Let’s talk about Repair Order Count!
Welcome everybody to Service Drive Revolution. Today, we are gonna talk about the impending doom of future repair order count dropping. We know that the repair order count is gonna drop over the next 12 to 24 months, but why? And what can you do to get ahead of it?
We are in a scenario where we can sort of scientifically predict that the repair order count is going to drop over the next 12 and 24 months. No doubt. Repair order counts are going to drop and let me explain why.
Whether you disagree with this or not, just keep an open mind because I would rather you be prepared and be wrong than not be prepared to be blindsided.
Let’s talk about why repair order counts will drop:
1) Gas Prices Being High
What happens is we’re going into our busier months with summer and typically during the summer, people will drive more because they’re going on trips or vacations.
They’re getting out because the weather’s good, people want to be out, they want to go visit family, they want to have more experiences… Whatever it is, people typically drive more.
They want to go to experiences, whatever it is, they typically drive more. But when gas prices are as high as they are, historically, people stay home and they don’t drive. For a lot of people that added expense is cutting into their fund budget.
If gas prices are high, traffic is going to be down.
People are not going to be driving as much, which means vehicles are less likely to break as much. They’re not gonna need as much maintenance.
2) People are working from home and they aren’t commuting
That’s having an effect on how many miles people are putting on cars. Morale is another thing, you come through COVID and people are isolated and the things that you hold dear are taken away.
Working remotely psychologically has an effect on everybody and society.
You come out of that and now you’re being bombarded with bad news with Ukraine and nuclear war, in a sense is conditioning everybody to want to stay home and play it safe.
People are glued to their TVs which makes ratings go up and so that means people are at home and they’re watching TV. People have less disposable income because we have stagflation. We have inflation going up and so interest rates are gonna go up.
People are their wages and it’s not increasing to the degree that prices are increasing.
They don’t have disposable income which means they’re gonna drive less and they’re gonna spend less on their vehicles.
They’re uncertain about the economy.
3) We have been selling less new vehicles into the marketplace
When everybody was panicking during COVID, I said over and over again, the work is there and it’s pent up. We’re experiencing that right now. But once we’re kind of through that, we’re going to experience the drop in new car sales on the service drive.
So there’s less new cars going into the market and even though we’re selling the cars for more…
They’re not as many going into the marketplace.
So when sales are lower, the repair order counts follow usually six to 12 months behind that. We have a lot of different things going on that are going to contribute to the drop in repair order count.
The real question is, “How do we fix it?”
1) When the RO count drops, your average per ticket should go up.
If we get good at selling alignments, tires, our inspections, systems, and our processes now, we will be okay when the repair order count drops because we’ll be making more per customer.
Some of these things that we’re gonna talk about are gonna help with with an increase in average per ticket
When a couple of these things happen, you wanna focus on your systems and your average per customer, before you focus on the repair order count,
-How good are your systems?
-What’s the outcome of your systems?
-Are you selling what needs to be sold?
-How’s your inspection?
-What’s the conversation on those?
All those things that increase our sales per ticket.
2) Start thinking now about valeting cars
We’re having clients having a ton of success with mobile service.
The key to mobile service is you believing in it, not whether it works or not. I’ve literally been in truck dealerships and say that it can work and it’s working incredibly well and ones that say that it can’t work and it’s not working.
Same thing with car dealerships in the sense like there’s a Honda store. Honda comes out with a bunch of recalls. They decide to start because they can’t handle the capacity of doing mobile service to do recalls and then they learn that customers love it and they can do a lot that way.
Just believing that it can work and not throwing the baby out with the bath water that makes it successful.
So keep that in mind.
3) Identify yourself as a Marketer
You wanna start understanding how to market social media, how to control a narrative and put a message out there that isn’t just buy three tires, get one free. But really how to tell a story and how to separate yourself in social media from everybody else.
I’m spending a ton of time on marketing because I know that that’s gonna be something that is really important in the future.
You want to start identifying yourself as a marketer and just because you haven’t had to up until now…
Doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good idea in the future.
If you are effective on social media, there’s no easier way to build a tribe of loyal customers than by being the leader of that tribe.
4) Batteries, tires, alignments, fuel system, and services that drive traffic
If you can’t explain the benefits of an alignment in a fuel system and what it does for fuel economy, like who’s not paying attention to ways to save gas.
All of your systems need to get better, like making an appointment, and the process of writeup pick up. This is gonna contribute to your retention and customers wanting to come back.
Every customer you touch today is an opportunity to make sure they come back in the future. You have home field advantage.
What are your systems doing?
Any excuse to get customers to come in and see your service department in a different light than just changes in spark plugs.
Connecting with them on a different level. Having guest speakers come in, art shows, or even wine tasting. There’s nothing better than getting them a little liquored up and then going for a test drive.
I’m joking. Do not do that. That’s not legal.
That was totally a joke, but having events and collaborating with other businesses in your market helps spread awareness.
Ending off our blog about repair order count:
In closing here too, there’s a lot of you out there that are gonna try to navigate this on your own and that’s okay, you don’t have to.
We have a community here and we have a lot of talented managers in our group, a lot of talented coaches and we have fresh ideas all the time that not only will work, but they’ll just inspire you that there’s new ways of doing things and you’re not alone.
Got a question? Call us at 1-833-3-ASK-SDR