In my last article I talked about using Google AdWords and Bing Ads pay-per-click to drive customers to your website. One of the biggest complaints I get about Internet leads: Customers not having the money to fix their car.
A recent “call shops as a customer” study found:
– Around 65% of transmission shops are quoting at least a ballpark price for rebuilds on the phone.
– Around 80% of general repair shops are quoting ballpark prices for a reman or used unit installation.
– Around 40% of transmission repair shops offer no form of financing options.
The price range for a transmission rebuild or replacement is not a mystery to the Internet shopper. There are websites that give approximate cost information for used, rebuild and reman pricing online. Simply search “transmission repair cost” for an example. $1,800 to $3,500 is what shows up immediately.
An estimated 60K-80K visitors or more in the U.S. see this pricing on a monthly basis, based on search engine estimates. So the Internet shopper already knows, before they call around, what it is going to take to fix or replace a transmission.
When a customer knows up-front they cannot afford repairs using cash or a credit card, and you do not offer financing options on that initial phone call or on your website, they more than likely are going to keep shopping until they find someone who does. A customer without cash or available credit is going to consider used transmissions options or trade-ins if there are no transmission shops available to finance them.
Consider a $2,400 transmission repair: That amount can be tough for many to come up with (cash or available credit). They may call you, they may even set an appointment, but they may not show up for that appointment if a competitor offers financing.
In 2015 there are multiple options for financing, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. In our 2015 Marketing Survey that went out in January, we asked you who you were using for financing. These are the main financing companies used by transmission repair shops today in 2015:
– Synchrony Financial/CarCareOne
– Globalcheck / ARC90
– Secure Payment Systems
– Local Title Loan
Any financing program will have its various approval rates and details–but by having at least one or two financing options to mention on the initial phone call will result in more appointment show-ups and more completed vehicles.
As a manager, you should be familiar with the financing options, mention them to every customer, and make it as easy as possible for customers to get financed. If a customer mentions money troubles, you should get them processed and approved right away-before that customer starts thinking about other options.
The bottom line: Financing can help solve our customer’s wants and your wants at the same time. Having the right financing program for your customer type can make a big difference on YOUR bottom line!