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Episode Description

It can be so easy to get caught up in earning the business of new customers that marketing to your current customers can become somewhat of an afterthought. On this week’s episode of Digital Shop Talk Radio, we have guests Jim Saeli (DRIVE) and Frank Scandura (Franks European Service) on to talk about how to set yourself up for success when marketing to your current clients and what pitfalls to look out for.

Jim is a senior service consultant, instructor, and shop inspector for DRIVE. With more than 35 years of industry experience and having owned a shop of his own, Jim is a highly requested keynote speaker, specializing in areas of management, marketing, and employee relations.

Frank owns and operates Frank’s European Service in Las Vegas. Along with running an exceptional automotive repair business, Frank is an accomplished public speaker and frequent contributor to Digital Shop Talk Radio

Episode Transcript

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

Tom Dorsey (00:02):
Good morning and good afternoon. Welcome to this week’s edition of The Digital Shop Talk Radio. My name’s Tom Dorsey, and I’m coming to you again from the Mobile Digital Shop Talk Radio Studio, and I am very excited and honored to be coming to you live from the Drive headquarters in Monrovia, California. Today I’ve got two great guests on Frank Scandura, our co-host with the most. Frank’s been a regular on here from Frank’s, European in Las Vegas, Nevada. And I’ve got Jim Saeli from Drive. He’s a senior service consultant with the Drive organization and former shop owner from New York. And today what we’re going to be talking about with y’all is how to stay in touch with your customers in the digital age, keep ’em loyal to your business without spamming ’em, and talk about some of the differences and changes in the market, how we leverage the digital technology to add value, keep those customers engaged and keep ’em coming back and preferably with a plan. So without further ado, thank you gentlemen for joining me. I know we’ve been having a little audio issues with Jim. Jim, can you hear us? We still got maybe you guys dial in or like I said, you’re always welcome to come on upstairs since Jim’s just down below because we wanted to set up this funky studio thing, but I got an extra chair right here. You can come on in, but let’s get it kicked off with Frankie while we got him with solid audio. Frank, you’ve been digital shop with us probably going on, what, five years now?
Frank Scandura (01:44):
I think so, Tom. Yeah, very close to five years now. And
Tom Dorsey (01:48):
Lots changed in that time. Right. It was funny, I was talking with Jim right before the show and we were talking because Jim is a traditional shop owner, paper-based shop up in New York. And back in the day it was kind of funny how the progression would go is your customer retention program was usually you went to church with those folks, your parents worked with ’em, whatever it was. And then we kind of went to your retention program was more, I’ve got a radio ad on top of the yellow pages I named my business. So I get number one in that Yellow Pages and I’ve got some billboards and we kind of went to sending out some direct mail and email, right. And there’s been this progression. So Frankie, if you could start us off because you’ve probably gone through quite a bit of that change challenge today over the way it used to be in.
Frank Scandura (02:54):
Yeah, so way back in the day, Tom, when I first got into, I could run an ad and they were column interest, so I call it three by five. It was three columns across five columns down. So I could run a three by five ad in the local newspaper on Sunday and I’d have to get to work early on Monday. I’d have a number of voicemails I’d have to catch up on the phone would blow up all day long. And those days are far gone, right? Far, far gone. And it’s so important how we have to be top of mind all the time with our motorists because they’re so inundated with information from outside sources that it’s not that they don’t want to do business with us, but sometimes they forget. And I often tell the story when I teach marketing about I needed a plumber and I started racking my brains, who am I going to get?
I need a plumber. And I start doing research and I start looking around, I start doing all this stuff and calling people and I select a plumber and I have ’em come down, he does an okay job, thanks. Here’s my money on the way home that night. A plumbing truck drives across the traffic light in front of me, A One Plumbing and Heating. That’s my friend from church who owns the plumbing company I completely forgot about and never called had he done a little bit of marketing and sent me reminders and sent me something in the mail. He would’ve been top of mind. He would’ve been my first call. And that’s why it is so important to make sure the motorists only thinks of you and only wants to come to you because that next postcard that shows in the mail from that guy who doesn’t have any cars and oh my gosh, what am I going to do? I need to send postcards out and give them away. The store might get your customer’s attention for that moment because they forgot.
