Mar 052012

Repair shops and many other businesses often use gifts and deals to get first-time customers in their doors – and if you aren’t, you should start. Things like discounts and freebies – a free car wash or a free oil change – pull customers in and give you a chance to connect with them.

Remember that first date mentality? People love gifts, especially on first dates, but many shops see freebies solely as ways to up-sell other, more expensive services to customers. Move away from this kind of thinking. You’ll be much more successful if you think of gifts as ways to start and build relationships with customers.

That Special Something

“Customers forget many things,” says Gerry Frank and Keith McCrone, co-owners of Automotive Profit Pro. “They’ll typically forget a mistake made here or there, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” Frank and McCrone help auto repair shops become and stay profitable and successful. They advise that if you can make customers feel special, make them feel like they aren’t just another customer, you’ll be on your way to building a relationship with them. And people buy from people they like. Strive to get people to like you rather than sell them services and you’ll see your shop grow more and more successful every year.

Obviously not every customer interaction can or should involve gifts, but you still need to work hard to foster customer relationships with every interaction. Think about a stylist at a hair salon. Clients are often so devoted to one stylist that they will follow her across town if she moves shop because they’ve developed such strong relationships. How does this happen? The stylist makes her clients feel good by making them look good and she usually gets to know them personally.

Ask yourself these questions to see how well you’re developing relationships with your clients:

· Do you use every chance you get to remember and use the customer’s name?

· Do you offer free gifts or deep discounts to all customers, not just a select few?

· Do you follow up with customers, either with a phone call or Thank You card? This is a perfect time to get feedback or fix any mix ups to make your customer feel special.

· Do you listen and remember your customers? If they talk about their upcoming wedding during one visit, do you remember to ask them about it later? Keep notes!

· Do you know your customers?

Building Trust

It takes time and hard work to build any kind of relationship. Get to know your customers and give them stuff every now and then. Use monthly activities, holidays, and contests as opportunities to grow and have fun with them. Once you see that you’re in the relationship building business, you’ll see more referrals and more customers.

Feb 242012

Having a successful auto repair shop doesn’t mean sinking a ton of money into marketing and advertising efforts. Rather, employ methods that attract the right customer, which is the repeat customer.

If you own an auto repair shop then you probably have one goal in mind – to pack it with cars and customers. To accomplish this you have likely sunk a lot of money into various marketing strategies, yet nothing seems to work. Possibly customers have responded to some of your efforts, such as offering a free or low-cost oil change, but they never came back for anything else. So they’ve taken your oil for virtually no money and another auto repair shop or auto technician got the big business of installing new brakes, new belts or repairing the alternator.

It is likely that the poor results you received from your past marketing efforts have made you think that there is no strategy that is going to work. Countless direct marketing and advertising mailers, flyers, postcards and emails have gone out to thousands of people and for the most part the only return you received were a few people showing up in your auto repair shop for an oil change. Why keep trying?

The Right Customer

Marketing does work, however, you need to employ the right strategy to reach the right customers. Many of the marketing and advertising strategies that most auto repair shops use bring in ‘bottom feeders’ customers. These customers are impossible to up-sell to, which means that your shop and your technicians are busy providing services to customers who have no intention of spending any additional money on their car in your shop.

“Sending out emails, flyers, post cards and letters is a common way to market for auto repair shops. It’s somewhat simple, low-cost and it doesn’t take up a whole bunch of time,” explains Ron Ipach, owner of CinRon Marketing. “However, the way this method is usually executed – by using a mailing list that includes any and every one in your area – often renders it ineffective.” Targeting the wrong customer, which makes it impossible for you to grow your auto repair shop into the large business you are dreaming it will eventually become.

Top Feeders

Spending all of your energy going after new customers is futile and will not fill your auto repair shop with cars. Have you ever noticed how many customers are coming into your shop as a result of your direct mail campaign? Most likely the few that do show up will take advantage of whatever special you are offering and then you will likely never see them again.

Ipach, who has helped over 5000 auto repair shops turn their struggling business around, recommends focusing on the customers that have actually already spent their money in your garage. “The ability to resell to your existing and past customers is what will make your auto repair shop shine,” says Ipach. Those customers that know you, like you and were pleased with your service are the ones that will lead you to success.

