Car Count Daily | Edition #28
Hi, it’s Ron Ipach, but you can call me Captain Car Count. This is Car Count Daily. Now I’ve got a really quick question for you today. Does your shop make sense? By sense, I mean the five senses, which is the sight, the smell, the taste, the sound and the touch. Are they pleasant to your clients? Now what do I mean by that. Well we want to make sure that we give the best experience possible to each and everyone of the clients that they come to our shop.
The majority of your business is made off of the repeat business. You want to make it’s a nice, pleasant experience for people to come back again, and again, and again. Otherwise, you’re relegated to constantly trying to advertise to get new people in the door because you’re alienating the people that are already there, because they just don’t like something about your shop.
What I want you to do today is kind of look at your business through a different pair of glasses. Start noticing the things that you’ve maybe become numb to. See it maybe again for the very first time just the way your clients are going to see it when they do business with you for the very first time.
Okay, so since were talking about seeing it, let’s talk about the outside of your shop. Now, if I’m a brand-new customer for your shop, what am I going to see when I pull up to the door? Am I going to see a building that’s kind of dilapidated and old, faded paint chipping away, dirty awnings? Am I going to see a lot of really crappy cars up on blocks outside in the parking lot? Am I going to see grease stains everywhere? Am I going to find a parking lot that’s full of potholes, or maybe isn’t even paved at all? In other words, when I drive up to your shop am I going to get the feeling that I’ve picked well? I’ve chosen a really good shop to bring my car, which is the second biggest expense that I’m going to have other than a family. Did I bring my car to the right place? In other words, am I going to feel good just driving up to your door?
Okay, so that’s what it’s going to look like. There’s going to be a lot of things that you are going to have to think about, what it looks like on the way to the front door. Are there nice flowers out front? Is the parking lot constantly swept and kept free of litter and debris and leaves, or whatever the time of the year it is. In other words, is the parking lot clean?
When I open up the front door, what am I going to see? Am I going to see a very inviting place, a place that’s well-kept? Or, I’m going to see what most people think of, when they think of doing business with an auto repair shop, You’re going to see parts laying all over the place. You’re going to see manuals stacked up in the corner. You’re going to see a messy desk. You’re going to see grease stains everywhere. Is that what I am going to find? If it is, you’ve got to clean it up. It’s the scent, it’s the scent of seeing that people are going to be paying attention to. What does your shop look like? You may have become numb to a lot of this because you go there every single day. You just don’t notice it anymore. Let’s pay attention to that.
The next thing is, what are they going to hear when they come into the shop. Are they going to hear a lot of people yelling in the back? Are they going to be hearing some nice music playing? Are they going to see a TV and listen to something nice that’s on TV?
Please, keep away from the daily news because it’s always bad news and you never want to get somebody in that kind of mindset when they’re doing business with you. So, what are they going to be hearing? Granted, there’s going to be a lot of noises that are going to be associated with auto repair. That’s okay, but just limit maybe the cuss words and the people yelling back-and-forth out in the shop. Make it a better experience for your clients that way.
What are they going to taste? In other words, while they’re sitting there waiting for their car to be done, what are you giving them? Are you giving them free water, or are you giving them free sodas? Are you giving them free snacks to snack on. Are you treating them like a guest? Do you have that typical vending machine off in the corner that’s got four-year-old Baby Ruth Bars in there, and stale everything, and just not giving them a good experience?
One of my business partners, in his shop, he has fresh baked cookies. Not only when you walk into the shop you smell these freshly baked cookies, but they give them away for free. They give you free coffee and a free water and free sodas. That’s a way to really invite somebody into your home instead of into the usual auto repair shop.
Now, I just talked about smell. Fresh baked cookies is awesome when you’re walking in. That’s a great smell to have. But auto repair shops are notorious for smelling bad, you know. You may not notice it because you’ve probably grown up in the business. You don’t even smell what the tires smell like or what the grease smells like, or what the exhaust is like, because you’re around it every single day.
For those that aren’t around it every day, they walk in and it’s a very pungent smell. So if you don’t have fresh baked cookies baking, what about some deodorizers. There are some things that you can freshen the air and make it smell, if anything, neutral or pleasant when they walk in. Those are the things that are important to somebody because they are not used to the shop environment.
The last thing is feel. How are they going to feel? Are they going to feel like they came to the right place? Are they going to be sitting on a chair that’s comfortable, or are they going to be sitting on a couch that looks like it’s been picked up from the side of the road- years ago when it was dirty and nasty and peed on by cats. That’s the same sofa you’ve had in your waiting room for a dozen years after you picked it up from somebody else’s garbage on the corner. Trust me, I’ve seen that happen. You know you’ve seen it happen as well.
What are they going to feel. Are they going to feel comfortable? Are they going to be … Again, does it feel more like your home, rather than the typical auto repair shop to your customers?
Again, your shop make sense. Pay attention to all five senses. Again, it’s going to take you a different look at your shop and a different smell and taste of your shop to be able to see what I’m talking about. You’ve gotten too used to it. Have somebody else … Ask a new client when they came in the door about these five senses and what they say and what they really notice about it. If they do find some things, use that as an advantage that you have. Because if you know about the problem, you can fix it. But, if you become a little blind to it, you’ve got your blinders on, you’re not noticing those things. They’re going to keep going on. They’re going to keep bothering they come in.
And again, this is all about marketing. I want to make your marketing job a whole lot easier by making it more inviting for your customers to come back again, and again, and again, and increase your car count from within, rather than trying to constantly get new people in the door to give them that one and only experience that they’re going to have with you. Make it pleasant and they’ll come back.
That’ll do it for today. I appreciate your time. Hey, if you get a chance, stop down below. Let me know what you think. Give me some suggestions.