How To Increase Your Work Order Averages And Profitability In Your Auto Repair Shop

Along with using targeted customer marketing communications and sending out reminders for service to increase car counts, you can put your shop’s revenue into overdrive by increasing work order averages.

What’s the best way to do that?

Give your customers the ultimate fleet-management service tracking experience.

You see, when you take on the responsibility of keeping track of the vehicle’s every part, fluid and lubricant, first of all, you remove the burden from the customer. But you can do a better job of it anyway.

It all comes down to building a foundation of informed purchases, giving the customer the information she needs to make good decisions about her car.

In effect, you’re creating a partnership. And when you’re seen as a valuable partner, your customers will see you in a whole new light.

Here’s how it works:

  • At the front counter, you provide the customer with intelligent data about the car’s fluids, parts and lubricants.
  • If a customer drives 50 miles per day, but his spouse only drives 15, you’ll deliver customized recommendations for services.
  • The customers will see value in the recommendations and understand that the services you’re prescribing are truly necessarily.
  • These customers will acknowledge your shop’s value, agree to purchase the services, and you’ll drive revenue.

With this kind of approach, you’re helping customers:

  • Lower the cost of vehicle ownership, reducing operating and maintenance costs.
  • Extend the life of the vehicle, so they won’t have to buy a new car quite as soon.
  • Ensure the safety of their vehicles.
  • Maintain the highest resale value for the car.

That’s how you increase work order averages. You see, vehicle owners want to maintain their vehicle – they’re hesitant to trust, however.

As a shop owner, if you use an authoritative, fair, but open-book approach to vehicle maintenance, your customers will buy more maintenance than you feel comfortable selling.


Finally, the third objective is to increase work order average and profitability.

When we try to build our profitability from behind the counter, it’s actually unpleasant for us the operator and our customers because no one wants to be sold anything. I know, I don’t.

On the other hand, when we provide fleet management service tracking, and we do the heavy lifting by computing everything that has ever been done to the vehicle and age it based on how long it’s been and how many miles has been driven on that particular part or lubricant or fluid. Now we build a foundation for an informed purchasing decision, and we can come across to the customer as a partner in maintaining the vehicle.

So what we are doing is sharing with the customer a methodology on how to lower the cost of vehicle ownership for operations and for maintenance. How to extend the life of a vehicle to help them stay away from the  dealer an extra year or two, and how to maintain the highest safety for the vehicle, for the benefit of their family. Finally how do you have the highest resale value in your vehicle when you are ready to sell,

 All of this comes together with providing the customer with a maintenance program, which is exactly the same as that delivery company that has a 100 delivery trucks. and that operator whose company’s profitability you are really concerned about, and off course its biggest variable cost is the cost of vehicle ownership, and the cost of operating those vehicles.

So we tell the customer at the front counter that that’s what we are doing for the family owned vehicle, and as a result what we are doing is aligning our business’s objectives with the vehicle owners’ objectives in such a way that it’s almost like we go around the counter and we are elbow to elbow with our customer, and we say this is how we are going to approach your service needs. Look at your wife, she is driving 47 miles a day…you are only driving 13.

What we are doing is deepening the relationship and it’s a value added service where now we are taking charge of the maintenance of the vehicle with a very interesting affect.

Once our customer understands that we are doing this for them- will buy more maintenance than we feel comfortable selling.

Let me repeat that because that’s actually a fundamental concept here. The vehicle owner wants to maintain the vehicle and when we produce an authoritative, fair open book approach to vehicle maintenance they will buy more maintenance than the service writer feels comfortable purchasing.

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