Ok Service Managers, the tempature is hot, the shop is full and everyday you are wondering how you can get more vehicles through the shop to meet the summer demand. It’s upon us with a vengeance it seems. Every customer has planned that road trip and the cars are not holding up to the strains of the high temperatures. You have just finished a June that netted great profit and July is trending higher in the exact same direction. So things are great, business is good…right? The short answer is YES and it SHOULD be its summer and we see this typical spike in traffic. I warn you and to quote my favorite show, “winter is coming” and right now it’s time to plant the seed and prepare for the winter months. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your shop busy during those few months of shorter light.
Focus on the basics – I know everyone is busy, but make sure you are updating the customer record. Verify all the customers’ information. Make sure you have an updated email address which will allow you to follow up with them in the next 5 to 6 months with your holiday specials.
Plant the winter seed – Take a moment with each customer and explain the importance of proper maintenance during the summer and also the items to prepare for in the winter. We know the items their vehicle needs today, we should also prepare them for their next visit in late fall and prepare them for the need of tires, wipers, etc.
Slow down and pause – Its busy and we know that being busy causes extra strain, however, your customers’ expectation does not change with the seasons. Their expectation in summer is the same as it is in your slower months. Keep this in mind and take the extra steps necessary today to retain this customer for tomorrow. During the busy months it's easy to loose sight of this. Just remember the customer in front of you right now expects the same level of service today even if you have multiple carryovers from the prior day and a technician off for vacation and you have written twenty percent more vehicles this month.
Apply these basic fundamentals to ensure a great fall and winter season. When business is super busy, it is even more critical to make sure you complete every step of the repair process to keep the customer coming back. Do not loose sight – every customer is a precious commodity and the cost of losing one is staggering.