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Episode Description

The world of finding an automotive repair shop and getting vehicles serviced is going through major changes. With the introduction of digital technologies, motorists today evaluate their vehicle’s repair needs by actively seeking information and educational content online before even looking for your shop.

Shops that have a motorist-centric educational experience, that focus on providing insights into their services or the market itself, see increased interest in the services they provide. These shops are trusted as the top reputable shop in the area.

This week, Wayne Trimble (Auburn Auto Doctors) joins the Digital ShopTalk Radio to talk about how motorists are making decisions about their vehicle repair needs. We explain how shops can position themselves in the motorists’ path as they navigate the decision journey: from consideration to coming to your shop.

In this short but intensive 30-minute episode, you’ll learn:
– How technology has changed the motorist decision-making process
– Why it’s important to implement a motorist-centric educational experience that provides answers instantly
– What strategies you can use, across multiple channels, to deliver a better customer experience throughout the entire motorist journey

Episode Transcript

*This transcript was generated using Artificial Intelligence. Errors may occur. If you notice an error, please contact [email protected].

Tom Dorsey (00:00):
It looks like we lost Wayne, Wayne having,
Wayne Trimble (00:03):
I think I lost you guys.
Tom Dorsey (00:04):
Oh yeah, now you’re back. Good deal. Yeah, so I think we might’ve been breaking up there. I don’t know how it came across on the live stream. You were talking about customer transparency, how the digital inspections get out there, but what about the other way? Are you seeing a lot of people coming into your business now that say, Hey, I researched all this stuff already online. I know exactly what’s wrong with my car. Matter of fact, here’s a part I found at a yard sale and I read on some do it yourself-er form that you guys shouldn’t charge me anymore and 60 bucks an hour to put it in, or you’re ripping me off. Are you finding any customers like that that are coming offline?
Wayne Trimble (00:46):
I would say those customers, I don’t necessarily always get that far to know exactly where they’re coming from. I’m sure that some of them, I’m sure that a portion of ’em probably have to be coming online and maybe they’ve done their research or they just typed in water pump and that’s kind what I’ve seen with those type of customers is they’ll say, well, you are saying a water pump is this much, but I went on Google and typed in water pump and I found that there was one this cheap. And it’s usually not even for the right car. It’s the absolute cheapest part they can find. So for me, I feel like if you really set your shop up to be the best shop and you offer the best service, the best warranty, the best parts, then I used to worry more about every customer. But I tend to focus more at my shop anyways on the customers that are willing to pay the price for good service and good parts and a good warranty. And that has to cost more money than being the cheapest.
Tom Dorsey (01:49):
Yeah, no, exactly. And so if you do get that guy, I mean you basically say, Hey, here’s how it works in my shop, and then make a decision and if yes, sign here and if no, keep us in mind next time to fix it.
Wayne Trimble (02:07):
Yeah, I mean it definitely does always work out, but I’ve just learned that those customers, for the most part, for me anyways, they just don’t fit into the customer that I’m trying to get and keep. And typically those customers tend to want the most and pay the least and it’s hard to really please those and have a happy customer. And my goal obviously is to have a happy customer every time.
Tom Dorsey (02:35):
No, and that’s a great point. We were talking about that last week in reviews is that those are the ones who come in are more likely to leave you a poor review. You didn’t give ’em enough free stuff, so they’re going to go on and blast you on Yelp or something and you got to worry about all that and try to respond and get them to work that stuff out. So talk a little bit if you could, about how AutoVitals is in your web presence to avoid that type of shopper and find you those customers that are, like you said, the long-term customer or the type of customer you’re looking for your business.
Wayne Trimble (03:14):
Yeah, I mean for me, what I feel like it’s doing is my shop as a whole is big on research and educating the customer. As a consumer, I’m big on researching anything before I purchase it. So I think it’s important to have that. And AutoVitals, obviously that’s something that you guys obviously do as well. So that for us aligns really well. The inspections, when the customer gets them, they’ve got education as well. And the way the websites are designed are very educational. So I think that a customer can educate themselves first, and if that doesn’t work good, then they can call us. I mean, there is many, many ways to work that out
Tom Dorsey (04:05):
Because when we look at it from, and that’s exactly right, man is what we need to do is get you into a conversation. And then from there, your quality of service and your reputation and your sales process and how you attract your customers and convert them is kind of up to you. And so what we look to do is really through, because I mean you ever shop online, you just said you research online. What was the last thing you bought? Maybe on Amazon?
