There’s a light at the end of the tunnel for the automotive maintenance and repair industry. Analysts expect an upswing in the market (with a growth from $641 billion in 2020 to $690 billion this year) as the world returns to its feet and has begun commuting again. Auto repair and maintenance shops need to be ready to address the uptick in business.
Now may be the best time to gain the edge over competitors, kickstarting your business’ pandemic recovery. And there’s a reason that some people would only swear by fixing their cars in one store alone as opposed to many others: great services that they don’t get anywhere else.
Improving your business’ auto maintenance service keeps customers coming back, bringing others along with them. Gain the edge by considering these improvements to build on your business.
Hire the right people
Your business grows when you have the right people to support it. It’s time to be more discerning when it comes to hiring people who work for your shop. Seek out people with experience and technical knowledge, who you can rely on to do great work, and not just “good enough.”
Remember that companies lose an average of $14,000 for every poor hire that they make. This doesn’t even count the profits lost if a customer with a bad experience starts spreading word.
But while you must be more stringent in hiring new people, don’t forget to take care of the existing employees. Focusing on their training and development allows them to grow, and in turn, your shop will grow as well.
Have them take classes and get more informed about their craft. Let them learn more about the automotive industry and how it works. Not only does this reduce employee turnover, but you’re building a trusted team that are also loyal to you.
Give your performance an upgrade, down to the details
Car people call it “detailing” when they clean up a vehicle. In the same way, you need to do detailing on how your business model works and its processes. Every aspect now needs to be scrutinized. What do you do when you receive a job order? How does work get assigned? What is your turnaround time?
In this stage, it’s also time to consider the equipment you work with. Part of advancing your company means putting investment into it. That includes getting better equipment, thereby making your processes more efficient, and the performance even better.
For example, let’s say you’ve been doing your forms and processes on MS Word. An upgrade means getting proper management software that can handle your inventory, collect receipts, keep track of timesheets and work performance—overall digitalizing your business.
Another example is to upgrade your equipment so that every piece of work done under your company’s name is up to code and done correctly, even down to the details. That means getting better shop tools to ensure nuts and bolts are tight. Getting advanced battery testers limits chances of error and mistakes because of more accurate data. Switching to electrolytic weld cleaning tools, like what TigBrush.com offers, makes the welding and repair process faster and much less dangerous.
Look for all the ways you can make performance better, even to the smallest process details, and put them into action.
Focus on a better marketing plan
With the right tools and the right people, it’s time to make sure your name is out there. It’s no longer enough to be the “corner auto shop” for the locals. Growth leads to expansion, and you get growth through a larger customer base. It’s time to actively market yourself using the best practices.
Being active on social media, setting up automated service reminders (part of the software upgrade) for your customers, and a great website can go a long way in promoting your company and your brand. Better still, customers become happier as they have more ways to contact you and make their inquiries, getting updates when they need it.
Even just the act of updating your Google business page does a lot. Making sure you have a contact email, a set of phone numbers, a map pin, and a complete address goes a long way to drawing customers in as now they know where you are, how to find you, and how to reach you.
Taking your business to the next level means investing in your work, finding problems and their solutions, and most of all, assembling a competent team to help your auto shop improve its services in all aspects. Keeping customers happy with excellent service through these methods keeps the customers driving in for years to come.