To own and run a business in today’s competitive world is a challenge. Running an auto repair shop is no exception; it comes with its fair share of woes. For those wondering how to run an auto repair shop, here are some tips and tricks:
Build Strong Customer Relationships
Building a powerful rapport with new and existing customers is essential to the success of most small businesses. However, these customer relationships aren’t built overnight.
You’ll need to cultivate your customer relationships over time through continued customer service. When your business develops a strong and trustworthy relationship with your clients, it leads to a loyal customer base, increased sales, and positive word of mouth publicity.
Some things you can do to help build your customer relationships include:
- Building a loyalty rewards program
- Offer deals or discounts to returning customers
- Send service reminders for scheduled maintenance services
- Provide a comfortable waiting room and experience in your shop
- Before recommending repairs, offer to show customers what’s wrong to build trust and showcase expertise
Get Necessary Certifications
Showcasing expertise is an excellent way to build trust and, though it is not necessary for your business operations, there are a few professional certifications you may want to tuck into your tool-belt to help drive trust.
So, if you’re wondering how to run an auto repair shop, consider hiring a staff with core ASE certifications. ASE certifications are the established industry standards to gauge the competence and expertise of an auto-mechanic. The Core 8 topics an ASE certification covers are:
- Engine Repair
- Automatic Transmission/Transaxle
- Manual Drive Train and Axles
- Suspension and Steering
- Electrical/Electronic Systems
- Heating and Air Conditioning
- Engine Performance
These are the standard skill assessment criteria and can play an integral role in driving the success of your automotive repair shop.
Ensure You Have Quality Equipment
Having the right equipment is an expensive and necessary step when considering how to run an auto repair shop. If you purchase high quality equipment upfront for your shop, you will not need to repair or replace them as frequently.
Here are some specific pieces of equipment you must have at your auto repair shop.
- Hoists to Replace and Repair Engines: Rigging and hoisting equipment allow you to lift heavy car parts such as engines. You’ll need a large capacity engine hoist so you can raise or lift the bigger engines of heavy-duty vehicles.
- Vertical Automobile Lift: Vehicle lifts are ideal for performing thorough inspections under the car for repairs and diagnostics. As an automotive repair workshop business owner, you should invest in a lift that can handle heavy vehicles.
- Brake Lathe: Brake lathes are an expensive purchase, but they quickly pay off from the money you save on third-party brake repairs and replacements.
- Battery Chargers and Jumpers: As a rule of thumb, you should keep at least three battery jumpers and chargers in your auto repair shop. Plus, make sure that the jumper cables are long enough to reach battery terminals in a vehicle seamlessly.
- Oil Caddy and Drainage Systems: Among many common repairs, you will need to change filters, sparkplugs, and oil regularly. Ensure that you have a large enough caddy to hold the drained oil from the largest vehicle possible such as SUVs and RVs.
Encourage Quality Work from Mechanics
There is a lot of pressure to have a high turnover rate with vehicles, especially in the beginning years, but quick turnover can lead to mistakes. Rather than pressing for a faster work rate, encourage your employees to make sure they perform each task, check, and service thoroughly.
This will help increase your employee retention especially in budding mechanics who are still learning the trade. While apprenticeship is relatively uncommon in the auto repair industry, you can help new mechanics by encouraging them to get ASE certified. Investing in building your employee’s professional portfolio will help you build a skilled and dedicated staff.
Push Your Marketing Efforts
All of these aspects of running an automotive repair business are essentially irrelevant without driving customers through the doors. To ensure that you get both repeat business from existing clients and business from new customers, you should consider integrating a customized marketing strategy for your business.
Luckily, automated marketing software such as BayIQ can help you with the following marketing efforts:
- Loyalty Reward Programs: Build a customer loyalty reward program that encourages customers to return for future purchases.
- Email and Text Marketing: Integrate email and text marketing into your existing point-of-sale shop management system so that you can send targeted messages and promotions to your clients.
- Appointment Scheduler: Incorporate an online appointment scheduler into your website so customers will be able to book appointments in advance according to your availability.
- Online Reviews: Collect and share online reviews left by the clients. This real-time feedback will help you improve your services and address any complaints effectively.
- Performance Metrics: Integrate performance metrics so you can see real-time data on your performance, services, and loyal customers to adapt your strategy accordingly.
- Customer Service: All of the above methods will contribute to building a strong and trustworthy relationship with your customers by providing them impeccable customer service.
With the help of our automated marketing tools, BayIQ customers have driven more than $2,798,640 in additional revenue. In fact, shops using BayIQ have seen their car count and average repair order (ARO) more than double annually. Ready to run your repair shop with total confidence?