Tom Dorsey (04:35):
Yeah, exactly. You got to stay top of mind. And nowadays it’s so hard because there’s so many different branches of the platform. Are you social media? I mean, gosh, some of the old stuff, direct mail, it doesn’t even really work as effective. But now we’ve got texting and email and how do you decide? Do you do it all? Do you do a piece of it? Hey Jim, how are you doing? Can you hear us?
Jim Saeli (04:56):
I can hear you. Can you hear me?
Tom Dorsey (04:59):
You can. So perfect. Did you catch Frank’s intro? I mean was that simple?
Jim Saeli (05:03):
I did, absolutely. As a matter of fact, it’s funny, I did do a lot of direct mail and knew the post office well because that was the way to stay in touch with customers. But these days that’s definitely not the case and you do need to stay in front of ’em because if you don’t stay in front of ’em, like you said, they’re going to go somewhere else. They forget about you very quickly.
Tom Dorsey (05:27):
And so let’s talk about that. So as a senior service consultant, am I saying your title right? Is it senior service consultant?
Jim Saeli (05:34):
I have all kinds of titles here. It depends on the day, depending on what I’m doing. But yes, that’s fine.
Tom Dorsey (05:40):
When you add value, you get more responsibilities.
Jim Saeli (05:45):
Tom Dorsey (05:46):
So what are you seeing? How are you consulting, what’s your advice to those shops to be able to get that CRM and get those communications, those customers loyal.
Jim Saeli (05:57):
So the thing is that you need to stay in front of your customers all the time. And if you’re not actually using text, using email, calling them on the phone and just having a regimen in place that you follow all the time because that’s one of the other things that I see too is guys will actually have all these great things and all these great tools, but unfortunately they don’t use them or they start to use ’em for a while and then all of a sudden they get a little busy so they slack off on ’em and all of a sudden then things slow down again and now they’re playing catch up. It’s something that you have to develop a habit with and do it all the time and keep it going, keep it fresh as well. That’s one of the keys that I see is guys will have these successful actions, these things, they do that work and then for some silly reason, they drop ’em out
Tom Dorsey (06:49):
And it’s usually because it’s that shinier penny, right? It’s the laser beam in the cat, right? It must be better. I’m going to go do that. And if I’m not tracking my metrics, if I’m not paying attention to my ROI then maybe I think it’s better. It feels better. It’s funner, but it’s my business. Well, Frankie, let me ask you something. How do we operate and stay top of mind like Jim said, without spamming, without intriguing?
Frank Scandura (07:17):
Okay, so the way I look at spam is when I try to reach people who don’t know me and I do it in ways that I think will get their attention and let me get an email list or let me do this and let me do that, that’s spam spammy. And if you really think about it, when I do a direct mail for either a specific area, whether it’s every door direct or if I buy a list or whatever, that’s kind of a spammy intrusion, but people don’t look at it that way. They go just another postcard, just another postcard, just another postcard or, oh, what’s this? And if you think about it, guys, raise your hand. Do you do that? Right? So if you’re doing it, your customers are doing it, tell
Jim Saeli (07:54):
The truth. Absolutely.
Frank Scandura (07:56):
I open a little coupon thing for two reasons. I want to laugh at the Goodyear discounts and I want to see what my favorite restaurant is giving me, I’ll buy one, get one. So you really have to be very, very careful. So that’s kind of those new customers when it comes to people that have already dealt with you and already made a commitment to walk in your door and they’ve already given you money, that’s a different relationship. Now I can send a thank you for your trust for new customers. I can remind them about their next visit. I can send periodical information or emails out and I can send postcards out on occasion. I can make an announcement about some promotion we’re doing or a charity we’re supporting because we have a relationship now. So it’s a different expectation. Now. I’ve got companies that I deal with that when I get two or three or four emails a week, I’m out. Okay, one or two a month, I’m okay any more than that. I feel like it’s kind of like where are they? Where’d they go? Who are they? So I think spam is what I’m trying too aggressively to get those new people and I’ve already got the relationship, you’re giving me permission to stay in touch and let you know what’s doing.
Tom Dorsey (09:13):
And so what I’m hearing from you, Frank, is that you educate the folks that you have a relationship with,
Frank Scandura (09:20):
Let them know. You can expect to hear from us. So it’s like that drop off process. We are going to do this marvelous digital inspection. It’s going to have all these pictures and explanations of everything we’re doing and why? How do you prefer that? Have that sent to you? Email or text? Oh yeah, you can fill and then they fill in the blank, their preferred method of communication. So I’m not saying, oh, is it okay if I send you an email? No, I am going to send you information. What’s your preferred method of delivery?
