You’re working harder and faster today to stay ahead of the competition and boost profitability in a challenging business environment.
You’re providing the highest quality repairs and top-notch customer service so that your shop’s car count continues to increase, customers return time and time again, and profits continue to grow. All the while, you’re on the lookout for ideas to improve sales, cut costs, increase productivity, boost customer service and build your brand, which all contribute to taking your shop to the next level.
Working smarter starts with a foundation of having the right policies and procedures in place, says Terry Keller, shop owner and CEO of Auto Profit Masters.
But, there is no one-step solution; there is no easy button, according to Keller. Instead, you have to look at the situation in your own shop, and apply solutions based on your needs.
“If your techs are consistently having to get more information from the customer, add that to a checklist your service writer can follow when checking in customers,” Keller advises. “If one stage of the inspection gets lost or skipped, create an inspection form to keep techs on track.”
But this is only part of the equation. The other part involves getting your employees on board, empowering them and then measuring the results, he continues. “A good system is nothing unless your employees are willing to follow procedures and work within those limits.”
To prevent policies from being viewed as a negative, take the time to explain “why” they’re necessary and how they benefit everyone involved. Keller gives this example: “Doing a thorough vehicle inspection and taking time to address every concern helps keep the customer safe, helps them trust the shop more, and helps keep them coming back.”
As far as empowerment, ”Let them know that they have responsibility and hold them accountable. Measure the results for each individual, and consider establishing incentives for achieving results,” Keller explains.
“The key idea isn’t just that you measure your employees, but that you listen to what the measurement tells you. Ask yourself, do the numbers say they’re not following a shop policy or procedure? Then react to the numbers, rather than how you feel about the person.”
What steps are you taking at your shop so that everyone can work smarter? We’d like to hear your ideas. Send them to me at [email protected].