Upgraded Scheduling: The Key to Boosting Autoshop Profits!
If someone asked you, “What is the secret to a highly profitable autoshop?” what would you say? Great repair work? Eye-catching advertising? A customer-centered culture? Strong word-of-mouth promotion?
All those things are vital, but one often-overlooked secret to strong profits is highly efficient SCHEDULING. When you schedule work efficiently and smartly, you minimize down-time … optimize the value you offer your customers … and “squeeze” the most profitability from every minute you’re on the job. Here are 3 proven-effective ways to do this:
Get Customers in the Pipeline Early
The first smart way to schedule work efficiently is to get as many customers “in your pipeline” as EARLY as possible. A simple way to do this is to offer to schedule future appointments for them as they are checking out. Ask the staff member who checks-out customers to say something like, “Based on your vehicle’s mileage, we suggest you have your next service check in three months. Would you like me to go ahead and schedule that appointment for you, and send you a reminder as the appointment draws near?”
Most people will say “yes,” and that means one appointment has now become two. And that second appointment is easy to schedule and plan for.
Great Employees = Great Scheduling
Another often-underappreciated part of smart scheduling is to hire the kind of employees who make great scheduling and efficiency HAPPEN. Never shut the door on a talented mechanic, tech, or administrator who seems enthusiastic about working for you—even if you can’t hire them right then and there. Instead, adopt an “Always Interested in Hiring Talent” recruitment strategy. Have the prospect come into your shop to get to know your other staff members, and inform the person that you are not hiring, but may soon be. Then proactively check in with the person on a regular basis. Doing this, you’ll be well-positioned to bring genuine talent onboard, particularly if you have a sudden opening or feel you want to expand staff. That talented, go-getter new hire will help you move toward best-possible scheduling, efficiency, and profits.
Use an Online Scheduling System
While you’re focusing on your smart-scheduling strategy, remember to add the technological component. That should include online scheduling CRM (Customer Relationship Management software), such as that offered by Auto Bookings Online. Doing this will ensure that your schedule stays highly organized, accurate, and updated. You can use your online bookings system to automatically allow customers to book their own appointments, confirm customer appointments, send reminders, send birthday or holiday greetings, and much more. In this way, your staff members will spend more of their time focused on customers—and thus on profits—and much less time on the phone. All the information you need will be “at your fingertips” on your computer, so information will be much easier for you to access and use. This will optimize your smart, peak-efficiency scheduling.
Auto Bookings Online is an online tool specifically designed to help auto-repair shops maximize profitability through better-managed customer bookings.