Tom Dorsey (09:53):
So Jim, same question is that if we, because this is what makes it ineffective, and it’s funny, we’ve got data, right? And data doesn’t lie. And so if we’re able, we notice the difference. If I send out a generic kind of, Hey, come in, it’s time for service, or even worse, it’s time for service. Here’s 25 bucks off. So I’m going to start to cut my margin to try to coerce them to come back versus I’m going to add value, educational content, reminder that in that fashion, how do you differentiate between being a value
Jim Saeli (10:37):
Add? So it’s interesting. It’s interesting. Well,
It’s a very interesting thing via text or email to an individual, you can actually be personal. The individual, you can direct the message to them so it doesn’t become this spammy thing. Like Frank said, you have this relationship with the customer. And another important point that he made is the fact that you let them know, I’m going to do this. You’re not asking permission. As a matter of fact, in sales it’s a very important thing, isn’t it? You got to direct them. So this is just another part of that process. And if you educate your customers really well with it, they don’t have a problem with it. Actually. They enjoy it. They actually appreciate it. I’ve seen it happen when shops that I go to, because that’s another thing that I do. I’m in shops all around the country and watch how they operate and the shops that do really well are the ones that are actually engaged with the customer and treat the customer part of their family. And using these methods makes them able to do that, to create that culture for that. So it’s very effective.
Tom Dorsey (11:45):
Get the nail on the head right there, right? It’s personalization because we’re kind of in this me generation type thing, the selfie generation, and we talk a lot about this. Matter of fact, I’ll be talking about it in the lunch and learn here today, is that we’ve scroll through so much information on a daily basis now and the cell phone thing that we carry on our supercomputer that if something doesn’t stand out to me, meaning it’s probably me focused or of course it’s a funny cat picture. Kind of the two things that get, that’s what the internet was invented for and what ends up happening is if it’s just text, if it’s just hey sale. But if it’s something my supermarket does this to me, it’s big data play. They know what I like to buy. So every once in a while they’ll just send me coupons for all these things that I highly engage with because it’s like I eat that all the time.
Whoa, my gosh, they know me so well, you know what? I go in with those coupons. I’m not a coupon shopper. Those are literally the only coupons I’ve ever used in my life because why? They’re personalized to me and I think to myself, gosh, they took that extra and it wasn’t really any effort on their part, let’s be honest. It’s just data. They took the effort to make that connection to me and personalize that experience to me and I respond, how do you get Jim? How do you get your shops to be able to give a customer service experience similar to that through communication after the customer has left the shop so that they become loyal and come back three times a year.
Jim Saeli (13:16):
So it’s very interesting. You have all these wonderful systems and these computer systems and programs and everything else to allow you to collect all this data. It’s a matter of collecting it so that you can actually use it later on. One of the things that I see, I have a customer come in, I know that he likes to golf. So just the fact that I know that information creates that communication when that person comes in or something that’s real to that customer, that’s the key is what’s real to the customer. It doesn’t matter what’s real to me, Tom, like you were saying with the supermarket and what they do is they’re playing on what they know you will actually respond to because it’s something you like and it’s a matter of staying in touch with them and working with them and really at the counter and your relationship with them, you know what they like or they don’t like. Some customers, they’ll want to hear from you all the time. Some call me in six months, I only drive my car 5,000 miles a year. And if you know that, then you’re not. You’re staying in touch with them. You’re handling things the way they like to have them handled.
Tom Dorsey (14:25):
Now. That’s a brilliant point, Jim. Frank, I got to ask you, where do you think that that relationship begins, right? I think Jim hit the nail on the head.
Frank Scandura (14:34):
It begins with communication and asking the questions, right? What’s the best way to succeed in a business like ours is? Find out what the customer wants and then give it to them.
Tom Dorsey (14:45):
And we do that at drop off.
Frank Scandura (14:46):
Absolutely drop off. We do that in our marketing message too, right? Exactly.
