19 Things To Do If Business is Slow

Repair shops have to be aggressive about acquiring enough business to not only sustain themselves, but to grow as well. Following are some ideas for your service advisor to utilize on daily basis to keep business coming in the door:

1. Review your workload and reschedule future appointments for today or tomorrow. Customers are often pleased to be able to get their vehicles in sooner.

2. Call, text, or email all customers the day before they’re scheduled to bring their vehicles in to confirm their appointment.

3. Review your database and call or email those customers whose state inspection sticker or emissions certification is due to expire.

4. Review your “Estimates” file for work that was never performed. Likewise, your “hot sheet” of customers who would have had work done, but hadn’t found the time to come in.

5. Deliver “we appreciate your business” donuts or cookies to new merchants for referrals.

6. Call all customers with recommended repairs listed on previously closed repair orders.

7. Call customer “no-shows” from previous days. Often, these customers simply forgot, or an important issue arose.

8. Notify customers of special order parts that have come in.

9. Call those customers to whom direct mail advertisement pieces were sent to determine if they have been received, opening a conversation leading to sales.

10. Offer pickup and/or delivery of the customer and/or the vehicle.

11. Make “thank you for your business” phone calls and emails.

12. Call customers regarding maintenance and repair of the second or third (or more) vehicles in their household.

13. Review repair orders for factory or shop warranties due to expire.

14. Call all customers with vehicle leases due to expire and recommend an inspection prior to turning their vehicles in.

15. Walk to other businesses in your immediate area and distribute a business card and a flyer describing your current specials.

16. Estimate current mileages on the vehicles in your database to determine vehicles coming due for various services, such as oil changes and other scheduled maintenance items. Then call, text, or email those customers a reminder.

17. Use the under-the-counter expired mailers for up-sell on the vehicles you do have in the shop.

18. Request that your employees personally refer work to the shop.

19. Call the following businesses and advise them you can provide them with priority service on any day that’s not full on your appointment schedule:

  • Vendors
  • Used car lots
  • Collision shops
  • Fleet customers
  • Fleet shops that occasionally subcontract out work
  • Merchant referrals (non-industry)
  • AAA
  • Lifetime oil change customers
  • Towing companies

Written by RLO Training