What’s Your Advantage?
Recently, I was quoted in an article about a shop’s competitive advantage: https://www.autoserviceworld.com/if-this-is-your-competitive-advantage-youre-doing-it-wrong/. The idea that you fix cars better than others is not really a competitive advantage. From a customer’s perspective, they don’t think, “Oh, this shop is probably not going to fix my car” when they pull up in your parking lot. They probably think your shop has what’s needed to fix their vehicle. They assume your shop has the right tools, people, and resources for the job. This is why sometimes you can find a shop on every corner of an intersection in a busy city (and, four more right down the block).
If you understand and agree with this, then you have to think about creating an advantage for your shop. I tend to preach technology as an advantage most of the time, BUT there are other ways to make your shop stand out from others. A recent example at one of my shops is that I allow guitars to be hung on the wall because a few employees along with my brother and myself are musicians. “Chris, how is that an advantage? That is just a gimmick.” Maybe, a little bit, but the advantage is the connection that my shop employees can create with other musicians who walk through the door. And, isn’t a lot of what we do about the value we bring and the relationships we create? In fact, we recently had one customer come in for a 15 minute state inspection who ended up staying for almost an hour, playing guitar and singing for us and other customers. What a great experience for him, us, and everyone sitting around waiting for their vehicle repairs to be completed.
Why is the Seattle’s Pike Place Market so famous? Because of the show the employees put on day in and day out (a great book to read is Fish!: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results). If you google “Seattle fish markets,” there are certainly more than one in the area, but most don’t do near the volume that the Pike Place Market does.
And, of course, a text message update and a digital vehicle inspection sent to a customer’s phone go a long way too, but I’ll leave that to another blog 😉
Architect/President at Autoflow
The Desire for Continuous Improvement
As an auto repair shop owner of Golden Rule Auto Care, Chris Cloutier realized the need for a better way to communicate with his customers as he observed how communication gaps created bottleneck situations and wasted valuable rack time.