Last week we shared five of our top tips for running one of the best auto repair shops in the country. Today, we thought we’d share a few more. If your shop is doing all of the things in this article AND all of the things we shared last week, you can be confident that your shop is one of the best in the business. Let’s get started with today’s list of five things all the best auto repair shops do.
1. They Offer the Services Customers Want
When we say “services,” we’re not really talking about changing oil or replacing brakes. We’re talking about those extra touches that give you the edge on your competition and make customers want to return again and again. You’re not made of money, so the key to deciding where to invest your valuable dollars is listening to your customers. Do they want warranties on the parts and services they buy from you? Do they wish you offered loaner vehicles or a shuttle service? Is there a language besides English that’s commonly spoken in your community that your customers want you to understand? Figure out what your customers are looking for, and then give it to them. You’ll quickly earn a reputation as one of the best auto repair shops they’ve ever been to.
2. They Offer a Great Value
Notice that we didn’t say they offer the lowest prices. Quality isn’t cheap, and most customers don’t want their vehicle fixed on a shoestring budget if it’s just going to break down again next week. Instead, focus on offering a great value – customers get a whole lot for the price they pay. This covers a lot of areas – excellent customer service, thoughtful touches, free upgrades and add-on services for repeat clients, etc. You should also make sure that your pricing is consistent. Two customers needing the same repair around the same time should be charged the same price – unless you offer a discount of some kind (ladies’ day, police & fire discount, etc.). These prices should be clearly posted so your customers know that you are fair and transparent.
3. They Support Their Community
The best auto repair shops support the neighborhoods and the people who support them. Whether its sponsoring youth sports teams, donating to local nonprofits, or volunteering as a company to clean up a local park or roadside, their shops are visible in the community as forces for good. You can definitely start small with this one – maybe you start a canned goods collection in your waiting room for the local food bank or perhaps you volunteer to walk the dogs at the local animal shelter in your company t-shirts. The important thing is that you’re giving back to your community and showing that you’re committed to making it even better.
4. They Stock Genuine Parts
Sure, you can save a few bucks for yourself and your customers if you stock bargain basement parts, but that’s not what the best auto repair shops do. They carry genuine parts made specifically for the vehicles they service and sourced from a reputable supplier they trust. Of course, in some cases a used part may work just as well – or it may be the only option for an older vehicle. When installing used parts, the best auto repair shops inspect them thoroughly and only use them if they’re safe and serviceable.
5. They Care About Their Image
This one may sound a little strange – how can what your shop looks like have any bearing on the way you fix vehicles? Well, unless your shop floor is so cluttered that you can’t find anything or your techs are tripping as they walk around, it doesn’t. What it does impact, however, is how your customers perceive you. You don’t need to spend millions of dollars, just keep the waiting room clean, comfortable, and inviting. Keep the outside of your shop painted. If a light blows out in your exterior sign, get it fixed. If your blacktop driveway is crumbling, get it paved. Taking pride in the appearance of your shop will give your customers confidence that you’ll also take pride in how you care for their vehicles.
Are You One of the Best Auto Repair Shops?
These tips can be hard to tackle all at once. That’s why it pays to have partners you trust to help you run your shop the way you know it should be run. Many vendors are just that – vendors who take your money, provide a basic service, and disappear. At 360 Payments, that’s just not the way we do business. We pride ourselves on being a true partner to our customers, taking care of their payments seamlessly so they can focus on taking care of their customers and families. If this sounds good to you, we’d love to chat. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’re ready to help your shop reach the next level.
PS – Check out these ways to really take the customer experience at your shop to the next level.
PPS – Here are even more tips to improve the customer experience at your auto repair shop.