OEC Blog

Translating Shop Speak: Do Your Shops REALLY Like to Call You?

Translating Shop Speak: Do Your Shops REALLY Like to Call You?

When dealers use (and believe) this phrase to describe their IRF customer relationships, it can bring the most well-intended RepairLink promotion to a grinding halt.  It doesn’t have to, and to be honest, it shouldn’t.  In most cases, saying THEY like to call YOU is just a polite way for your customers to blow you off (and make you feel good about it). Here is what they are really telling you:

  • I genuinely like your staff, and value and appreciate their expertise
  • Please continue to work 150% harder than your competition for 15% of my business
  • I want to continue to use inferior parts with similar pricing, because it is easier and they deliver them sooner

There you have it — your shops truly do “like to call you”.  But the question you need to answer is:  When do they “like to call you”?

For the better part of 20 years, the aftermarket has not only gained a 90% market share by leveraging internet technology, they have also convinced your customers that you should be their last option. I don’t think that should be your role, and I hope you don’t either.

Something you can do TODAY

Identify a few key accounts and have what could potentially be difficult conversations.  I’m not sure if your customers will be as open with you as many are every day with the account reps here at OEC, but you should find it beneficial to have those chats with your customers. Half the battle, in all honesty, is just starting the conversation.  If you do it, you’ll be surprised by what you can learn.

Here are some key points to try to cover:

  • What percentage of their parts purchases are OEM vs. Aftermarket?
  • What is their workflow when a car comes in (i.e., how do they decide when to call you?)
  • What is their determining factor between ordering OEM vs. Aftermarket?

And then, the closer:

  • What area can you improve on in order to increase your share of their business? (This might be the most difficult question you’ll have to ask – but the answers you’ll hear will help you figure out how to start changing the game).

Having these types of conversations should provide some opportunities to remind customers of the value you can provide them with, or discover areas for growth and improvement:

  • Higher quality parts with very competitive pricing
  • Ability to compare pricing online
  • Online pricing incentives
  • “Hotshot” deliveries within an assigned range

If your shops truly “like to call you”, and you feel that you have developed these incredible relationships that require constant conversation – then these discussions should be very productive. You should be able to gain insight as to how they conduct their business, and (more importantly) how you can gain more of it.