Auto Shop Coaching Blog

Give Yourself a Raise By Increasing Visit Frequency

Who is usually the lowest paid person in your auto repair shop? Most of the time, it is the shop owner. When we account for every hour you spend working at the shop open to close and then the time you put in after-hours on maintenance, book-keeping, marketing, and fill-in-the-blank, I often find that the shop owner is making less per hour than their lowest-paid automotive technician. And you don’t pay yourself overtime!

It’s time to figure out how to give yourself the raise you deserve. One way to get to that goal is to increase how often your customers visit your shop for repairs and maintenance services.

Here are three action steps you can take to get your visit frequency to where you need it to increase sales — and give yourself that raise.

Ideas to grow your businessNon-ATI Members: Still paying yourself last? Discover more strategies on how to give yourself a raise in ATI’s latest non-member webinar, Give Yourself a Raise — Without Raising Prices. Register here:

1. Exit Appointments

Take the model from your dentist. Before you are even out of the dentist’s chair, the technician often hands you a card with your next cleaning (aka, maintenance) appointment on it. Why not do this with your customers for their next oil change?

Just like the dentist, you will let them know that you will email/text/call with a reminder the week before in case they need to reschedule. It keeps you top of mind and a priority — and is great customer service.

2. Reconnecting Calls

If you haven’t seen a customer for over 6 months, it’s time to reach out to them via a telephone call. These calls help auto repair and services to be a priority for your customers and often result in an appointment set right there on the call! They also help you keep your records up to date with customers who may have moved or replaced their vehicles.

3. Time vs. Mileage

As an industry, we taught our customers about maintenance based on mileage. COVID had a dramatic impact on many of our customers by shifting the workforce to working from home. That means their automobile is sitting in a garage rather than getting them back and forth to work. It is taking longer to get to those mileages.

Your customers are used to hearing both time and mileage from you regarding your warranty (for example, 3 years or 36K miles parts and labor warranty). Why not do the same for your maintenance schedules? This is not a new concept; it’s time to build the value of having your customers’ vehicles serviced at regular time intervals.

Win-Win Results

Increasing the number of visits each vehicle makes to your shop not only leads to increased sales but higher levels of customer service as you improve the safety, reliability, and longevity of the vehicle. It’s a win-win for your shop and your customer. And — those increased sales should result in giving yourself, the shop owner, a raise!

At ATI, we help our members make great marketing decisions and build strong teams, both of which allow them to achieve their dreams. Want to learn more? Start by registering for a shop owner event at

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Charlene is an Executive Coach at ATI, a Certified Profit First Professional, a former shop owner, and has been coaching since 2014. Charlene helps clients find the right solutions to their challenges and encourages them to make the changes that result in having the life they dreamed about when they got into business ownership.