An automotive repair operation can be a very complex environment. As volume increases so can complexity. Regardless, the primary concerns of the customer remain the same. Overall – customers want to have quality work performed on their vehicles with as little demand on their time as possible. There are many factors that contribute to achieving these goals but for the shop the most important activities revolve around acquiring and retaining customers. Following are examples of areas where controls can be applied to ensure success:
- Marketing Management – Controls on marketing are extremely important and in today’s Internet world they become more and more important all the time. There are enough aspects of Internet marketing to fill an entire book but the key point for this writing is that this area must be managed. To focus in on one particular area – the review can have a significant impact on automotive repair business success. Statistics show that more than 80 percent of potential customers look at online reviews before engaging with a service provider. So it’s important to have positive reviews on line and to deal with any negative reviews quickly.
- Service Quality Control – Quality in services performed in automotive repair can be critical to success. It’s important to differentiate between quality assurance and quality control. Quality assurance refers to quality confirmation at the point of production (the technician) while quality control refers to quality confirmation after services are complete. Due to cost concerns and time constraints quality management controls must be applied diligently but without the proper level of control – service will degrade and business will suffer. So it’s important that the proper level of control is built into the service process.
- Vehicle Delivery – Making a promise date can be one of the most important areas of concern to the automotive repair customer. There are many factors that contribute to the ability to meet a promise date. Examples are parts delivery, technician workload and resource conflicts (overcommitting dedicated bays and equipment). Managing these potential pitfalls requires visibility of potential contributing factors and the flexibility to deal with issues that arise. Effective shop management requires the necessary tools to achieve success in this important area.