Think about your biggest competition as an auto repair shop owner. It’s probably not another local shop – more than likely it’s the big shiny dealership with its glitzy showrooms and fancy amenities. How are you supposed to compete with that? Dealerships do a great job of marketing their services to consumers – the posh experience, the supposed specialized equipment and know-how, the genuine parts, etc. The good news is that when you come right down to it, most consumers aren’t in it for the fancy extras. They want quality repair work done at a fair price – and that’s where you come in. Here’s how you can start beating the dealerships at their own game today.

Start with Education

The best way to convince a customer that your independent auto shop is just as capable of servicing their vehicle as the dealership down the street? Teach them something they don’t already know. Dealerships bank on customers wanting peace of mind and the specialized knowledge they believe comes from working with a mechanic trained specifically on their brand of vehicle. You need to teach them that they can have the same peace of mind with your technicians – and they won’t get fleeced on price. Don’t be afraid to show your customer around the shop. Let them see the equipment you’ve invested in and the tools of your trade. Help them understand that your independent auto shop is up to date and ready to service the latest and greatest automotive technology. Which brings us to….

Invest in Technology

…technology. You have to invest in it – you just do. If you’re resistant to spending money on what you perceive as newfangled gimmicks, remember that the automobile itself was once little more than a curiosity. Now many people can’t imagine their lives without them. Consider getting tablets for your technicians so they can prepare polished and professional DVI reports. Set up a text messaging service to let customers know the status of their vehicle and even pay their invoice. Even just upgrading the computer your service advisor is using will help you speed up the customer checkout process and put your best foot forward every time.

Change the Conversation

The bottom line is this: every independent auto shop is fighting a stigma that they can’t service today’s high-tech vehicles. You know that’s a myth, but your customers don’t. For your next advertising campaign, consider showcasing how your independent auto shop has all the experience and knowledge necessary to service the latest model automobile. The minute that warranty expires, you want that vehicle in your shop. Getting it there requires beating the dealerships at their own game. They may have the fancy waiting room, but you have all the important parts of the auto repair experience – for a much better price. Now all you have to do is tell people about it.

Upgrade Your Credit Card Processing

One aspect to consider as you invest in technology to upgrade your independent auto shop is a payments integration with your shop management software. 360 Payments is integrated with a variety of leading software platforms, including Bolt On,, Protractor, Winworks, MaxxTraxx, ProfitBoost, and many more. Offer your customers the same streamlined checkout experience they’ve come to expect from the dealership while saving a bundle on your fees as well. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to help you get integrated.

PS – Here’s your quick primer on servicing autonomous vehicles.

PPS – Not using a digital vehicle inspection tool yet? Here’s why you should invest in one right away.