Wayne Trimble (04:38):
Yeah, so maybe not Amazon, but a good experience that I can relate to is we set this up that you guys asked me yesterday to sit in on this webinar and it’s not something I do all the time obviously. So I thought, okay, well I got to grab my laptop and it’s got the webcam. And then I didn’t really want to deal with having a phone or other stuff. So I thought, let me go buy a headset. So I knew that we were going to be on a Zoom meeting, so I hopped on to Best Buy. They’re local to me. I was trying to shop local when I can, but at the same time, obviously we all buy on Amazon and do a lot of our research online, even if we do shop local. So I went and looked at what Best Buy had in stock.
It turned out that they had a Logitech headset that I’m using now, and the reviews were great. I of course read a few just to see what people said. It sounds like if you want to use it for eight hours, it’s not the most comfortable, but hey, for right now it’s working good and it’s comfortable and it was reasonably inexpensive. So I did my research, they had it in stock. I went over and purchased it real quick and had it up and running this morning. And it was one of the, as I really researched it more on Zoom’s website, it was one of the ones that was actually recommended. So it did turn out that just like anything else, I research and I purchase once I’ve done my
Tom Dorsey (05:58):
Research. And then you went right. And that’s exactly how everybody is doing it now. The internet has really changed the way people buy things. And so from AutoVitals perspective, everybody is out there trying to compete to the point where you’ve already made a decision you’re going to go buy now, where’s the closest Best Buy to me? Where’s the closest auto repair shop to me, Honda Repair near me? Everybody, all your competition is in there trying to fight over that space. Once the person has already gone through the research, done some comparisons and then made the decision, I can’t do this myself, I have to take it into the shop now, who am I going to go to? AutoVitals puts that educational content out there to allow us to show up during that research phase. So everybody else is over here fighting over after they’ve made up their mind, we put you out there and help you to help them make up their mind.
And once you’ve already, because you know what, that’s the other thing is that you provide value as your first interaction. I’m not throwing out when somebody lands on your website, it’s not a big coupon. It’s not, Hey, come do business. Hey, let me sell you something. It’s the information that you were looking for, you’re welcome. And then if that information leads me into, because there’s stages that we want to go through and the four main stages of the Buyer’s journey is going to be awareness. I have a problem, there’s interest, I need to fix it, consideration, what do I do? And then conversion. Here’s where I’m going to go. And if we can get out there in the awareness stage and not first get eyes on your business at the consideration or conversion stage, you’re going to get a lot more hits, clicks, phone calls, interest in your business because A, we’re out there fishing where nobody else is and we’re casting a way bigger net than everybody else, so we’re going to catch more fishes.
And then it’s up to you to convert them. And if we put content out there that says, Hey, come get cheap stuff from us, well, that’s what you’re going to get. If we put content out there that says we’re a professional business that stands behind our work, we have, here’s our warranty, here is our certifications and our technicians story. Because it’s amazing how when people go online now, the first thing that they’re looking for on your website is you. They click on your picture first, your text information, the personal touch that we don’t get when we’re staring at a screen because we’re still social animals and we want that kind of social bond. So I’m looking at your story, community involvement is a big thing. And as I go through and I start to read this information and go through your conversion funnel, then I see that you can do the work that I need. You’re very good at diagnostics. I feel comfortable that I can now take the next step and that’s conversion and reach out to you. Wayne, how are your business, so since you’ve gone digital and since that educational website’s been working for you, how do you find that most of your customers are contacting you?
Wayne Trimble (09:19):
There’s a good portion of them that definitely come from online. I would say that’s a big portion. Obviously we still have referrals from other customers, sometimes other shops just because we have some of the nicer equipment and the ability to do things programming that other shops. But I would say mostly from online presence, we get a lot of stuff from the website, either questions from the websites or appointment requests, which are nice. And usually it’ll say the customer made the appointment request from, for example, the brake repair webpage, and they’re talking about, Hey, I want to get my front brakes done. And it’s nice when you don’t even have to talk to the customer. Sometimes you do of course. But it’s really nice when you just get an appointment request and they say, Hey, I want to come in three days to have my brakes looked at. They’re making noise. And it’s like at that point they’re not asking you how much is it? They’re asking you, can you do it on this day? And you just click confirm, send an email. Yep, you’re all confirmed and everyone’s happy. And then obviously they get the reminder as well. But it definitely makes that process very streamlined and for us it’s been a good source of incoming customers, new customers.