Tom Dorsey (14:51):
Frank Scandura (14:52):
We had a situation the other day where a customer goes, Hey, I read on all your reviews about the loaner car, but nobody told me you guys have loaner cars. So the funeral is Saturday, by the way,
Tom Dorsey (15:05):
Not meeting.
Frank Scandura (15:07):
What I’ve just written down was to make sure that I say be consistent. Be consistent. Whatever you decide to do, do it. Don’t be this hot and cold way of reaching out to your customers. And look, here’s the sales cycles, right? Jim, you probably see this with your shops all the time. Oh my gosh, we’re all going to die. I got to market. We’re too busy. I can’t do it anymore. Oh my gosh, we’re going to die. Because they’re not consistent. They’re not consistent. I could go back over last year and look at where we had little dips and lulls and understand that we got real busy and then oh my gosh, we pulled back on everything and then we forgot to pull back and then we had a normal drop in traffic. It’s be consistent. Make a commitment, make a plan, do what you say you’re going to do, do it, do it, do it.
Tom Dorsey (16:00):
Oh, go ahead.
Jim Saeli (16:01):
No, I was going to say it’s a follow through. You got these great ideas and it’s like, yeah, I need to do this. And then because you’re busy or whatever, your consistency drops out and it’s the follow through. And that’s one of the things that we find with our clients is you’re talking to ’em on the phone and it’s like you got to give ’em a swift kick in the butt and say, Hey, what the heck have you been doing? Sorry, I didn’t mean to stop you there, Tom.
Tom Dorsey (16:24):
I just have a follow up for you because what I’m going to ask is to say that because Frank’s point is, I mean it’s critical really to setting that up is that you have to have consistency. The consistency really starts on your website or on your digital marketing, right? Is because that’s where the story begins in the education that I do about your business as I’m making a decision where I’m going to take my vehicle, and if you can set those expectations, show me how you differentiate yourself from other shops in my area. You’re a digital shop and you kind of give me those expectations. What happens more and more, we’re in this kind of software as a service type lifestyle. We get Netflix and it just renews and these things, and I can look and see when my pizza got put in the oven and when it’s going to come to my house and I know I need to go to the curb to pick it up.
And so what happens is we become conditioned to expect those things. If we start that education on the website and we follow through at every touch point, drop off, reinforce it while the vehicle’s in the shop for during inspection and approval, reinforce it at pickup, and then all of our reminders align with that. Well gosh, we emulate that service experience where I don’t really have to think my phone tells me what to do next. I drive to the shop and I say yes, because we all love to have those customers. So lemme ask you, Jim, how do you, because that’s a big sea change. That’s a change in process. Before it was toss me the keys and sign this and I’ll call you when I know something and oh my gosh, I’m going to sell you over the phone. How do you coach your shops to say A, get that consistent process and B, make sure that that process is effective.
Jim Saeli (18:19):
So keeping those systems or putting those systems in place is a matter of, it’s a training thing, and this is one of the things that I see happen is a shop digital inspection is a perfect example of this and I’ve watched it both ways. Shop now does digital inspections and the customers are coming in saying, wow, this is really impressive. I really like what you’re doing. Nobody else does this. You’re the only person in town and I really appreciate having all this information made it very easy for me to understand why I needed to do stuff and the sale was actually rather easy. Then I’ve seen guys that do it, they hire somebody else, they put somebody else in the position and unfortunately they don’t take the time to train them on the successful things the shop is doing or they don’t understand them, the new person doesn’t understand them. So training is a huge aspect in all of this, actually making work properly,
Tom Dorsey (19:13):
Training and reinforcement. And then Frank’s point, be careful how wide you crack that throttle because if you think that it’s feast or famine and you blast everything, then you got all these cars coming in, but then guess what happens? Consistency falls apart because we’ve got to start cutting corners. We get super busy. So Frank, how do you make sure that you got those guys on that consistent process? I mean that they’re doing it at every touch point and then it’s actually working.
Frank Scandura (19:39):
So I just finished up some John Maxwell training and something that was really profound that I heard that weekend was the biggest gap in our lives is between what we know we should do and what we actually do.
Tom Dorsey (19:52):
Amen, brother.
