Why Is Your Shop's Price Higher?
It seems that in the auto repair industry, you can go to 10 different shops and get 10 different prices on the same repair.
Too often, from the consumer's point of view, a brake job at Shop A is the same as the one at Shop B. The customer doesn't perceive any difference in quality and value. And therein lies a problem. How do you educate customers so they will recognize there is a difference?
Occasionally, after getting our price quote, a customer will call around and shop our price to see if they are getting a fair deal. This usually leads to a conversation about why our shop is more expensive than "Shop B" for doing the same thing. When this happens, I try to explain to the customer that we use only high-quality parts, that each of our technicians is ASE certified, and that this results in a better quality repair that will last longer and provide more trouble-free use of their vehicle.
Many other industries don't face this same problem. My best example involves the furniture industry. While shopping for recliners recently, I found one at a big-box store that cost $500 and a similar recliner at La-Z-Boy for $2,700. I looked at the price differential as a difference in quality. La-Z-Boy tells you:
"All recliners are not created equal." I think most consumers realize this and view the higher-priced recliner as being of better quality.
Now let's go back to the customer who is in the shop for a brake job. Hypothetically, if Shop A quotes a brake repair at $150 and Shop B asks $400 for the same repair, for some reason many customers view the difference in price as simply a rip-off. They don't stop to think there may be a difference in quality.
Communicating this to a customer can be challenging. You can explain that there are differences in brake pad construction, rotor quality and thickness, and remind the customer of the benefit of using an ASE-certified technician. Other factors contribute to the overall value. While price can be an important factor in the customer's mind, value does not always relate solely to price. Convenience is also a key factor for many people when it comes to choosing a shop for repairs. So it doesn't hurt to remind a customer that your shop provides a free shuttle to work or home, rental cars, after-hours key drops and other amenities to make the repair process easier. That also shows value to a customer.
How you choose to differentiate your shop from your competition is up to you. But it would be good to research your competition to determine in what areas you excel and where you need to focus your energy and modify your approach.
I also encourage you to not focus solely on price when you get a price objection. While it is good practice to offer options regarding price (economy vs. premium pads and rotors), I urge you to resist lowering your prices to compete with the "discount" shops in your area.
If you can effectively communicate the value of your repair, you will get the sale. Additionally, you will have a happier and more loyal customer because they won't be coming back for re-repairs like they would be with lower-quality parts and labor.
What is your shop doing to set itself apart from the competition in regard to quality, value and price?
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