“When you do market to your current customers, you are going to see a much higher response to your advertising,” Ipach explains. An example that Ipach uses with his auto repair clients is the following: A group or marriage coupon mailing can cost you around $500 for each advertisement. If a $500 ad brings in 10 new customers, then each customer cost $50. Throw out the three bottom-feeders and seven new customers now cost $71.43 each. You can see how expensive it is to bring in a new customer. You have to make that money back somewhere so in essence, you subtract that $71.43 from their invoice and there goes all your profit.

However, Ipach warns that bringing in 10 new customers with a mailer is ambitious. More likely, you will draw two or three people into your shop, so your costs are double and triple that $71.43.

Focus on the customers that have already been in your auto repair shop before spending your time and money on new people.

Beth James

Dec 152011

Accessorizing a purse, your home, car or practically anything is a trait almost everyone gravitates towards. Whether it’s going over-the-top with Christmas decorations atop the roof, outfitting pets with useful (or useless) hats, mittens or uniformed sweaters – it’s the act of doing it that gets us all jazzed up.
More often than not, accessories can be trivial at best. As for the small percentage of accessories that have meaning, it’s improving any possession for the better.
Take vehicle window tinting for example. It’s not just for presidential motorcades anymore. From housewives in Orange County to young socialites in Kansas City, car window tinting is gaining steam. And it’s not just because it looks cool.
Tinting one’s windows on their car is great because it assists driver visibility, protects the interior and just generally sends out a professional vibe, aesthetically speaking.
Let’s look at the visibility benefit, first. It seems no matter how well you try to clean car windows, there’s still that sense of smearing that seems to pop up at the worst time. It’s magnified even more with sun glare pouring in from nearly every angle. Top that off with a hectic and busy commute, and the annoyance factor is cranked up to 11.
With the exception of the front window, you can tint nearly every other window to low, medium or heavy shades to help reduce the glare and make the overall drive that much safer for you and everyone around.
Secondly, car window tints are great protecting the longevity of your interior dashboard and seat fabrics. For drivers who routinely park their car outdoors, the sun’s UV rays will slowly chip away at your car’s interior furnishings, whether it’s fading the dashboard, scarring or tearing leather seating and so forth. Now, granted, this doesn’t happen overnight, but rather over many years.
You can avoid the cosmetic fracturing of your car’s interior via tinted windows because no matter how you slice it, less UV intake means better looking fixtures.
And that’s just the half of it.
Because, as far as accessories go, window tints can give your car that extra pizazz while throwing a protective blanket on the inside at the same time.

Dec 152011

to check the safety record, which will determine the amount of car insurance you need to pay. Check the safety rating of the car online and opt for one that has a higher safety rating. In addition, look for all the possible discounts when you shop for used car insurance. Insurance companies favor drivers with a good driving record so if you do fall in that category with the minimum number of tickets or accident claims you are eligible for a discount. If you are a member of a large association you may be entitled to car insurance discounts as part of your membership benefits. Another area where you can save on car insurance is low mileage discounts. Drivers who clock less than 15,000 miles a year can reduce their insurance bill significantly. In addition, installing safety and anti-theft devices have the potential to reduce your bill further. Just make sure you do a bit of comparison shopping and obtain the best possible quotes from leading insurance providers in your area.

For more information about car insurance requirements, take expert help from auto insurance brokers and get the cheap car insurance for your vehicle.

Nov 172011

There’s plenty of ways to showcase an automobile. From good looks to brawny engines, owning a luxury auto can open your mind when car shopping. One prime example is the behemoth known as the Maserati.

Drivers looking to get confident with their auto can discover it within a Maserati. Maserati vehicles can help fill the void of mundane car searches while giving you and your passengers a thrilling, comfortable ride from beginning to end. Below are just a few highlights with the Maserati brand:

Pretty in Pink or Any Color: How can I describe the Maserati design? Amazing in every sense of the word. Whether it’s the GranTurismo or Quattroporte model, you’ll be reassured to find that the amazing levels of design, comfort and feel are nearly unmatched. There’s a lot to love, from nestled bucket seats, comfy leg room for you and the passenger, exquisite interior designs and on and on. Whether it’s trips to the gas station or some local tire store in Kansas City, the drive itself is an experience for onlookers around you.