Frank Scandura (19:54):
So we know we should be inspecting every single carpet. I’m too busy or I have excuses and what did I read? And I shared this with my team. If you want to, you’ll find a way. If you don’t want to, you’ll find an excuse. And when you really think of that, the shop owners that are listening, when you ask your team to do something and the first thing they do is give you all the reasons why they can’t do it or all the reasons why they didn’t do it or everything that was wrong with the requests for doing it. They’ve just grabbed that bucket of excuses and then it’s just, lemme try this one. Lemme try this one. Lemme try this one. I call it QAs. It’s a disease where I’ve got an excuse for every possible solution. If they want to, they’ll find a way.
And that’s the culture I bring here, right? It’s kind of like Tom, you know this, right? I’ve got shops all over the country that when I come to Las Vegas, they say, can I please spend some time with you? And they do. They’ll come here and then sometimes it’s a half a day or more we’ll spend together and I go over the processes and the system. Why? It’s because it’s Frank’s way or the highway. I have got to create that atmosphere of listen guys, I do this for a reason. I do this because I want the customer to experience service like they’ve never experienced before, including the dealerships. And it’s just got to be, you’ve got to create an atmosphere of this is the way we do it. Here’s why. Because I could just walk in in the morning and kick the dog and walk out. Nobody understands the why. I wanted to teach the why. Show them the process like that, Tom. Show them the process and help them understand this isn’t just going to work and doing our job. We can just do that, right? It could be an average shop and not care.
Tom Dorsey (21:41):
I don’t think do anything average you put your slippers on in the morning, average right back and land into them. At least that’s the way I imagine
Frank Scandura (21:49):
It. I’m an average guy, I put my pants on, there’s nothing special. I just have a desire to be better. That’s all. How can I be a better man today than I was yesterday? That’s it. How can Tom Dorsey spend time with me and I speak into his life and make him a better man today than he was yesterday?
Tom Dorsey (22:08):
Every time I spend a minute with you, Frankie,
Frank Scandura (22:10):
Alright, and honestly guys, we’re all leaders, right? Everybody who owns a shop or has aspirations owning you are a leader act like it, okay? Being the leader people want to follow.
Tom Dorsey (22:25):
Yeah, no, that’s great. And so for folks listening that are saying, how do I implement what we’re talking about here today? I really just summarize to, I guess reinforce is to say personalize your communication, vary your communication, mix it up, keep it fresh. Great point to what Jim said. Make it about them as much as possible. And matter of fact, we had a show on, gosh, was it? It was Neil Daley. We were talking about how he really, even in his digital inspection, he incorporates the customers, the motorist personality into there. They might take a picture of a license plate frame or a funny air freshener hanging from the or they might even put an inspection topic in there that says, Hey, I like Dan Halen too with a picture of their, and it’s just to say, gosh, our culture is personalized, customer communication service and really relationship driven.
We’re fun and cool people too. We like to do business with fun and cool people and really be able to do that and then use the different digital platforms that you have and mix it up. If you email and have a cadence, have a cadence again, starts on the website, reinforced at every touchpoint while they’re in the shop, set the expectations at pickup and then vary that cadence. I’m going to do a phone call in three days. I’m going to send the thank you email and this time I’m going to send the first reminder at this time I’m going to email it. Then I’m going to follow it up maybe by text, right? I’m going to post on social media so that I can catch as many eyes as possible, as many fish in my net, if you will cast the broadest net possible, but keep it fresh and exciting and personalized so you actually get ’em to focus. Frankie, what would you say your open rate is for your post-service communications?
Frank Scandura (24:25):
I think it’s like 15%. I’ve had a couple meetings with Chris Maggard and whatnot and gone over, it’s pretty high. So we’re pretty happy with the open rate texting. The replies back for appointments are pretty high. I get an occasional stop when people don’t want to be communicated with anymore or I’ll go in and communicate people from time to time. Sometimes you have to, we’re really pleased with our open rate. We’ve really established a personal touch here. It’s not just a transaction. My car’s broken, you fixed it, thanks. Here’s my money. It’s got to be more than that. People don’t buy parts and pieces, they buy trust.
Tom Dorsey (25:07):
Yep. Yeah, exactly. So Jim, same question. So what’s the difference? Have you noticed, or let me ask you a different way. What’s the challenge that you have? If you were to come in, start consulting with a shop that let’s say doesn’t have a follow up plan in place, maybe they’re using just a template or generic type email that goes out and maybe that’s automated and they don’t really mix it up or think about it much. What’s the challenge to be able to implement? What you were talking about is that personalization and that fresh and unique content.
