By Bob Cooper
I had the opportunity to interview more than 40 people for a panel of customers I moderated in Dallas, TX. In many cases I spent well over an hour with each of these prospective panelists, so I had the opportunity to learn some amazing things. Here’s one you don’t want to miss …
One of the questions I asked every panelist was, "If the service advisor told you that you needed a complete transmission or an engine, would you have them do the repair?" The overwhelming majority of the people I interviewed said before they would authorize such an expensive repair, they would first contact the dealership or a transmission shop. When I asked why, the standard response was, "Bob, a transmission or an engine can be pretty complicated, so I’d want talk to an expert first."
So here are our conclusions at Elite: First of all, most independent repair shops are not doing a good enough job in educating their customers on their level of competency and skill. Secondly, your customers are no different than you when it comes to looking for expert advice. Imagine you have been going to the same doctor for years, and have a tremendous amount of faith in that doctor. Then imagine that doctor told you that you had a problem with your lower back. Even though your doctor may be very well-skilled with lower back problems, I suspect you’d still feel more comfortable in speaking with orthopedic surgeons. Why? Because they’re viewed as the "experts." The brake shop chains you often see across America? You might think the way they attract customers is by offering low-priced brake services, but the reason they are continually able to bring in customers is because the motoring public perceives them to be what they are looking for: the brake experts.
So if you want to build a more successful business, you’ll need to brand yourself as the "expert" in every way you can. Those of you who have specialty shops; such as transmission shops, brake shops, etc., should incorporate the word "expert" in your marketing campaigns whenever possible. Those of you who have general auto repair facilities should use terms such as "The SUV experts," "Toyota experts," etc. Your customers are looking for an expert in all aspects of their lives. When it comes to auto repair and service, make sure they know in very clear terms, it’s you.
For additional help increasing your car counts from Elite President Bob Cooper, learn more about Elite’s automotive repair marketing solutions.