February 26, 2018

Repair Shops: Not Selling? Here’s Why

Know Your Customer

The first commandment in auto service is “know your customer”. Granted, if you are new to the space or shop, you won’t know your customer base – yet. Make this your priority. Before a customer walks in the door you should already have a general understanding of their spending habits, common service requests, and whether they historically act upon service advisor recommendations. The more you understand them the better.

Understand The Market

Having a solid grasp on the current state of the market is just as important as understanding your customers. To run a profitable shop, you must know what your competition is doing and tailor your service offerings accordingly. You should never undersell yourself, but be mindful not to price gouge either; a shops reputation takes years to build but only seconds to destroy. Weight services against labor time and compensation, while keeping in mind that it’s okay to decline work if it means you get to free up necessary rack time.
What types of cars are you servicing most?
What season is it?
What specials are you running to accommodate the market?
What services are you great at?
What is your specialty within your market?
The answers to these questions will dictate your market fit. Once you’ve identified your strong points, you’ll be able to sell yourself effectively.

Be An Expert

Know your core service offerings like the back of your hand, practice explaining what they include in detail. Your job is to be the solution to a customer vehicle concern. Remember, walking into a service shop for repair work is not usually something anyone looks forward to. Build trust and loyalty by ensuring your customers feel like they’re in knowledgeable hands.

Know The Service History

If you set an appointment with a customer or know one is en route, it’s beneficial for all parties to spend five minutes perusing their service history. From this snapshot, you’ll gain insight into their buying behavior and will be better able to assess any specific needs when they come through the door.

Sell the benefits

Remember, you’re not selling the product you’re selling the solution. Think of a customer vehicle as a tool; they just want it to work right. It’s not what the coolant flush does to the vehicle, it’s what it does for the customer. Here are three simple rules to follow:

1. What does the manufacturer say?
2. How does the service benefit them?
3. Show and tell – show them why they need it through videos, diagrams, or actual parts.

Build Trust

The more you explain the need for a service the more trust you will gain. While we’re all busy, shops especially, trust is the most valuable asset you can build for your business.

Be Ready

Preparedness: the Achilles heel of many a service advisors. At some point in our lives we’ve all been caught off guard by a customer, I know I certainly have. Whether we forget to get a quote, lose an estimate, or forget to reinstall a trim panel. We are, after all, only human.

To mitigate these lapses, you should institute a process spanning from the front desk, to the technician, to the parts, and back to the office. With a solid structure in place you can concentrate individual tasks while remaining prepared for the next.

Keep trying

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are repair shops. However, if you take the above tips and implement them wholeheartedly, you’ll do just fine.

For more repair shop tips visit http://shiftmobility.com/blog/

Josh Burwick
Director, Sales & Support