Jim Saeli (25:46):
So it’s like anything else, you got to change habits with individuals because they’ve been doing something so long a certain way as far as a shop owner. So it’s getting them to understand that they have these habits and need to change because they don’t work. And the big thing on that is actually keeping track of your KPIs or metrics and watching them to see am I getting this response or aren’t I? Is it effective or isn’t it? What type of customers am I bringing into my shop? Frank brought up the point as far as I take some of ’em off my list and I don’t contact them anymore because you don’t want them in your shop. So those are the things that you’re actually looking at to see am I doing a good job or not? And your customers will tell you too. You’ll actually get responses from your customers, I really appreciate what you’re doing. Nobody does this. This is why I come to you. You’ll get all of those kinds of things when you hit the right buttons and you’re hitting the right spot and you’re doing the right thing.
Tom Dorsey (26:40):
And so that’s a great point is that, so how to change that habit is you got to have some payoff. It’s got to incentivize me to do something different to even remember that I’m supposed to change something if I’ve been doing it this way for 10 years. So being able to incentivize them and what I like to call as a quick win is if you’re able to get a quick win, so you get the thank you email out, I get a good review, I send out a highly personalized and customer specific, maybe reminder, I get a follow up appointment. How do we initial, we ramp them up to make those habit changes by allowing them to see those quick wins.
Jim Saeli (27:23):
So one of the things that we will do or that I will do with a client is I’ll actually give them some pointers or an idea or get to understand their customers, what type of customers they have, and then help them put something together and say, okay, let’s test this out. Let’s try it. When I did that way back many, many years ago with my consultant here, it was very interesting. She gave me something to do. Now this is of course going back a number of years. She gave me something in print to do. I had tried them before, none of them worked. And I was like, yeah, this isn’t going to work. She goes, no, try this. And of course for me being from New York, a woman trying to tell me how to run my shop, that was something I had a little hard time getting over, but she straightened me out real quick when the first thing that I sent out, I got 25 new customers on and anything I sent out before, maybe I’d get one. I was like, okay, there’s the payoff. And with our background and having that background and helping them because we’ve done that with so many shops, it’s how we help getting that payoff to them, getting them started, and then once they start to see the forests through the trees, shall we say, they’re actually starting to get through it. They start becoming, the shop owner starts becoming creative and coming up with these ideas and seeing it themselves, which is a good payoff for me because it’s like, wow, they get it and they’re actually utilizing these tools.
Tom Dorsey (28:47):
Yeah, that’s what it’s going to be. Sustainable, right? Moves and then it stays and then it trends up. How do you track those KPIs? I mean, how do you give that feedback or even split test something to know that it’s working?
Jim Saeli (29:00):
Well, one of the things that this again is developing that habit is asking the customer what brought them in? How, what brought you in today? Why did you come in? That kind of thing. That’s one way to do it, but it’s also in looking at your car count, you actually start looking at the number of repeat customers that are coming in the door. The number of new customers, depending on what you’re doing, is a simple way to do it as you get more sophisticated and put more of these systems in your shop, oh my goodness, all these electronic and the digital age is helping tremendously with tracking this kind of thing, which didn’t exist before. So it’s step by step to get them to that point. Let’s start with the basics. Asking a simple question at the counter to utilizing all these systems that you have and getting them trained on them. That’s another factor that I see is the guys don’t spend enough time getting trained on them once they do get to that point.
Tom Dorsey (30:00):
No, that’s a great point. It’s one thing to buy the product or to implement the system or to have the data. It’s a whole nother thing to actually utilize it in a correct and effective fashion. So Frankie, same question to you. You’re AutoVitals digital shop. So how are you tracking that data? And I guess I would ask you maybe what was the most eyeopening thing you saw once you were able to look at some of the behavioral data that you get in your business control
Frank Scandura (30:28):
Account? I’ll tell you what, the frequency report that’s available through AutoVitals is like, I can’t believe it because we get stuck in our mind when we have a problem, whether it’s a problem, car problem, customer, whatever, the weather, it doesn’t matter. We focus on the problem. We tend to make decisions based on small problems that have a big effect on our overall business. And I used to think, oh man, these older high mileage cars are such a pain, we got to stop working. Then I go look at the frequency report and I go, that’s number one for revenue.
