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Pre Scheduling Appointments – The Time Has Come [THA 207]

Greg Skolnik is the owner of Motor Works, Inc. in Rockville, MD.   He is certified as a Master Automobile Technician and holds the prestigious L-1 advanced engine performance and emission analysis certification. Greg also received his (AMAM) degree from the Automotive Management Institute. Greg has a four day work week and has been doing pre-scheduling for years. He is also a part-time coach for Elite World Wide. Listen to Greg’s previous episodes HERE.

Bill Thompson is the President of IMR Inc.  Founded in 1975, IMR conducts syndicated and proprietary market research studies that focus on the automotive industry including the automotive aftermarket, heavy-duty, and fleet segments.  Since Bill joined IMR in 2003, the company has expanded its research portfolio and service offerings to provide a wide range of strategic and tactical solutions that provide insight into your most pressing questions.  With a focus on industry trends, consumer and repair shop purchasing behavior, channel trends, and many other important metrics, IMR’s research provides insight into your market that can bring you closer to your customers, distribution channels, and market opportunities. Listen to Bill’s previous episodes HERE.

Craig Noel, Owner of 4 location Sun Automotive Springfield, OR.  Craig graduated from Lane Community College in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Repair and quickly went to work.  He worked for Ford as a Senior Master Technician and then working my way up through the ranks as Team Lead, Service Advisor, Assistant Service Manager.

He has also built ground up Street Rods/Show Cars for over 30 years as a hobby.  He was “headhunted” by the original owner of Sun Automotive in 2011 and became GM at that time. As of January 1st 2017,  he is the proud owner of Sun Automotive.  Craig was also on the Academy discussion on 250K Maintenance Program.

Key Talking Points

  • IMR Charts 
    • How worried are you about being exposed to Covid-19 by taking your car to a repair shop?
    • If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you research reviews for vehicle repair shops?
    • If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you choose a repair shop that offers a ‘Touchless’ customer experience?
    • If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you take advantage of a financing option for a major repair?
    • If a vehicle in your household needed repair today would you accept an appointment in the future for your vehicle’s next scheduled maintenance? 
  • Schedule in advance like you do the dentist
    • Pencil them in on a certain date. 
    • Follow up a week or two prior to confirm
    • Customers are really important and as to not overbook, we want to ensure that we have scheduled the necessary time the customer deserve when their car arrives.
    • If customers want to reserve a loaner car because they book out quickly, we should pencil it in.
    • Get the customers conditioned to this process
  •  What if the customer says no
    • Why be penny wise pound foolish with your car
    • Explain to them why it’s important
    • Extend the life of the car/investment
    • Scheduling ahead is a peace of mind for the customer
  • How do we go about doing this?
    • What are the processes in place here?
    • Create a ‘canned jobs’ services sheets
    • Create a series of processes by your front office
    • We are in the relationship business
    • At the beginning, you might get some pushback, but eventually, your customers will ask you about scheduling the next appointment
    • Offer a credit for pre-scheduling appointments
  •  Phone rings and service advisor needs to spend 10 minutes booking an appointment vs the pre-scheduling appointments
    • Proactive internal and external communication
    • Imagine the freed-up time you get with clients
    • Move from a reactive shop to an action focus
    • Move the process forward
    • Offer a limited loaner car and you want them to be able to get one
  • Final Thoughts
    • Bill Thompson
      • Out of 26K households questioned, 59.7% of them say that they would accept an appointment in the future
    • Craig Noel
      • Focus on the relational part of what our responsibilities to help the customer are all about
      • It’s all about being proactive
    • Greg Skolnik
      • The end result of this is, we will have trained our clients that we have our stuff together vs the guy down the street

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast; the only one of its type in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

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