Auto Shop Coaching Blog

How To Reach Your Repair Order Goal By Winning Over Customers

The most common complaint I hear from auto repair shop owners is “I need more cars to hit my sales goal” – and most of the time that is not the problem. They have plenty of repair orders billing out every week, but when your average repair order is low, it takes a lot of cars to get where you want to be. If you aren’t turning first-time customers into returning customers that also has a huge impact – it takes time to build rapport and trust. If we can knock their socks off on that first date, chances are they will come back for a second date!

If you feel like your shop is stuck in a rut, you aren’t alone. But with some focused effort, the cars already coming in your door are all you need to reach your repair order goals. Focus on two things – knowing what you want and winning customers over so they see the value of saying yes! to your recommendations. Start with these steps:

1. Know Your Stats

In order to track improvement, you need to know where you are today. I recommend tracking average repair order (ARO), parts margin, labor margin, and car count to start.

Ideas to grow your businessNon-ATI Members: Discover more valuable tips and strategies for how to set and reach your goals, increase your bottom-line, and grow your business. Register for a webinar at

2. Set a Goal

This might be obvious, but you can’t hit a target if you don’t know what it is. If you start with step 1, you can start setting achievable goals.

3. Identify the Weak Spots in Your Sales and Customer Service Processes

The top shops are not at the top because they fix cars right – they are the top shops because they create a WOW experience for their customers. How do they do that?

  1. They sell based on value and benefits, not price. Take the time to explain to your customer how the recommended service or repair will extend the longevity, reliability, and/or safety of their vehicle. Be sure to mention your warranty and anything else that builds value into the service.
  2. They provide convenient solutions. The easier you make it for customers to do business, the more likely they are to pick you and keep coming back. A night drop box, shuttle service, and contactless drop-off and pick-up services meet those needs.
  3. They have happy employees. If your employees are engaged and like working for you, that comes across in better treatment of customers and a positive customer experience overall.

Non-ATI Members: Are you ready to make more money, have more freedom, and build a team of automotive technicians and service advisors that can wow your customers? Register for an 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.