Last month, a 20-Group at Automotive Training Institute met in Linthicum, Md., to share ideas on developing a thriving service department or independent business:
1. Be In Front: Managers and shop owners have to stay in front of every aspect of the business – technology, a solid marketing plan, and strong staffing.
2. Rebranding Your Company: That’s an obvious one these days, but service operations have to invest their resources wisely in today’s climate.
3. Vendor Relationships: Some of the 20 group have been buying lunch for vendors and enhancing the relationships. Other suggestions were including them in team building and community events to strengthen the relationships.
4. Fuel Consumption Calculator: Some service centers are offering customers a spreadsheet called “Fuel Consumption Calculations” to help them change driving patterns as gas prices rise and customers ask about finding solutions.
5. Promotional Items: During these trying times, customers are enjoying receiving promotional items with no strings attached. One example given was a reusable grocery bag with the company logo and branding.