Tom Dorsey (10:38):
No, that’s fantastic. So that’s a great point too is that you get to see how your marketing’s working. Have you noticed, do you see the correlation between, hey, they’re coming to my business, they’re landing on my webpage, on the break landing page and I’m selling more break work?
Wayne Trimble (10:54):
Yeah, I mean I wish I could do an even deeper tracking of all that than I do now. I mean, I definitely hit my touch points and try to make sure that I’m at least keeping a somewhat watchful eye on what’s going on. But as far as the AutoVitals stuff, that’s one thing that I do. Obviously the website has a tracking phone number, so anybody that calls the shop from the website easy to track right there. And if it comes from the website and it’s an appointment request or question, it always tells you what page they were looking at. And I will say that most of them don’t come from the homepage. They come from a repair or a vehicle specific page that shows me that obviously they either hit that from a link outside of that or they came to the website and actually spend time to look around a little bit. But definitely the consumer is finding the information that they want as they’re researching and that’s leading to an easier conversion I would say, to either get them to schedule an appointment or at least call the shop.
Tom Dorsey (11:59):
Yeah, that’s awesome. So if I’m kind of new to digital marketing, I’m thinking about changing my website and I want to be able to put some educational content out there like Wayne did, what tips would you have for somebody to get started? I guess what I’m asking is what have you learned along that journey? What would you do different?
Wayne Trimble (12:24):
Well, I would say for me, I love the fact that you guys have a fantastic website. First of all that you guys did for me. I mean, it’s very informative. Before you guys, I had done my own website and it did okay, but there was no way that I could realistically spend my time or should I spend my time developing all these unique web pages specifically to all my keywords. There’s so much, I mean, I know enough about online marketing to know that that’s a full-time job in itself if I were to do that. So it just makes sense at the price point that you guys offer the services. I think it’s a total no-brainer to do the whole package, the inspections, the retention, the websites and having all that stuff together and working together has definitely been one of the best things for my shop for marketing that we’ve done in a long time.
I mean, our average ARO has gone up, our customer account’s gone up. It’s just definitely taken our shop to the next level. And I feel like I do use the software well, but AutoVitals is such a powerful software, especially when it comes to the inspections, retention, everything that you can do. I use it pretty well and I use it a lot, but I still feel like I only use 20 to 30% of it. And it’s so powerful that I am sending my guys to training this weekend just so we can keep learning more and more and more. Because the more that we learn, the more that we implement, it just makes our shop better. So for us it’s been fantastic.
Tom Dorsey (14:07):
Yeah, we’re going to come up and see you on Saturday Digital Workshop up in Sacramento. And I really appreciate, by the way, just shout out man, you helping us to organize that and getting it happen. I know it was kind of short notice and really appreciate your help and we’re going to have a good day on Saturday. Awesome. Are you going to come too?
Wayne Trimble (14:31):
There was kind of a hit and miss when the date was, whether it was last weekend. This weekend I’m actually going to be out of town, so unfortunately I want to go, but I’m already planned to go out of town. So all my guys are going though. I’m going to send probably all three of them. And like I said, they’re all pretty gungho a younger shop myself and one of the techs is the oldest at 38. And so we definitely embrace technology maybe a little easier than some, but even then, like I said, it’s powerful software so it’s hard to implement everything at once. So we keep going and implementing and I see some guys that really have good systems in place that are using AutoVitals and are just excelling. So I’m slowly working my way there.
Tom Dorsey (15:16):
Yeah, that’s awesome Wayne. And we’ll take good care of ’em on Saturday, but you hit the nail on the head. It really is establish some goals, put your goals together. Where do you want to be in five years? Where do you want to be in 10 years? Think big. What’s the revenue that would get me to my lifestyle goals and my business goals? And then what’s that going to take from an ARO perspective car count perspective? And we, once we have that information in front of us, then we can put together a solid game plan to get there.
Trying to do that website by yourself and trying to keep up with all the changes in Google and all the competition and then having to be able to build the content that it takes to say, I want more BMW work or I want more alignment work or whatever it might be. And have to write up all that content to again, be able to take advantage of the way the internet works now and that is research and educate first, then go shopping. That’s a lot of work. We got a couple of questions looks like from folks that are watching us live. What do your internet customers think about the digital inspections they get?
