How Body Shop Owners Gain Better Productivity
You’d need the trust of your customers if you want to see an increase in profit margin. Trust is a requisite if you want to gain repeat clients. These are equally important as new customers, for they are sources of cyclical or recurring revenues for your body shop. If you want your customers to give you their trust, you must first work towards being productive.
Productivity also comes hand in hand with professionalism and reliability. These three attributes are crucial to gaining the trust of your target market. So, how do you boost the productivity of your auto body shop? Here are a few tricks that could lead to an uptrend in your business’ productivity figures.
Invest in Tools and Technology
Technology will benefit all departments of your body shop. Your mechanics can work faster when they have the latest hardware at their disposal. Your reception can intake clients faster with digital payment processes and an electronic queuing system. Last but not least, the inventory team can quickly release parts and update their stock data at the same time.
You don’t have to implement technology across the board in one day. The infrastructure needs to be gradually rolled out. You can start by slowly introducing the software at the reception and inventory levels. Most apps nowadays are intuitive, so your employees need not spend a lot of time in training.
Review Your Employees’ Workflows
Aside from digitalizing their process, you should also take a look at each employee’s workforce and see how you can further streamline their processes. You should determine if there is redundancy in the workflow, and remove any duplicate tasks.
In addition, you should also evaluate each member of the workforce’s strengths and weaknesses, and leverage those for productivity. You should also invest in regular training to update the skills of your staff and keep your business competitive. Some states in the United States provide subsidies for specialized training. That’s an opportunity you should not be missing out on.
You should also make it a point to understand all of the services that your shop offers. Learn how your mechanics change the oil or tires of your customers’ vehicles. Document each process for your knowledge database. These can help you build a service manual that you can use to standardize the training of new employees in the future.
Invest in Employee Benefits
A well-provided team is a happy team, and a happy worker will be more productive. Health insurance and occupational safety should be on top of your priorities when creating employee compensation packages. This insurance policy will cover your employees’ expenses in case an accident does occur at your body shop.
Access to healthcare services also helps your employees stay healthy and free of sickness. It’s better to invest in their health than to incur losses from absences due to ailments or accidents. It also sends a message that you’re prioritizing their well-being too.
You should also take a look at mechanics’ work areas and see how they are organized. Tool placement is vital to their productivity. Their toolboxes should always be close at hand, and they should always have the tools that they need in your inventory. Establish a request process that they can make use of if they need to have tools added or replaced.
Train Your Staff to Upsell
This metric does not only measures how many job orders a mechanic completes in a day. It is also an indicator of how much the business does for a customer with a single job order. This is where upselling becomes useful in your body shop.
Upselling is a sales tactic in which a member of your staff offers a service in addition to the job that the customer is requesting. For example, a customer rolls in with a BMW automatic looking to have all four of his tires changed. The estimator runs the BMW through a thorough inspection process and notices that the car also requires an oil change. He recommends to the customer to have his oil changed as well.
This tactic opens up additional opportunities for revenues and enhances the shop’s professional image. Upselling convinces the customer that you are indeed looking out for their satisfaction and safety. It’s a very effective method of gaining their trust.
The Bottom Line
Productivity is essential to the success of an auto body shop business. The business owner needs to invest in technology and in enhancing the skills of his workforce to boost their productivity. He should ensure that they have everything that they need, from tools to occupational safety and regular training, especially in the art of upselling.
Every business seeks its customers’ trust and approval. This is only the way that they can build a steady stream of income from repeat customers and clients. Establishing a trustworthy and reliable image also helps attract new customers as well. All the business needs to do is optimize productivity at the workplace.