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Should I Increase My Average Repair Order or Increase My Car Count?

November 06, 2019 / Car Count, Efficiency, Revenue & ROI

As a shop owner, it’s likely that growing your business is always top of mind—and a part of growing your business involves increasing the amount of revenue that is being brought in. You probably know of a few ways to make this happen already—including the big ones—increasing your Average Repair Order (ARO) or increasing your car count. If you’re thinking you need to focus on one or the other in order to achieve your goals, the real answer is that you need to focus on both to some degree. That’s right, both of these focuses are essential for meeting your business goals. 

Increasing Average Repair Order

Increasing your average repair order is as simple as increasing the amount of communication you have with your customers and within your shop. For any given job, there’s a lot of information that needs to be communicated back and forth for a productive team internally. Service technicians must be able to pass on information effectively and efficiently to service advisors and vice versa. 

On the other side of the counter, increasing communication with customers is also vital to increasing the average repair order—and a crucial component to this is education. The more informed a customer is, the more they are prepared to agree to preventative services that they may need. Putting the power squarely into their hands by allowing them to fully understand all that is happening with their vehicle and make educated decisions will help you sell the services that are needed with less resistance. Through digital inspections with pictures and video, you can begin to paint a picture of the health of a customer’s vehicle for them. They’ll clearly be able to see with their own eyes what parts of their vehicles require regular maintenance and why, which will allow them to relax and open up to making decisions because of their level of awareness and confidence as a consumer.  That confidence in your shop will allow you to focus on what’s most important while allowing them to trust you each and every time they visit. There are even ways your customers can make decisions for themselves the moment they check in. Through Welcome Station, based on their vehicle history, location, or local weather, customers can agree to services they may need based on those factors. To them, it feels less like they’re being sold to, and more like they’re making a conscious decision for the care and health of their vehicle.  

Increasing Car Count

Increasing car count requires a few different components. A quick win you can implement to increase your car count with your existing customer base is to institute future appointment scheduling while they’re still in your shop. After you inform them of services that might be coming up for maintenance soon, be sure to lock in a time for them to get them completed. Otherwise, they might know that they’ll need maintenance soon, but in their busy day-to-day lives, they might forget. Our software can help you automate this by not only allowing the customer to input their next appointment into their calendar, but also giving them a reminder text to make sure their next service is top of mind. Even 1 or 2 more visits per year for each of your customers could help you see a rise in income. 

To bring in a new base, marketing is one of the main things that will help you. To complement your digital shop, you’ll need an effective digital storefront. This refers to things like your shop’s website or Google My Business listing. Make sure your site  is clean, easy-to-use, and SEO optimized so that people searching for the services you offer will find you. Utilize your Google listing to its capacity so people searching can also see if you’re running any promotions. 

Make sure your shop is prepared for the rise you’ll see implementing these tactics. More vehicles, more jobs, more tasks. So make sure that your processes and operations are as streamlined and automated as possible in order to handle the increase in work. 

So which is it? Which should I focus on? 

We believe that this isn’t an either/or type of situation—to make your shop more productive you’ll need to fully utilize both of these. They’re interconnected in many ways, each making your shop more effective, streamlined, efficient, and productive. So go out and make it happen, you know what to do now! Inform your customers, make sure they’re coming back and they’re getting all the services they need in the time frame they need them, and make sure new customers can find you. From there, you’ll see an increase in your ARO and your car counts, helping you to achieve your goal as a shop owner.