Wayne Trimble (16:32):
I would say, I mean not just internet customers, I would say every customer we get positive feedback from them. I mean, like I said, nobody likes hearing all the things that are wrong with their car, but at the same time we do a full inspection and there’s a lot of things that are good on the car and I think that’s a big way of how it’s presented too. First up on the inspection is all the good things that about your car that we found that past, there was no problem. And then there’s requires future attention, requires immediate attention. It’s urgent. And so I think that it allows you to set up a plan with the customer and it just gives everybody that transparency. I think that’s one thing that we hear more than anything is customers are just so impressed at the level of our inspections and what they look like, the education, I don’t know about everybody’s area, but in my area I’ve seen all the dealer inspections and I can tell you that hands down we have the best looking, most professional, most in-depth inspections around and we get complimented on that a lot.
Tom Dorsey (17:43):
That’s awesome. And do you find that customers tend to stay more loyal to your business and also when you present that way and you kind of build trust as you go through, right, here’s the good stuff. You’re doing a great job maintaining your vehicle, here’s things that we need to maybe schedule for the next month out, two months out, whatever it might be. Do you find that they stick to that schedule more and if they’re coming back to see more times per year?
Wayne Trimble (18:10):
Yeah, definitely. I would say that the education and the inspections are key because you’re doing the inspections, you’re finding the work, you’re letting them know and not everything has to be urgent or a disaster. So it allows you to sell them the overdue maintenance, the urgent items that you’ve singled out that really are necessary. And there’s always going to be stuff that you’re noticing that maybe isn’t urgent right now. And so for us, it allows us to tailor to their budget and say, Hey, if your budget’s a thousand dollars for today, then we will maximize that with the most important things and then let’s get you on the schedule three months later to go ahead and further that and continue on a maintenance plan. And so obviously AutoVitals makes that pretty easy too. And that’s actually something that we don’t always use as efficiently as we could, but that’s part of why we’re going to training on Saturday is I’m going to really hope to get some of that exit scheduling and really try to work on getting every customer with an appointment so that it’s just on the books and they get that easy reminder.
And obviously anytime you can get a customer in that you already have done all the hard work, right? You’ve already inspected the car, you’ve estimated everything on the car, that customer’s making that appointment, and at that point it’s the easier money you’re scheduling and you’re just ordering those parts. The techs aren’t having to do all the hard work. Your service advisor isn’t doing the hard work. So that’s really what I really like is getting those customers back in for the return stuff because that’s not diagnostic or stuff that we’re not as efficient with,
Tom Dorsey (19:54):
Hey, you fed that cow, it’s time to milk it. And when you’re able to exactly do that right, is use that CRM next visit and go for that exit schedule. So are your guys using kind of a standardized or have you got them in the habit of maybe even using a script at say pickup to go for the exit schedule and then make sure that they set the expectations for the reminders for next service?
Wayne Trimble (20:19):
Yeah, we’ve definitely talked about that a little bit. It’s just something that as a shop we haven’t fully implemented yet. It’s definitely the absolute next thing up on our lip priority for the, excuse me, with only four of us total and sometimes I get a little busy with stuff that I can’t always help out, really help us to make sure that I can keep my service advisor doing his thing and I can get everybody else working and my customer care coordinator calling customers, scheduling those and really get those processes in line to maximize that for sure.
Tom Dorsey (21:06):
That’s going to be solid. So when you have your customer service rep out there, so she’s going to be doing or he or she, I should say, I’m sorry, that person is going to be doing outbound call campaigns like call reminder. Yeah,
Wayne Trimble (21:22):
So my goals, that’s one thing that I will say that because the AutoVitals stuff, especially the inspections are very thorough, which I like. It definitely takes a little more time on the service advisor’s end. If you’re doing a thorough inspection, you’re finding a lot of work. He estimates all the work that we find, he edits all the inspections, proofreads, that all takes more time than we used to have, which is fine, but I found that I really need somebody that can check customers in when they get there, get the mileage, write up a basic work order, check the customers out, just do the real basic stuff so that it’s not a huge burden on him and he can really crank these estimates out. And sometimes I know that when he’s really busy and the techs are on him and they need their stuff back, he may not be doing what I really need him to do, checking the customer out, and it may just be a quick checkout versus the right checkout that I need. So hopefully with an extra person I can really get everybody on a solid program and knowing what they should be doing and really get that enabled and functioning
Tom Dorsey (22:31):
Well. That sounds really good. So it’s almost like you’re hiring an estimator, really, you you’re just moving a roll over and focus on estimating in the sale,
Wayne Trimble (22:39):
Tom Dorsey (22:40):
Yeah, that’s great. That’s a genius idea. Keep us posted, man. I want to hear how that works out. When’s the new hire starting?
