Any good business keeps an eye on its competition, especially in an industry as fiercely competitive as auto repair. When you notice a good strategy in action, it behooves you to put your own personal spin on it to make it work for your shop.
That’s what we’re here to talk about today. If you want more revenue, auto shops around the country have put these five strategies to use and have seen their revenue rise as a result.
1. Thorough Digital Vehicle Inspections
In today's marketplace, you simply must be able to offer digital vehicle inspections. This is the fastest and easiest way to intake a vehicle and run through your checklist. You'll quickly find everything that's wrong with the vehicle and present it to the customer in a compelling way (via text message with images or videos) so they are less likely to defer the work.
The result? The transparency boosts trust, helping you to get more approvals for repairs. This means more work and money coming into your shop.
2. Schedule the Next Appointment Before the Customer Leaves the Shop
The thing about preventative maintenance is it only works if customers consistently come in for service. But it’s easy for routine car maintenance to slip out of customers’ minds — they have lives to live and families to take care of. Next thing they know they’re 4,000 miles overdue for an oil change because they neglect that little sticker that’s just outside their field of view.
Of course, if vehicle maintenance is too far in the rearview problems are likely to arise. Expensive ones, too. Another way to build trust with your customers is to keep them coming in for routine maintenance, providing top-notch service so they can avoid costly repairs. The best first step? Schedule their next appointment before the customer even leaves the shop, just like you would at the dentist!
Install appointment scheduling software and schedule your customer's next appointment in minutes. It couldn't be easier and your customers will appreciate you managing this small part of their lives so they don't have to worry about it.
3. Take Great Care of Your Customers
Not exactly a groundbreaking idea here, but consider this approach: It’s much cheaper to retain loyal customers than it is to attract new ones.
You’ve likely heard that before, but it really is true! You work so hard and spend so many resources to get new customers through the door. But once you get them in, you should be working even harder to keep them coming back.
The two strategies above are great ways to build trust with your customers — perhaps the biggest tools in your arsenal to gain their loyalty. And let’s be honest — the auto repair industry isn’t necessarily known for being the most trustworthy.
Consider the value you provide when a customer finds you and knows they can rely on you to give them the services they need and none that they don’t. They’ll appreciate seeing the same familiar, friendly faces when they drop off and pick up and will visit with confidence rather than dread. They’ll be loyal to you and the service you provide.
4. Suggest Relevant Related Services
Only upsell if it makes sense. Never try to make a quick buck off of a customer who doesn’t know their way around a car.
Remember, increasing your revenue is a long-term plan. Taking advantage of customers isn’t the way to keep your customers coming back. If they come in for an oil change and leave with a $400+ bill, what do you think is going to happen? They’ll go elsewhere next time.
But if you use a car maintenance lookup tool that will tell you when their specific vehicle is due for certain maintenance, they’ll likely trust that it is something they need rather than just having to take your word for it. Plus, there are services that do make sense to suggest in certain situations.
For example, suggest an AC recharge at the start of summer, an air filter replacement if they come in for an oil change, or a winter prep package in the late fall. None of these are useless, fraudulent repairs, but real services that they need. Customers will appreciate you looking out for their comfort and safety.
5. Keep a Detailed Log of Deferred Work So You Know What to Offer the Customer Next Time They Come in
Sometimes, customers will say no. It’s all part of the game! Furthermore, sometimes customers will say no to repairs that you know they actually need.
If you keep a detailed log of what work they’ve deferred, you can bring it up again on their next visit and remind them why it’s important. This way it won’t seem like it came out of the blue. Suggesting previously deferred work on their next visit also shows customers you’re paying attention.
Keep a detailed log of deferred work so you know what to offer the customer when they come in again. They’ll be more likely to approve the service if they’ve heard of it before (since you suggested and explained it previously) and know you’re not just trying to make a quick buck.
All of the strategies above share a common theme: To grow your revenue you need to build customer trust and loyalty. When you have a strong customer base who regularly comes in for routine service, additional work will follow. But providing top-notch service and putting your existing customers first is the best way to grow your revenue and have a thriving auto repair shop.
Another way? To ensure your shop is optimized with automotive shop management software like Shop Boss. It's armed with all of the tools mentioned above and so much more!
See what Shop Boss can do for your revenue growth today - click here for a free trial.