I need to rethink this. How do we handle the problems without killing a golden goose? The goose that lays a golden age. So it’s very important to analyze the data. So that frequency report’s amazing consistency, right? I mentioned that earlier. Having AutoVitals allows me to set it and forget it kind of thing, which was very important to me. And one of the things that was really enticing was AutoVitals takes my customers vehicle specific recommendations and says, by the way, don’t forget you still need to do this. Versus a lot of companies that say, oh, a car like yours needs this service, and they never had the ability to double check what I did in the shop. I just did it. And they’re getting the recommendation again, and the customer doesn’t know you’re using a generic service. They think you don’t know what you’re doing. So that for me was absolutely paramount critical.
I don’t want to tell you on Tuesday, when you pick up your car that you need your fan belt replaced to have you never get that reminder. Doesn’t make sense, right? I need you to remember, I don’t care if you know what a fan belt does, I don’t care if you know what it is. All I care about is you know, need it, how much and how long, right? Most people really don’t know. We educate ’em, we send all the information, and most people, they buy trust. They don’t buy fan belts. I trust Frank says I need a fan belt, I need a new Frank. What happens if I don’t do it? Well, the fan belt could break, could be stuck on the side of the road. It could be a big problem. I need that recommendation vehicle customer specific. To me, that was a critical step in staying on top of it because that just builds on the credibility, doesn’t it, Tom? It builds on that credibility that I did spark plugs last year. You’re getting a reminder that spark cars your age need spark plugs. I got to tell you, this just it irritated me. It really did.
Tom Dorsey (32:59):
Yeah, good. But that’s it in a nutshell. If you had it as a recipe, it’s exactly that. It’s, yeah. Perfect. Grab that chair right there, Jim Drop. He’s going to come on in here as we wrap, but you able to put that recipe in place?
Jim Saeli (33:15):
We’re good there.
Tom Dorsey (33:16):
You see, that’s what I wanted him anyway. I wanted him in here anyway. Look at that guy. So
Jim Saeli (33:21):
Much easier.
Tom Dorsey (33:21):
Hey, you look much better sitting next to me, but what we’re talking about, Jim, as you were coming up is just saying, Frank was talking about really being able to kind of set that expectation, almost set that recipe in place and say to them that this is the expectation, kind of like we were talking about earlier is say this is the plan and then we go out and we implement that. And then just as follow through, guys, we’re out of time. I mean, I could go on probably another hour with the both of you. Absolutely. I really want to thank both of you because I know that there’s some great takeaways from the audience today, especially cops that are making that transition to the digital shop and really fighting the urge to do, avoiding that digital communication and so text and this and that. So I think you guys really gave a great understanding of the best practices to make that effective.
The rest of it guys is go out and have fun. Yes, try new things. Just the most important thing is document it. I sent it on this date, two people opened it. They both told me to go pound sand. Now I’m going to do it again, but I’m going to change it up and I’m going to see the difference and I’m going to improve over time until cha ching. It’s working for me as always, Frankie, thank you buddy. I appreciate you coming in. Jim, I want to give you a second. I know we’re going to be out next week for the Drive Expo, right in Pomona, California. We’re really excited to be out. AutoVitals going to be out there. Tell us a little
Jim Saeli (34:57):
Bit about it. So we’re excited to have you there. It’s something that we do every year. We get our clients together and we actually go over, we actually go over talk about different things. We have other shops there. A few hundred shops are actually going to be there. We actually have working relationships with AutoVitals, other companies because we really appreciate having this interaction because these tools are very important for you to be successful with your business. And we do all that at the expo. There’s some really cool things we have coming over. So one of the things also, I know sometimes that this expo is just really right around the corner. It’s the 27th and 28th
Tom Dorsey (35:40):
Book your plane tickets. Now if you don’t have them already,
Jim Saeli (35:43):
It’s always fun to do at the last minute. You know that Tom, right? And you’ll get the best seats too, right? Oh
Tom Dorsey (35:49):
Yeah, definitely. Well, you say you know us and then we’ll get you in. Don’t even
Jim Saeli (35:53):
Worry about it. Exactly. But the point is, so we have the expo, but we have other services as well. The company’s been around for over 25 years. I used to be a client myself and they really helped me transform my shop and change my life. So I really appreciate what they do and now I work for them, pay forward baby. But the big thing is, even with the way technology is these days, we can actually do what we call a shop business analysis. It’s something that you do online from the comfort of your own shop. You’ll actually use it or meet with a one of our seasoned consultants that can actually point out the pluses and minuses in your shop and steer you in the right direction. It’s usually $395.