Commanding Engines: Aside from the cosmetics, most drivers want the engine muscle between their fingertips. You’ll be happy to know you’ve hit the jackpot with this phase and much more. Both Maserati models’ engines can churn up to 400-405 horsepower, more than enough gusto as you drive up and down the highways and byways. Throw in a slick and domineering V8 engine, and well, what’s not to love in this luxury auto?

I could go on and on about why luxury automobiles like the Maserati are exciting, but it’s best to just give you a sampling, like the two above. Whether it’s the fact of only slightly worrying about brake services and other minor auto maintenance issues on down to the nameplate alone, settling on a Maserati, or any luxury auto for that matter, is an decision worth moving towards. Just open your eyes, your mind, and eventually your wallet, and let the satisfaction flow over you.

Oct 202011

A transponder bypass (immobilizer bypass, bypass kit, databus bypass) is a pretty simple idea. Some different techniques are involved, depending on whose product you are using, but the idea is the same. Put a working, programmed transponder key in the vehicle, and you can use an auto starter for example.

The problem of course is that you render that wonderful transponder protected ignition redundant. You now have nothing better than a plain ignition switch protecting your car. In many cases, these ignitions can be picked or bypassed in a matter of moments by a pro.

You better have them wire up your cutoff switch to the auto starter, because without fuel the starter is kinda pointless.

I know of vehicles that have been stolen right from peoples parking lots and driveways while the eat dinner. Being near to your car is no guarantee of security.

One guy I met had his truck stolen while he was in a coffee shop. When he called the insurance company, they asked him if he had an auto starter. They couldn’t NOT pay him, because the thieves still had to pick the lock, because he took his keys with him. Still, it shows you just how fast you can lose a vehicle.

[pic: 1-mercedes ak500]

Keyless entry system

A keyless entry system for an automotive vehicle permits a plurality of operation to be achieved from outside the vehicle by one who is knowledgeable of predetermined digital codes. Functions such as unlocking the door of the vehicle, opening the rear deck lid, opening the rear deck lid, opening a roof window, lowering the windows or programming the system with a user preferred digital access code are all performed by proper sequential operation of a digital keyboard mounted on the outside of the vehicle.

How to get pin code?

Then when the car owner forgets pin code, how to get it when they lose their car key and want to make a new key? I am here to offer two kinds of solutions; one solution is to ask the 4S for car immobilizer pin code, since as I know most car’s IMMO PIN CODE cannot be calculated by a pin code reader. Another solution is to buy a pin code reader.

[pic:pin code reader for chrysler]

You may want to know some pin code reader:

Renault PIN Code reading Key programming

PIN CODE READER for Chrysler

Schedule Feature Key Synchronization

You can use your Management Server to schedule a Feature Key synchronization for one or more of your managed devices.

In the Scheduled Tasks section:

1. Click Schedule Feature Key Synchronization.
The Synchronize Feature Keys wizard starts.

2. Read the Welcome message and click Next.
The Select the devices page appears.

3. Select the check box for each managed Firebox or XTM device with a feature key that you want to synchronize. Click Next.
The Select the Time and Date page appears.

[pic: synchronize feature keys]

4. To synchronize feature keys immediately, select Synchronize Feature Keys immediately.

To schedule the feature keys to synchronize at a future time, select Schedule feature keys sync.

5. If you selected Schedule feature keys sync, select the date from the Date drop-down list, and set the time in the Time text box.

6. Click Next.
The Schedule the Feature Keys Synchronization page appears.

7. Click Next.
The Synchronize Feature Keys Wizard is complete page appears.

8. Click Close to finish the wizard.
The feature keys are synchronized if you selected Synchronize Feature Keys immediately, or scheduled if you selected Schedule feature keys sync. The number of scheduled tasks appears in the Scheduled Tasks section.

[pic: schedule tasks]

You may want to know which car key programmer support synchronization:

Oct 132011

As a repair technician who mainly fix GM car like: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC and Pontiac, I guess questions may come to you asking: How to clear the service engine light on a GM car with a scan tool? And how to program a GM car model with a specific tool?

For these quetions, I think you will agree with my suggestion to use GM tech2 to read & erase the trouble codes; TIS2000 dongle hardware key to work with GM tech2 and realize the function of programming; and get an additional card to support programming the other cars models beside GM, like OPEL,SAAB,ISUZU,SUZUKI.

