I read a daily blog for Entrepreneurs called the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur Blog. Thursday's post was about increasing revenue, and I think that most of the suggestions can be applied to collision repair shops as well. Here are some of the ideas:
- Hand-written notes asking for referrals - Write a note to your customers after repairing their vehicle thanking them for their business. Tell them that you would appreciate their referral to a friend or family member. If their friend or family member brings in that note, they will get a discount on their repair.
- The non-pushy upsell - When a customer comes in for an estimate, or you get a referral from an insurance company, give the customer an "upgrade card" that they can use when they are getting their vehicle repaired. The "upgrade" can be a discount off another service that you offer such as detailing or striping. This will help increase your average transaction amount.
- Get "stealthy" referrals - This one is simple - put "We love referrals" on every invoice you give your customers and in every correspondence (add to your e-mail signature, perhaps?). Your satisfied customers are your best source of word-of-mouth advertising.
- An amazing way to get competitors calls - Go through the yellow pages and call on your competitor's ads. Call your local phone company and have all of the disconnected numbers from shops that have closed around you assigned to ring to your number. That will get you some calls. (Great idea, but you may want to check the legality of this one before you do it) If you do this, let me know if it worked for you.
I liked these ideas because they are all low cost and can be implemented immediately.
Good luck and let me know how this impacted your business.