A small repair shop’s reputation can mean the difference between success and failure. A small shop must cultivate and polish its reputation for quick accurate service and repairs. But a poor reputation can put your business in jeopardy of failing.
We like to classify the small shop reputations as either:
No matter where you fit within these classifications there are things you can do to improve your shop’s reputation. Let’s start with Poor.
Customers bad mouth your shop and only show up when you’re the last option. Your shop’s reputation didn’t start with poor when you first opened the doors. Take a look in the mirror. That’s right, you and your people made it that way. Slow and low quality repairs; maintenance that fails to catch near-future problems, and overall lax atmosphere are almost always factors of a poor reputation.
Before we look at what can be done to change a bad reputation, let’s look at Mediocre. Characteristics of this so-so standing are somewhat better repair quality but still lacking in enthusiasm. Your customers don’t go much beyond accepting your work. They won’t advertise on your behalf.
What about Stellar? Good service, quick and accurate repairs and maintenance, enthusiastic environment, and cutting edge technology. Overall impressive. These customers are your avatars. They champion your shop through great recommendations.
What Can You Do About a Poor Reputation?
You have a tough hill to climb so start with the basics. Get a good quality software based shop management system and get yourself and your technicians trained and up to speed on it. It will eliminate numerous old methods of working that bog you down into a grind every day.
When you and your people see how much easier your work has become, all of you will be enthused and sporting a new outlook on your careers. You’ll gain back the positivity you enjoyed when starting out. Customers can’t help but remark on the new you, but it doesn’t stop there.
Techs will take renewed desire to do their best work and that will show up in more proactive measures to maintain customer trucks properly and avoid unscheduled downtime. All this won’t happen overnight. More tech training may be required and will surely be appreciated.
Keep working on morale and let customers see the cutting edge technology now in use on their vehicles. Talk with your customers and share maintenance and repair ideas with them. Find out what they need and provide it. Let them know you’re available to them. They will be impressed by the new interest in them.
Cultivate cleanliness and safety in your shop at all times. Always interview your customer/driver to learn if there are any specific concerns with the vehicle. Diagnose quickly and accurately then get approval for the repair and perform it to get the truck back on the road.
Invest in repair shop association and fleet shop memberships to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. Stay current and use the meet and greets to get your shop’s name out.
What to do to Fire up a Mediocre Standing
So, you have a few steady customers that are okay with the relationship but aren’t really spreading the word. Start to take it to the next level by getting that software based shop management system and make sure customers see you using it to make their maintenance and repairs top quality.
Invest in new tech training programs to get your people enthused about their increased abilities. This will lead to quicker diagnoses and repairs. Customers will notice the changes and talk positively about your shop and its people. It can’t help but lead to increased business for your shop.
Invest in marketing like a shop website around which you can build campaigns to reach new potential customers. Nowadays technology rules so get on the train. Results will follow.
Maintain Your Stellar Standing
Never forget to nurture relationships with customers, both new and old. Email campaigns and create a blog on your website providing useful content for people you must keep in touch with. Keep your shop the only one they go to when maintenance or repairs are required.
Show off your technology without breaking the bank. Use FleetSquared, the software shop management system designed for small repair shops and specially optimized for heavy duty trucks and trailers. It’s affordable and easy to use. Customers will recognize its cutting edge technology and will speak highly of your shop and your people.
See for yourself how FleetSquared can streamline work and increase productivity in your shop. Sign up with your email to start your free, no obligation 30 day trial today. There’s no risk, but rich reward.