Today’s business environment is extremely competitive for automotive shops. Failure to optimize your shop performance can result in squandered business opportunities, increased costs, poor reviews, and customer churn. The key to maximizing the performance of an automobile service shop is to understand the different areas within it, how they function collectively, and how each one relates to the others.

Whether a shop specializes in servicing heavy duty vehicles, performing repair work, or repairing mechanical and electrical malfunctions, there are four different areas that affect overall shop performance. These include shop organization, shop efficiency, customer experience, and business insights. Although it might be apparent how some of these areas, such as customer experience, affect shop performance, there are other areas that aren’t so obvious—like business insights and shop organization.

The reality is there are multiple ways to organize a shop and ensure a positive customer experience. Similarly, there are a host of business insights approaches and techniques for  improving efficiency for automotive shops. To find out if you’re using the most effective ones, take this quiz.

Shop Organization

There are several different aspects of organization to consider for owners to get the best shop performance that they can. The best organized companies in this business standardize the various steps vehicles go through from the time they come in (including scheduling appointments) to when they leave. But that’s just the beginning. It’s also useful to have a visual means of tracking a vehicle’s progress through those steps to determine any issues that might get in the way, like equipment requiring maintenance or repairs.

Well organized shops are also transparent. Ideally, management of a vehicle’s process through the shop should be digital so employees can instantly see the status of a vehicle to keep customers apprised of them. These same capabilities should apply to things like inventory and customer records, all which helps increase shop performance.

Shop Efficiency 

Automotive businesses looking to increase their efficiency for a better shop performance should use digital processes as much as possible. It’s amazing how much administrative and technical work can be digitized to remove bottlenecks and keep things running smoothly.

In addition to customer records, everything from estimates to payments can be managed digitally, which makes it easier to make adjustments, complete processes faster, and ensure that they’re complete. This is especially true for accounting and payment tracking, which is a hassle with written records and paper receipts. Going digital is an easy way to increase shop performance and keep up with the competition in this respect.

Customer Experience

The survey also helps auto shops see how well they do in terms of customer experience. Customer expectations are higher than ever, so it’s important shops communicate with patrons via modern methods like SMS text messages and emails. Not only is this digital communication easily tracked and organized, but it’s actually the preferred method of communication for most customers.

These same channels can be used to enable customers to digitally approve estimates, which saves time and gets customer vehicles in and out of shops faster—so shops get paid faster, too. Texts and emails with visual tools like videos and pictures enhance the customer experience, and are used by the most progressive auto shops. Other measures, like allowing online payments, gives customers the sort of flexibility they desire to keep coming back for a great experience.

Business Insights

There are so many ways to use even basic analytics to understand your business better and what steps to take for optimizing shop performance. It’s not easy to simply eyeball technicians and see which ones are your top earners, how effective they are, and which ones are really driving revenue.

Similarly, you might think you’ve got a good feel for which areas of the business are the most lucrative. However, if you want to assess the value of certain promotions and their effect on the bottom line, analytics tools can provide those answers easily and clearly—indicating what steps to take to make things better.

One Way To Find Out

So how exactly does your shop stack up next to the competition in these four areas of shop performance? The best way to find out is to take this survey and see how well you score. So go ahead; take the Shop Performance Quiz and find out.