative word-of-mouth and poor reviews will have immediate impacts.  The car count will start dropping but the bills will keep coming. If this happens, all of those expensive ads might start looking like the only way out.  It much cheaper to keep the focus on customer service, even if it reduces the number of customers you can serve!

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help your shop thrive, call us at 855-294-6397 or email us at