GM tech2 for turning off check engine light
As a specialized test tool that most GM technicians will choose for GM vehicles.It contains the Vetronix Tech 2 with Authentic GM software. And supply an on-board diagnosis on all GM systems from 1992 to 2010.
You can learn more details at:

TIS2000 and dongle key support programming
You need an TIS2000 to support programming GM cars normally from 1992 to 2007.

Additional 32MB card for OPEL, SAAB, ISUZU, and SUZUKI supply two kinds of 32 GM card. One 32 GM card used for SABA, OPEL, GM and ISUZU, and another 32MB card used for GM,OPEL,SAAB,ISUZU,SUZUKI.The cards work together with tech 2. 32MB card for GM tech 2 includes a 32MB PC Card loaded with the latest release GM Software.
You can choose one software to be loaded to this card.

Oct 132011

We see so many personalised number plates these days, point them out to our family and friends, maybe even wish to have one ourselves to make our cars have as much personality as other driver’s. But just what makes these appealing accessories so popular not only on the roads but in our hearts?
Registration number plates were granted the title as ‘cherished’ when such plates were being produced to display people’s names, nicknames, children, pets, businesses, and much more which hold personal sentimental value to its owner and driver. This of course attracted a wide audience due to the plates creating such a vibrant and quirky way to dress up your vehicle in a way which suits you as an individual. Whether it’s an investment for you, a partner, a family member or a friend, it sure is proven to be a brilliant present. Personalised number plates having a home on luxury cars are a thing of the past, and many more people, despite what car they have, love these little cherishments.
So, if you’re thinking of purchasing the perfect plate, what do you need to know? Firstly, it’s good to be creative by choosing a word that describes your personality or something all your friends can relate to you. Such bubbly women have been known to boast ‘B1MBO’ to show off their daring and ditzy trait. If you’d much prefer to stick with the simpler, yet no less compelling and highly desirable name plate, go for it! Show who is boss of the vehicle and allow everyone to know just who they’re sharing the road with. Also, name plates are increasing in popularity rapidly so when you’re done with it or feel the need to buy yet another that you prefer, selling it will bring you the high money.
What’s the best way to go about buying one of these unique dealies you ask? Cherished number plate companies all over the country try their best to serve their customers in the most easiest and convenient way possible to you. This is by providing you with a car registration number plate search engine. Just by typing in your name, initials or whatever desired plate you want most; you can check its availability and price in seconds.
However, price varies according to the company and the appeal of the plate. If you think you’re not the only one that would want this name or word, it is bound to be pricier. This includes well known names and common English words such as ‘MAD’, ‘BOSS’, etc.
Cherished number plate dealers
empower this by giving fair prices to plates based upon their desirability and availability. If you would like a short and snappy slogan, it is likely that you will be spending more money. However, if your plate is longer with a combination of letters and numbers, it will be relatively cheaper.
Treat yourself to one of these amazing accessories, get out there on the road and cherish your gift as much as it deserves to be.

Oct 132011

Releasing money off your car loan to repay other debts

Are you behind on your credit card payments and your auto loan? Auto loan is a secured loan and inability to repay the loan on time can lead to a forced repossession of your second-most pricey possession, your car. In order to avoid being subject to such a harassment, you can go for refinancing your auto loan which is almost similar to credit card debt consolidation where you take out another loan with favorable interest rate and use the proceeds in paying off your previous debts. However, before consolidating your unsecured credit card debts, you must ask yourself “Should I consolidate my debt?” and similarly before refinancing your auto loan, you need to determine whether or not this is the best way to release money off your auto loan and use it in repaying all your remaining debt obligations.

How to determine whether you’re a good candidate for auto loan refinancing

Thanks to the low interest rates that are prevalent within the market today, if you’ve bought a car few years ago, you could potentially find a new auto loan at a considerably lower rate than what you were paying before. Here are 3 things to take into account before deciding whether or not refinancing is the best option for you.

* Is your present interest rate appreciably higher than what you’re getting now?