I’m trying to look at what they got here for me because I can’t read without my glasses. Sorry. So shops from AutoVitals shops, we receive the special price. Oh wow, this is good that I’m actually reading this, but $395 for the shop owner and spouse to the expo, and it includes a free SBA. The SBA itself is usually $349. So you get an SBA and you get all the great tools, lots of different speakers, different topics in the expo. I’ll tell you, this has been going on for many years and it’s expanded so much because I know for myself, going to the expo was a kick in the pants that I need to keep pushing through and dealing with, like-minded shop owners is an awesome thing.
Tom Dorsey (37:22):
Yeah, I mean that’s the greatest thing, right? Is being able to come out and collaborate with shops that are pushing the envelope, are looking to improve their business. Strong collaboration that way. And it’s kind of one hand washes the other and a rising tide floats all boats. And that’s really the experience that you get. We have a lot of shop owners come on Digital Shop talk radio and the most successful ones are going to have some type of help, right? They’re going to get consulting, they’re going to get another eyes on their business. And both of these gentlemen that we’ve had on today will be able to provide that for you. Just reach out and talk to ’em. Come see us at the expo next weekend. Like you said, Hey, now that you’re AutoVitals shop, you even get a discount. No, it’s Tuesday. That’s a business write off. Come out. It’s sunny here, right? So that’s a bonus. It’s beautiful weather, beautiful place. You get to meet fantastic people and learn and meet other shop owners are in the same boat as you and just collaborate and team up to be better. Same with you buddy. Maybe we’ll get you Jag you out here to expo. What are you doing next weekend?
Jim Saeli (38:22):
I’ll have to look actually
Tom Dorsey (38:26):
Now before the show, Frank was telling me he wants to come out and meet folks and hey, we all learn from each other. What do you got going on buddy?
Frank Scandura (38:35):
I’m going to have to check my calendar, sir, because I do serve at church every other weekend and make sure that whether I’m on or off that weekend, I’d hate to stick those guys shorthanded.
Tom Dorsey (38:45):
Frank Scandura (38:46):
I’ll look it up. I’ll reach out to you, Tom. After the 27th of the 28th, correct?
Tom Dorsey (38:49):
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I mean you all know Frank, but don’t be shy. Frank loves to help. If you want to reach out to Frank, ask him questions. You can find him on Facebook, call him at the shop, Frank’s European, what else you got going on, Frankie? How can folks get ahold of you and get some help from you?
Frank Scandura (39:06):
So that’s all of that. Plus I’m on LinkedIn as well, and we’re expanding my horizons and doing more coaching and speaking and teaching. Tom, as you know, he’s got
Tom Dorsey (39:16):
Work for sale too. You better buy it
Frank Scandura (39:19):
Books free. Okay, so then that book is how to take care of your vehicle so it’ll take care of you. And we got that for our customers because I got tired of telling everybody individually everything that was in my head. So I wrote it down and handed it to him. But I’m going to write another book. So be on the lookout for that. Tom, maybe I’ll give you the first time this
Tom Dorsey (39:37):
A digital shop book. He’s going to write a digital shop book.
Frank Scandura (39:40):
There you go. How to be a digital shop in the 21st century.
Tom Dorsey (39:44):
Awesome. Well, brother, yeah, I really appreciate you coming on Frank. As always, Hey, we’re going to twist your arm and we’ll see you at Expo next weekend. Really looking forward, Jim, I really appreciate you having me here, buddy. I can’t wait to, we got a nice lunch and learn. We’re going to be doing here this afternoon. I’m going to be out in Atlanta. We got a workshop this weekend. So if you’re in the Atlanta area, go to the and we’ll be out there on Saturday teaching the Digital Shop Gospel. So until next Wednesday and until we see you at Expo next week, next weekend, get out there and make some money. Tune in next Wednesday for Digital Shop Talk Radio. Same time, same place. Well not same place physically, but same place on the internet. You’re going to find us 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern Time. Until then, bring it into the Facebook forum and let’s help each other be successful and win another day. Thanks a lot. Go make some money.

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