Risk factors

By Andy Fiffick, Chairman and CEO MACS Worldwide, Owner Rad-Air Complete Car Care

I am always asking myself why new customers would want to do business at our establishment. I try to put myself in their shoes and step back and view our advertising, our place of business and our overall image and presentation to the public. I am continually asking myself what are the risk factors for a new customer doing business with our shop instead of a new car dealership or another automotive repair shop
Prospective new clients make these decisions – consciously or subconsciously – each and every time they decide where to get their vehicles serviced and repaired, or for that matter where to spend their hard earned dollars on anything at all.

We as independent shop owners must single out ways to reduce the risk for new clients doing business with us. Review everything and ask yourself some tough questions.
Is your warranty as good or better than your competition? Are the parts you install as good or better than the shop right down the street? Is your place of business as professional-looking, and are your employees trained properly for the services you provide?

The list can go on and on; however, I believe that the general public doesn’t know how good you and your place of business are until they experience it first hand. Therefore, they judge you against all other places without the benefit of knowing you and your staff—and in most cases they will choose the other shop or dealership because they perceive less risk than in doing business with you. Even though I believe that we offer far better and personalized service, the general public just doesn’t see it that way until they know better.
As an industry we must find ways to lower the risk factors for our new clients so they feel comfortable coming to your shop and experiencing your services firsthand. Think of ways to have them meet you and or experience your services before they have to commit to a purchase. Can you hold a car wash for the local scouts in your parking lot? Can you give away free oil changes to new homeowners in your neighborhood? Can you donate some free time to the community by servicing vehicles for a church group or non-profit organization? Are there other ways to let the community know what a good place of business you have? Sure there are, and you can and will reap big rewards if you show the community what a good person you are and what kind of shop you run.

You can also lower one (perceived) risk factor if your place of business looks clean and reputable. If your shop is dull, dirty and dungy, your prospective customer will drive right past your shop to your competitor who looks the part. The same thing goes for your staff; nobody wants their car repaired by somebody who looks and acts like a deadbeat.
Customers want their technician to look and act professional, and the shop to be neat and clean. We as business people must give the customer what they want. Does your shop need a dress code and operating policy for your staff?

Another risk factor can be eliminated by advertising for the right customer. Review your advertising and judge it against your competitors. Is it just as professional looking as other advertisers in your area or does it say that you are second rate? Update your advertising to make it believable and accurate. Make the offers fair and believable. Remember that on average, most clients don’t want the lowest price—they want the best service. Make a fair offer and service the heck out of them. They will return.

If you lower the risk factors in doing business with your establishment you can and will grow your customer base. It doesn’t require a lot of funds or effort to start the process. Don’t be second rate to any other shop and lower your risk factors today.

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at macsworldwide@macsw.org or visit http://bit.ly/cf7az8 to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit http://bit.ly/9FxwTh to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues. www.macsw.org
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