By Tom Ham. How often do you check your email? Does your shop look busy enough? Are you still using the fax machine to receive parts diagrams? Check out the latest Auto Shop Monthly Management Tips from the Automotive Management Network to get inside secrets on managing your shop and increasing your bottom line.
You Check Your Email How Often?
For many shop owners today, the reply is not near often enough. A customer emails a request and waits hours or days for a reply. Someone at your shop should be constantly monitoring the business email and replies should occur within a few minutes. If you really want to be in the lead, then have someone monitoring and replying to your business email on their cell phone when the shop is closed. If you are thinking that you do not get all that many customer emails, then plan on it staying that way as your customers wander off to shops who respond to them promptly.
Do You Look Busy Enough?
If there is little activity at a shop, many people believe that the shop can’t be very good. Your parking lot and your shop should normally be at least half full both when the shop is open and closed (No, not with the junkers you should be making disappear). You can acquire cars with reasonably decent bodies for not a lot of money. Their road worthiness is really not important as long as they look decent (detail them to make them look even better). Also, make sure your employees know to put a few cars inside when the shop becomes empty.
Hide the Fax Machine
In many shops, about the only reason the fax gets fired up is to receive parts diagrams, usually from a new car dealer. But today many shops can bring up complete OE parts cataloging for many makes on their computer. Some even transfer the parts with all information right to the RO and allow parts to be ordered from the RO. Cost to the shop is typically zero. Turn the 30 minute fax dance into a two minute done deal just like you do with your aftermarket suppliers.