Vehicle Rental and Repair: Industry of the Month

By: Andrea Lotz Thursday November 6, 2014 comments

Summary:

AllProWebTools solves the workflow and communication problems common to many of these small businesses. 

  • Shops which tend to have multiple repair projects ongoing
  • Stores which sell, rent, and repair items, and which repair only
  • Most have customers bring vehicle to the shop and leave it there

By upgrading their tasking and customer communication strategy, small vehicle repair shops can improve efficiency and meet the needs of more new customers.  They also increase their ability to attract new customers by improving their website and marketing capabilities.

Integrating all these functions into one software solution can save them a lot of energy, and give them access to unique, time-saving tools.

Includes:

  • Auto Restoration and Custom Auto Painting
  • Windshields and Glass
  • Mechanics, Auto Body and Repair Shops
  • Auto Detailing and Car Cleaners
  • ATV, Off-Roading, and RV Repair, Rental, Sales, and Parts
  • Boat Repair and Rental
  • Flagging Companies

Recommended Tools:

Workflow Timeline

The Workflow Timeline gives owners, managers, and employees access to a live feed of important business updates. 

  • Stay connected and in-the-loop without progress reports.
  • All users can easily track the status of repair projects, new orders, and timecard notes.
  • All the tools below post to the Workflow Timeline, making it a powerful tool for small business owners.

Customer Service

Customer satisfaction is critical for small repair companies.  Using Customer Relationship Management tools (CRM) helps keep customers happy and draws in new leads.

  • Status Tracking for Customers: Customers can receive automatic emails giving them updates about the status of repair work. This means that customers no longer need to call the shop for updates.
  • Client Notes: Internal client notes post automatically to the Workflow Timeline, so everyone has the most current information. The team can work together to complete the project as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Customer Database: Keep the contact information of all past customers, current customers, leads, affiliates, and more in one database, which is integrated with the sales pipeline.

Productivity

In a shop with many different repair projects going on at once, information equals productivity.  Making use of AllProWebTools’ timecard and tasking tools, both of which post to the Workflow Timeline, makes it much easier to track progress on various projects.  All employees can scroll through the timeline to see what work has already been completed, and what’s next.

  • Timecards: Workers clock in to specific projects, and clock out each time they switch tasks. For companies who bill by the hour, this provides accurate to the minute data for the invoice. 
  • Pay in Advance: Companies can also charge a retainer and have employees clock in to drain from that retainer.
  • Tasking: Managers and workers can assign each other tasks with various priority levels. Tasks can be shared among several employees, and tasks can be set to recur on any schedule.  It’s perfect for setting a to-do list for each project. 
  • Updated tasks post to the Workflow Timeline, so all employees can track progress.

Website

These companies often don’t sell products online, but having a web presence is a great way to acquire leads, provide information to potential customers, and give current customers a place to recommend the company’s services.  Some businesses could benefit from selling parts, equipment, and consultations online.  Rental businesses may benefit from customers renting equipment online.

  • Online Scheduling: Clients can make their own appointments online without picking up the phone. This is perfect for companies that spend a lot of time playing phone tag.  Rental companies can schedule rentals online.
  • Video Testimonials: Let satisfied customers speak for themselves with engaging testimonials, including before-and-after footage.

Marketing

Many get new business from word of mouth and the phone book, but a more proactive strategy could yield more dramatic results.  Tapping into the resource of past customers can give an edge to small businesses that do outstanding work.

  • Automated Email Marketing: Find out how many website visits, leads, and appointments result from each individual email campaign, to make it clear what’s working and what isn’t.
    • Send past customers automated emails at set times after a job is completed to offer upsells and maintenance offers, or to request a testimonial.
    • Shops can proactively seek out maintenance work by reminding customers of periodic maintenance needs.
    • Offer special deals or send newsletters
  • Opt-In Lead Box: Offer emailed special offers or maintenance tips from a lead box on the website. Send new customer notifications as a text directly to the owner or manager, to keep up with leads on the go.
Andrea Lotz

About the Author: Andrea Lotz

Andrea is the resident writer for AllProWebTools. She loves to write about just about anything, especially small businesses, sustainability, and whatever is new and upcoming on the horizon.  She lives in Fort Collins and spends her free time cycling, welding, cooking, and playing ukulele. 

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