Educating drivers is the best thing you can do for your auto shop’s reputation and bottom-line. Read ahead to discover why (and how to do it)…

Hard sales techniques are overrated. They might help you close one deal, but ask yourself: “Will this customer feel comfortable enough to support my auto shop in the long-term?”

If you push too hard, they might not! Customer retention is the name of the game; and if you want to retain customers, you need to educate them. Here are some insights that might help you.

Ads, ads, and more ads!

People are overwhelmed with advertisements all day. They’re exposed to commercials when they watch TV or listen to the radio. They can’t read an article or drive to work without seeing a ton of banner ads and billboards.

How much of this information gets remembered? Not a lot. And you’re up against some pretty steep competition. Do you think your local auto repair shop advertisement can stand a chance against the thousands of businesses that spend billions on advertising every year?

I’m a constant optimist, but even I don’t like those odds. I’d rather fight a battle I can win… and this isn’t one of them! Instead, I concentrate on what I do best: educating drivers about the most important aspects of owning and operating a vehicle. This is my secret sauce!

Let’s try a different approach.

Why are you trying so hard to sell your services anyway? You don’t see power companies spending a ton of money on advertising, because they sell an essential utility we all need.

If people don’t pay their electric bill, they’ll be stuck sitting in the dark. Depending on the time of year, they’ll be too hot or cold to feel comfortable in their home. Who wants that? Not me!

Auto repair is no different. If people don’t invest in necessary repairs, they’ll get stuck sitting on the side of the road. Depending on the severity of the mechanical problem, they might get stuck spending hundreds or thousands of dollars (or they might even have to buy a new car!).

Does every driver understand this concept? Not really. But you don’t get to play the blame game. Like it or not, “educating drivers” is a part of your job description. You need to help drivers see the reality that owning a car requires them to be proactive and responsible about its condition.

Educate drivers in a fun and informative way.

I created an auto awareness tutorial that we share with every driver at my auto repair shop. It’s called “The Eight Essentials.” Here’s how it works…

I begin by asking the customer to sit where they belong (in the driver’s seat). Next, I ask them to start their car and point out the most important dashboard lights.

I walk that customer in a full circle around their car – pointing out interesting tidbits and tips about their tires, brakes, fluids, and other important auto parts – as we go.

As a result, drivers leave my shop with a better understanding of what their car needs to stay in great shape. At the end, I even ask them to enter our number in their phone before they go home. Who do they call when service is required? Me! That’s one heck of a win/win situation…

Offer a workshop or tutorial just like this to your customers. I bet it will have a huge impact on your ability to earn and retain their business. If you’d like to remove guesswork from the equation, you should apply for our person-to-person advisor (PPA) program. Click here for more information.

If you believe in the Women Auto Know philosophy of educating drivers, share this blog with your friends who work in automotive. Maybe you’ll encourage them to change their policy and procedure for the best!

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