“Geez, how can I make my auto repair business better?”
Asking yourself that question is the first step in the right direction for growing your shop.
Think about it—would you ever go to a store that’s notorious for messing up orders? Or one where the staff is always grumpy? Whether it comes to communication skills or technical know-how, everyone wants to go to the shop that delivers the best customer experience consistently. All of that comes with solid management.
However, handling an auto repair business is no easy task as there are countless considerations while running your shop. So, without further ado, let’s look at some of the best ways you can better manage your shop!
Boost technician productivity
Automotive technicians are the backbone of any mechanical workshop. Happy techs can be more productive and deliver better results. This means that customers get what they expect, leading to greater client retention!
Here are some strategies you can adopt to keep your techs at the top of their game:
- Appraisals: No matter how much a person loves their job, money is an important motivator to do well at work. To attract and retain the best techs in the industry, it’s essential that shop owners compensate them according to the market trends, while giving them bonuses and timely increments.
- Training: Have you ever felt that you were stagnating at some point in your life? Doesn’t it feel terrible? Everyone including your staff has aspirations. By helping them groom their skills, you can greatly boost your techs’ productivity and morale. Equipping your staff with knowledge to use modern tools, such as those used for digital inspections, can help increase the repair order size and save time. Your techs would also appreciate the added skills they pick up compared to their peers in shops with no on-the-job training.
- Acknowledgment: Small gestures can go a long way. If one of your techs seems a bit low, talk to them. Also, it’s good practice to tell your employees that they’re doing a good job. If they feel that their contribution matters, they’ll go the extra mile to deliver results.
Focus on building relationships
Building relationships with your customers is one of the most vital aspects of doing business. Think of it this way—how you treat your clients is your unique selling point.
After all, isn’t every auto repair business offering almost the same services?
By offering discounts to your most loyal customers, you can help them feel special and keep them coming back to your shop. We also encourage auto shop staff and management to really get to know their customers. Ask them about their family, interests, and understand what work they need from you for their cars. Doing so allows you to move past having a strictly formal relationship with your clients.
Successful auto repair businesses focus on increasing the average repair order per customer. This is only possible if your clients trust you to do the work perfectly. Often, inspections reveal several components that need replacement. If your customers don’t trust you, they may be unwilling to get all the repairs you quote.
Invest in technology
Can you imagine life without your phone?
Doesn’t it sound, well, inconvenient? Similarly, many auto repair shops have started investing in technology to boost profitability and keep customers happy.
It’s no secret that many customers have trust issues when it comes to auto repair shops. They often believe that the shops try to rip them off by quoting a larger repair order than necessary.
Now here’s the thing—your clients often won’t understand what work their cars need. While you try to convince a client that replacing certain parts to increase their car’s reliability is important, in their mind they’re thinking,
“I don’t think that’s necessary.”
That’s why the best auto repair businesses invest in diagnostic equipment to help build credibility. One such tool, digital vehicle inspections, is an excellent way of informing your customers about what work is needed while providing them photo and video proof of it.
Improve your marketing efforts
The best auto repair shops set aside a budget for their marketing campaigns. While word of mouth marketing is important, it can limit who comes to your shop—a blue-collar worker is unlikely to refer your shop to a university professor.
What’s the point of a shop that nobody remembers?
To grow your customer base, it’s essential to target customers of all types. Catering to a diverse client base helps you boost your shop’s top of mind positioning, which means that people think of your business when they consider which mechanic shops to visit.
For starters, most successful garage owners focus on their current clients, providing offers such as free tire rotations that incentivize them to visit again. Some of the most common platforms for marketing are:
Texts and email
Getting close to the customer is super easy in the digital era. All you have to do is collect your clients’ phone numbers and email addresses, and send them promotional offers. However, it’s important to offer value through this content, otherwise you may annoy the recipients.
Many shops use social media promotions to reach out to new customers. Younger generations, in particular, tend to be more tech-savvy and spend more time online, making online platforms ideal to connect with them.
Several shops also have websites to reach out to more customers. These sites often consist of a section that includes customer testimonials to boost credibility.
Whether you’re just starting off or have a well-established auto repair business, there’s always room for improvement. Success stories in the auto repair sector often are a result of persistence and solid management.
Auto Repair Shop Management Software
AutoLeap is a powerful all-in-one auto repair shop software that helps to keep complete track of your business – from scheduling appointments to managing technicians and generating invoices.