We’ve all been there. You hear something clank around inside your car, or the engine starts to die in the middle of the highway, or you start to wonder what that weird smell is coming from the hood of your vehicle. Something went wrong, and you’re not sure how to fix it. It’s time to take your car into the shop, but you’re worried it will be a complicated, frustrating process that may end up costing you an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, the mechanic industry gets a bad rap for taking advantage of unsuspecting customers and being a pain to deal with. But it doesn’t have to.
If you run an automotive shop, you detest these negative stereotypes. You got into the business to help people and use your vehicular expertise to get drivers back on the road safely and securely. You want to provide a great service to your community, and you want to do it efficiently and smoothly for your team and your customers. There are always opportunities for improvement. As you search for the right tools and tricks to make your automotive company run smoothly, remember that the right equipment is at the heart of what you do. Great equipment for your mechanic shop isn’t only about tools, lifts, and machines, it’s also about the software and skills of running a successful business. Even your attitude and your mission statement affects how your customers respond to your business. So as you’re looking for ways to make everything run more smoothly, consider these tips, tricks, and pieces of equipment that will absolutely do the trick.
Improve your communication channels.
No matter what business you’re running, communication is key. You need to be able to appropriately and effectively reach out to customers and let them know what’s happening with their vehicle. Get the best software and equipment to help you with outbound calls and customer service. Having an outbound call center allows you to reach out to customers rather than wait for them to come to you. With cloud-based technology, you’ll be aligning your networks with ease and getting better lead generation. Take a load off of your workday and allow your call center to help you in new and exciting ways.
Motivate your team.
While your auto shop isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, it’s still a great idea to set goals and have a growth strategy to move forward. To form a true team, you need to get everyone on the same page. Take the time to set your Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and be transparent about what you need from your mechanics. Getting advice from WorkBoard OKR podcasts can help you talk results, leadership, and overall company growth. If you really want to be the best in the business, you need your results velocity to soar and your whole team to feel motivated by your goals and driven to reach designated outcomes.
Clean up the garage.
Auto shops can get messy. Mechanics are called grease monkeys for a reason. But walking into a shop with tools all over the place, grease stains on the floor, and precarious materials left lying around can be incredibly dangerous. One of the ways to show customers you take pride in your work is to keep the shop as clean as possible. This will also help with efficiency.
It may be time to invest in equipment that will make cleaning your garage a breeze. Something as simple as garage floor containment mats can catch unwanted debris from the vehicles you’re working on. These can be custom-fit to any garage and are easy to pull out and clean. So don’t let a car that is caked in mud or bringing in melted snow and rain affect the rest of your shop. Make containing the mess one of your strategic priorities so you can leave the containment edge in its rightful place.
Keep up-to-date with your machinery.
First and foremost your auto show is responsible for fixing cars. You won’t be able to do this without state-of-the-art, updated machinery. There are so many different systems that work together to make your car run smoothly, be sure you have a solution if any of these systems run amuck. Maybe it’s automotive lubricant systems or vehicle exhaust removal or a pump to refill tires. Whatever machinery and equipment you are using, make sure it is up for the task and ready to operate day in and day out.
One of the biggest trends in automotive mechanics is the use of pneumatic equipment. Rather than relying on electric energy, these tools get their power from compressed air. This creates a safer environment with less risk of fire or combustion. These air compressor tools can be used on a majority of different projects.
Utilize effective lifts and storage.
Working on a car is not always an easy task. You may need to get under the vehicle to understand what is really going on. Rather than constantly laying on your back and sliding under low-sitting cars, can you utilize a lift system? Most auto shops use lifts so you can view and fix cars at a more comfortable level for you. This can also help with storage if you need to keep a car overnight and want to pull other vehicles into the garage. Just make sure you use the best lifts you can find. You don’t want any risk that cars could fall or be dislodged from a certain height. This could be a dangerous problem for everyone involved.
Get the right hand tools.
This may seem like an obvious tip, but when you’re looking for the best equipment for a smoothly run auto shop, don’t forget to update your toolbox. While that rusty old wrench may look good for your overall handyman aesthetic, it may not do the trick the same way a new one would. Invest in great hand tools that can help you with little jobs. You never know when you’ll need a hammer or a screwdriver, so don’t ever be caught without one.
Make scheduling easier.
Another helpful piece of digital equipment is an easy scheduling system. Your office staff spends so much of their time taking inbound calls to make appointments. Save them the trouble by making it easy to sign up and schedule online. Not only will this save you time, but it will simplify the overall process for your customers. This will leave them eager to come back and work with you again.
Allow for customer feedback.
Your relationship with your customers is the most important thing. Whether you’re reaching out to potential customers or giving the best results to your loyal ones, you want to share your strengths with your community. That being said, be aware that you can always work to improve. Allowing space for customer feedback can help you recognize issues you weren’t aware of. Giving this option proves that you actually care about the job that you are doing and that you aren’t trying to rip anyone off. Show that your shop is truly a collaborative setting by listening to the people you serve. This will also help things run smoothly in the future because you’ll be able to solve those issues that were holding things up.