Auto Shop Coaching Blog

The Solution to Your Price Shopper Problem

“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou

I have a confession to make. I’m NOT handy around the house. If you Googled the phrase, “Do It Yourself,” you would NOT find my picture anywhere on the internet!

Fortunately, I have a handyman named “Harry” I can call. If I have a landscaping issue, I call Harry.

When the bathroom needs to be retiled, I call Harry. Guess what I do when there’s a plumbing issue? That’s right; I call Harry! He’s been my guy for the past twelve years!

There’s something else you need to know about my guy: He’s expensive! After speaking with a friend who hired a handyman for her home repairs, I made a surprising discovery

I can get it cheaper elsewhere. 

In twelve years, I’ve never felt the urge to shop around for a better price. Even with the knowledge that I can get it cheaper, I have no plans of changing.

Harry is someone I know, like, and trust.

ATI Fundamental #11 reminds us of the following fact: “We are all in the customer service business.” Because of his customer service, Harry owns the relationship.

Owning the relationship is the solution to your price shopper problem.

Do you own your relationships? If a large percentage of your patrons price shop you while their car is in your bays, the answer is NO!

I know what you’re thinking: “Nice try Twiggs, but you don’t get it! My customers only care about finding the lowest  price!” 

While I appreciate your “handy” response, you’ll be in a better position to own the relationship if you take human nature into consideration.

Ideas to grow your businessDo you own your customer relationships? Discover valuable, easy-to-implement tips and strategies in ATI’s shop owner events. Register today at

Human Nature

Imagine that you’re surfing Amazon looking for a book to read that can help you with your ATI Journey. You come across the following titles as options: The Four-Hour Work Week or “The 48-Month Process.”

The Four-Hour Work Week is priced at $17.99 while The 48-Month Process is ONLY $9.99. Which book would you pick?

I’ll bet you chose the more expensive choice, didn’t you? Why? Because its human nature to default to the easier solution. This explains why premium-priced programs promoting easy solutions tend to sell better than lower-priced alternatives.

This also explains why your technicians may stop performing courtesy checks, and your writers may stop exit scheduling even though they know they’re leaving money on the table.

It’s easier not to comply and, if left unsupervised, most will take the path of least resistance.

Now, let’s apply our knowledge of human nature to your customer.

We agree that its natural to default to the easier option. So why would your customer take the additional time to search for a lower-priced water pump, starter, or alternator, and then take the extra step of having their car towed to another shop?

It’s much easier for them to have you do the work! There are deeper issues at play if your patrons are consistently ignoring their desire for the easy path.

Addressing these root issues can position you to own the relationship!

Owning the Relationship

 There are four possible reasons you have so many price shoppers:

  1. They don’t know you!
  2. They don’t like you!
  3. They don’t trust you!
  4. Any combination of the previous reasons!

You own the relationship when the customer is confident of the fact that they know, like, and trust you.


The latest marketing research states that it takes between seven to nine marketing “touches” over a twelve-month timeframe for a business to be “top of mind” for a customer.

Making follow-up calls, sending out a newsletter, posting timely social media updates, and creating educational videos can cause your customer to feel like she knows you.


People like doing business with people who are active in improving the greater good.

Using your website, waiting room television, and social media pages to highlight your “Brakes for Breasts” promotion, along with your other community service activities, can increase your likeability.


Trust and integrity go and in hand. You demonstrate integrity by consistently doing what you say you will do, meeting your promised times, and fixing it right the first time.

When you consistently operate in integrity, trusted customers will leave you a review without you asking them to!

The combination of great testimonials and your consistent follow-through creates a circle of trust that will attract the right customers who will stick with you like Velcro!


So, there you have it. If you take these steps as outlined, you can own the customer relationship! 

If you need additional information on this topic, I’m your guy! If you need help with landscaping, I know someone who’s expensive but easy to work with!

At ATI, we focus on teaching and coaching shop owners on best practices to get the most out of your automotive repair business. Want to learn more? Find an ATI shop owner event near you.

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Eric, the Accountability Coach, is an Executive Coach at ATI and has coached since 2009. Eric came to ATI having managed over 60 different automotive repair facilities and having supervised over 500 employees at a given time. He loves seeing members progress beyond what they thought was possible and improve their shop to the point where they can leave for weeks at a time and come back to a business that's better than when they left.