Increase Shop Efficiency and Revenue Using Digital Recommendations
Tools such as BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY’s Mobile Manager Pro eliminate the service counter and meet customers where they’re most likely to respond—on their mobile devices.
Recommendations. For some people, they’re like trips to the dentist’s office—we need them, but we don’t necessarily want them.
That aching, low-grade throbbing in the back of your mouth? That’s called willful ignorance. That intermittent, rattling clunk in your transmission every time you fire up the car? Same thing.
Professionals are here to help you. Why not let them?
At his shop in Chandler, Ariz., Desert Car Care owner Frank Leutz was an early adopter of BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY’s Mobile Manager Pro software, a digital platform that allows shops to communicate via mobile with their customers. But it does a lot more than that.
“Digital is empowering,” Leutz says. “It empowers everyone involved in the process.”
He discusses the stereotype automotive shops still face today—the old “they’re gonna screw me” myth.
“It’s always been a struggle,” he says, “and the consumer doesn’t want to have any reason to believe that any penny they spend isn’t justified or equated to a tangible sense of value.”
Digital inspections and recommendations, however, offer a beacon out of the automotive dark ages. Mobile Manager Pro allows shops to make informed, process-driven recommendations regarding current and future repairs that vehicle owners are more likely to confidently say YES to. Transparency builds trust. Trust creates leads. And leads leave to more revenue.
A Streamlined Approach
In the third canto of Dante’s Inferno, Dante and Virgil pass through the entrance to Hell. “Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here!” warns the macabre marquee.
“Kind of like an auto shop,” jokes John Burkhauser, director of education at BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY.
Maybe Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz is a safer example—remember what she says to Toto? “We’re not in Kansas anymore!”
For some, the auto repair shop can be an intimidating place.
“Your car is always disappearing into some dark garage where magic things happen and expensive problems are noted, found, fixed,” Burkhauser says.
Think about it: Many shops want to invite customers in to see what’s happening to their vehicles but can’t for liability purposes. Instead, the floor features orange “Employees Only” warning signs, with walls and glass separating the client from the car. The shop can often be seen less as a static place of productivity and more the belly of some unknown, sprawling beast.
Mobile Manager Pro, however, allows customers to get inside the shop—in a sense.
“We can send photos and make recommendations for current and future fixes,” Burkhauser says. “We can set the expectations and build trust over time.”
A streamlined approach enables the customer to bridge the gap between work and workplace, maintenance and misdirection. It helps dispel the old myth, in other words.
“The digital age allows ‘best practice’ to actually get done,” Burkhauser explains.
“It is a win situation across the board,” he says. “We had always done recommendations, but now we can inform our clients via realtime photos and videos about what’s actually going on within their vehicles. We can stress the importance of what is needed, what should be monitored, and offer a structured approach moving forward.”
Digital Translates to Revenue
From a revenue perspective, digital inspections offer quantifiable and qualitative data. Instead of a 20-, 25-minute phone call in which maybe the customer approves a fix, photos and video offer immediate evidence on what needs to be done, enabling customers to approve the fix and reducing valuable wait time tremendously. Furthermore, Mobile Manager Pro tracks all input and output, offering real numbers about how well a shop is converting estimates into repairs. There’s a real dollar amount attached to everything.
“Today’s economy is a me economy,” Leutz notes. With digital inspections, “You have the face value of transparency, which is great for the consumer and the garage. What the digital side of an inspection really offers is a viable tool in the me economy—a series of data and economic values that everyone participates in. It helps craft a culture between the customer and the shop, which translates to real savings for everyone involved.”
When you can work smarter—not harder—you’ve really accomplished something.
“A digital format keeps us on target to observe our processes and procedures. It makes us accountable,” Leutz says. “It’s a win on both sides of the counter for a shop operation.”
The employees of Desert Car Care live by a simple motto: success is not final; failure is not fatal; it’s the courage that counts.
“No matter the specialty, the hundreds of thousands of tools and tech, we need courage every day,” Leutz says. “If we have the courage, we’re looking good. Let’s have some fun helping people with their vehicles, and let’s put some money in the bank.”
Digital recommendations and the power of BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY’s Mobile Manager Pro help him do just that. With an eye on the future, the power of modern technology coupled with old-school service and a personal touch offer a profitable, efficient way forward for automotive shops of the 21st century. So, buckle up, check your phone, and look ahead—we’re not in Kansas anymore.