Auto Repair Tips to Make the Most of a Slow Season
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All businesses have their ebbs and flows throughout the year– as do auto repair shops. The most dreadful time of year for the auto repair business happens right after Christmas, the holidays, back-to-school — when people put vehicle repairs on the back burner. However, if you plan wisely you can still be earning rather than twiddling your thumbs. For, instance use auto shop software to schedule maintenance appointments for customers.
Your eyes are glued to your telephone and shop door when there are no customers, I know how hard it is for you to sit idle. But there is nothing to worry about because there are still ways where you can lure your customers.
It’s just you have to use your businessman tactics and keep thriving even in your slow season. Keep reading along till the end. 😄
Never Stop Advertising
Auto repair business owners often face this dilemma when the season is slow. They keep finding ways, how they can save money. For instance, Advertising budgets are slashed in order to cut costs and save money.
But hold on, is it really helping you? You might think that it might help you out, but it won’t; instead, you’re giving your competitors a chance to steal your market share. If they swipe you, they will take your customer base. Read more to find advertising tricks to bring in more customers to your repair shop.
It is simple when you stop promoting your business or services. You stop appearing on customers’ newsfeeds. They will start forgetting about your shop and turn to other auto repairing service providers.
However, I will suggest you slow down your marketing advertisements during the months when you already have a business. Keep your money saved for the days when your business starts getting slow.
Offer discounts on slow months and advertise through every medium possible, in other words, use every medium at your disposal. You can also give freebies like with every oil change there is a free car wash.
Offer Special Services
Talking about FREEBIES, try to give customers extra in your slow season. Try to stand out from the competition, you can offer them the convenience of shuttle service, car rentals, free muffins, donuts anything. I mean just try to do a little extra to make them feel special at your doorstep.
Another best advice I can give you is customers who approach or appear at your shop using the mediums where you’re advertising about your repair services, offer them an extra 5% to 10% discount. You create extra discounts vouchers which will be utilized when they appear in your shop for services. Or the voucher will be applied to the service they take. 😉
This would be a smart move and you will have another maintenance schedule, and use auto detailing software to fix customers’ concerns. It is certain that they will not waste their voucher, so they will return to use it. This will increase the rate of retaining customers at your shop, and it’s much better to retain your old customers rather than making new customers.
You will be saving time and you will know they are the warm leads you don’t first have to waste time convening new customers to trust your shop.
Managing your database is important but if you will be managing it manually it will be time-consuming and you can’t be searching in the paper records that what was the last service you made on your customer’s vehicle.
Imagine a customer named Joe standing at your shop for maintenance and you would be like, “Hey! Joe, I’ve checked your car. It looks like you need a right-hand front-wheel bearing. Joe, replies, “You guys just replaced that at my last appointment.” An awkward silence unfolds on your end as you shuffle papers in an attempt to remember any previous service appointments with Joe. this will shatter your confidence for a minute.
But if you will be using Torque repair scheduling software, everything will be in order. In fact, you can tell customers like Joe, that you repaired the left-hand-wheel bearing and this is a different repair that you are offering this time because last time action on this repair was not immediately required.
Moreover, to gain more trust, you can email them their previous invoice instantly using auto repair invoicing software. With a single tap, you can find all the previous history of customers’ last repair orders.
Make Your Techs Learn Technology
In order to save money, don’t kick your talent out. This would be a great mistake, you will make if you throw your skillful technicians out when it’s your slow season.
Because your best talent will be working next time for your competitors or you never know he might be one of your competition as well. Because there is a shortage of skillful technicians in the market already. Auto repair shops are already searching for good technicians and are ready to pay them higher salaries.
However, it’s the best time during the slow season to train your shop technicians, because the whole year you don’t get this chance. So utilize this time for training them.
It’s a great idea to take advantage of these gaps to schedule training seminars or to check out online resources. Make your technicians learn the best use of technology like make them learn how to use auto shop software. Gone are the days when technicians’ best friends were only wrenches– today’s tech’s best friend is their tablets and all digital tools that help them inspect customers’ vehicles.
If you invest in training, your employees can learn to handle new automotive systems, stay current with vehicle technology, and get to know new products and parts before you’re too busy in the shop to devote the time to them.
When you are running on the slow season, you can still get business and stay into business making wise decisions. Plan strategies wisely, like on your high sale day try to invest in advertising less, save money for advertising, and pay your technicians on slow sale days.
It is the best time to have your retaining customers back to your shop for their vehicle maintenance. Use auto shop software to check their previous history with you. And offer them next to new services, which did not require immediate action last time when you inspected their vehicle using a digital vehicle inspection software.
But now it needs to be fixed, you can email them about their upcoming appointments with you. This is how they will feel you value them.