During the 4th quarter of 2009, a 48 month auto loan lent by an auto loan financing company averaged at 7.05% but today the average rate that you may get on a 36 month auto loan is 5.54% and 4.90% on a 48 month loan. Most borrowers are not even aware of the impact of the interest rates on their monthly payments and this is why they end up taking wrong decisions while refinancing their auto loan. Ensure that the interest rate that you’re getting will actually enable you to save money in the long run, even though you repay the loan throughout a longer repayment term.

* Did your credit score improve?

Did you even know that you could save even more and release more money off your car loan if you could show a good credit score to your auto loan lender? With any loan, whether mortgage or auto loan, you always need a good quality score in order to qualify for a refinance loan. According to FICO, an auto loan borrower may need a credit score near 720 in order to get access to the best auto loan rates. If you take out a 36 month loan of $25,000 at an interest rate of 4.78%, your monthly payment would be $748 while you may require paying $830 on the same loan if you take it out with a FICO score ranging between 620 and 659 and you would be subject to a sturdy rate of 11%.

* Is your current auto loan a lengthy one?

Most financial analysts ask people with a lengthy auto loan to research before taking the plunge into the auto loan refinancing bandwagon. Most people overlook the interest rates when they get tempted by the reduction of the monthly payments through the new auto loan. They have no idea about how much of their monthly payment is towards the interest rate of the loan. The longer the term of the loan, the more is the interest rate that you’ll fork over to the lender until the loan is paid off entirely. Thus, refinancing into an auto loan with a lower interest rate will help you release more money in the form of interest rates though you may have to pay more as monthly payments.

So are you ready to get started? Take an informed decision while refinancing your auto loan so that you can release most of your bucks off this loan and use it in paying off your credit card debts. If you consider credit card consolidation, don’t forget to ask yourself “Should I consolidate my debt” before selecting the option as a wrong decision may push you further into the debt hole.

Sep 292011

Tire Pressure Monitoring System Tips
By: Drew Dawson, TireSource
You might not know it, but your vehicle is most likely equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This system allows you to know if, and when, your tires are under-inflated. A simple warning light alerts the driver of an issue.
Thanks to the TREAD Act, the U.S. requires certain vehicles, excluding tow trucks, step vans, and heavy-duty trucks, to be equipped with a TPMS alerting the driver when tire pressure gets low. Even with this law, many drivers cannot recognize the warning signs coming from their TPMS.
The importance of proper tire pressure
The correct level of tire pressure is a key component in getting from one place to another. Over 200,000 accidents occur annually across the United States due to insufficient tire pressure. Here are some interesting facts about the importance of tire inflation:
• About 75% of roadside flats are started by a slow leak or under inflation
• Americans could reduce fuel consumption by 10% and save a collective $2 billion a year if tires are kept properly inflated
• Using TPMS in the correct fashion could prevent an estimated 10,365 injuries and 79 deaths each year in the United States
How does TPMS help me?
TPMS is designed to provide drivers with correct tire pressure alerts and information needed to expand fuel efficiency, tire life, stability and handling, as well as lessen the need for tire maintenance. TPMS also decreases the risk of hydroplaning and regular tire wear-and-tear.
It is important to know exactly what your TPMS icon looks like on your dashboard, as a recent survey discovered that one in three drivers couldn’t identify a TPMS icon. All drivers should be educated about these warning lights to prevent hazardous situations.

This is the standard icon for the low-tire pressure warning indicator

This is the standard icon for the TPMS failure indicator
If you see a warning light like the ones shown above, know that something isn’t quite right and seek help. 44% of drivers admit they don’t pay attention to their car’s tire pressure, proving TPMS warning lights are critical for safety. If these lights appear, call your tire & automotive service professionals immediately.
Most issues with your TPMS aren’t expensive to fix and all work can be completed in a short visit. The most important step is to have the tire inspected by a tire professional. We’ve found the cause of a warning light can be fixed with a new TPMS valve service kit, installing a new battery in the sensor, reprogramming the TPMS system, or most commonly, a flat repair on the tire.
We encourage all drivers to leave tire safety issues to professionals. Many accidents and injuries can be avoided by paying attention to your dashboard’s TPMS warning lights – and trusting your vehicle(s) maintenance and repair needs to true professionals.
Each of our auto repair shop locations has the ability to check the status of your TPMS and if needed, add additional air to a low tire. Visit us for all your TPMS needs!