Wayne Trimble (22:48):
I’ve been taking applications for the last week and I’m hoping I’m going to interview a couple people later this week and if one of ’em works out great, I’m just trying to make sure I hold out for the right person. It’s always a pain to hire someone and have it not work out. So just trying to do my due diligence, get the right person in and get rolling from there.
Tom Dorsey (23:09):
That’s awesome, man. Best of luck. So what’s the next big goal?
Wayne Trimble (23:15):
I would say the next big goal for us really last summer we started breaking sales goals and the techs are starting to really get in their sweet spot and start bonusing. So the next goal for us really I guess would be to just make more money overall and that’s going to be making things more efficient around here so that the service advisor can start breaking his sales goals and the techs can start being a little more productive and efficient and breaking their goals. And we’ve hit a really good sweet spot for our shop, but really if we can fine tune from there, which I always try to do, but really start fine tuning and really just creeping those numbers up and up is where I want to in as we start growing. Obviously I’ll hire another tech, but for now fine tuning is our goal for sure.
Tom Dorsey (24:02):
Yeah man. So speaking about goals, are your guys using the business control panel to track their metrics and set goals inside of there?
Wayne Trimble (24:14):
My text, my service advisor and I, we do look over that. I have a whiteboard in the shop that I post the service advisors sales goals. I post their last week’s goals. I post the current week’s progress as we’re going just so that way there’s that little bit of extra motivation. I think definitely it’s important to set goals and for everybody to know where their goals are at in their progress. It’s always driven me a little more to be able to look at those numbers. And there have been times in the past where I’ve had even the same crew and I wasn’t as good about posting numbers and you can just tell that their drive falls off when I’m posting numbers and we’re two days into the week and one guy had a rough day with diagnostic or something and they should both have 14, 15, 16 hours and one’s guy’s got 17 and one guy’s got 12. You can tell that the fire’s been lit that he doesn’t want the other guy making him look bad. So he came this morning day yesterday and one of my guys that had the rough day, he came in this morning with a fire lit under his as so to say, and he was ready to go. So that’s what I like to see and just try to really keep everybody motivated.
Tom Dorsey (25:30):
That’s awesome, Wayne. Man, that’s one of the easiest things you can do is just make it public. Just put it up there and let them sort it out.
Wayne Trimble (25:39):
Tom Dorsey (25:39):
Nobody wants to be last.
Wayne Trimble (25:42):
Yep. And hey, if they don’t mind, they’re probably not the right guy for your shop. Really.
Tom Dorsey (25:47):
Exactly. There you have it. Yeah, there you have it. You’re still dragging his feet. You need to put in a new ad up in Indeed or something. Start looking. Yep. Call up them resumes.
Wayne Trimble (25:58):
Tom Dorsey (25:59):
Man. Hey Wayne, I appreciate you coming in, man. I’m sad I’m not going to get to see you on Saturday up in Sacramento, but we’ll catch you next time.
Wayne Trimble (26:09):
Yeah, next time you guys are at anywhere where I can get to through an airport. I’m happy to fly out for training too. I love training and bettering myself and knowledge and our shop and all my guys, we all really share that philosophy that the more you educate yourself, the better you are. So any chance I get, I take the training like that and learn and like I said, just try to keep improving the way we do stuff.
Tom Dorsey (26:32):
Yeah, no, that’s awesome. And so we’ve got the digital shop conference coming up so it’s right around the corner even though it’s like six, seven months out, but January next year, where are we going to be at? SoCal. Oh yeah, we don’t have a spot yet. It’s secret. It’s going to be special. So we’ll have to hold you to it then we’ll see you up there.
Wayne Trimble (26:52):
Yep, it’s on my calendar.
Tom Dorsey (26:54):
Alright man. Good. Alright guys, thank you for watching. Hope you learned stuff again, give us topic ideas you want, want to hear something that you could use help on. And we’re always looking for new information on show topics and guests to come on. Let us know. We’ll get you in tune in next week, same time, same place. Wednesday 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern for the next episode, digital Shop Talk Radio. It’s right before 4th of July. So we’re just going to kind of cut it up a little bit and have some fun and probably do some patriotic stuff and maybe just have a little loose show. But we hope to see you then. Until then, get out there and make some money. Have a great day. Okay.

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