On Thursday, Aug. 22, the Kukui Corporation hosted a webinar for the automotive and collision repair industries entitled “Understanding Metrics That Drive Business to Your Shop.”
Kukui’s Jimmy Lea and Patrick Egan were joined by Stéphane Grabina, owner of Excluservice; Bryan Gossel, owner of BG Auto; Tekmetric CEO Sunil Patel; and Prasanth Chilukuri, co-founder of Tekmetric, as they explored the difference between data-informed and data-driven, discussing how to use these metrics to make business decisions.
Highlighting the features of Kukui’s system, Lea began, “This is an exciting topic. Successful shop owners run their business from data information, but there’s also a gut feeling that comes sometimes; the data says something could happen, but you know today isn’t the day. You need to be able to evaluate the data, and then make informed decisions.”
Patel explained how Tekmetric captures dollars presented to dollars approved in calculating closed ratio, and he also emphasized the importance of looking at average profit of repair order in addition to average repair orders. Grabina agreed, “Gross profit dollars per hour is very important.”
Gossel concurred that both KPIs must be monitored. “It’s an evolving, ever-changing thing. You have to watch it all, or you slip and crash,” he shared. “My salesmen and managers are in a text group, and at the end of each day, each one writes down all the percentages they’re working on and sends it. Once you write it down, that makes it real. Just looking at it and understanding what it means is vital to the business.”
Lea added, “That daily accountability makes it real, and if a red flag is raised,
[the shop owner and team]
can try to figure it out today.”
Opening a poll, Egan asked attending automotive and collision repair shop owners which metrics they share with their teams. Grabina noted, “We share data based on what’s going to affect that employee. For example, we’ll talk to the service writers about the close ratio. We talk to different people about different data because that’s what they can have an impact on.”
When Lea asked what a good lead conversion rate is, Gossel said his shop starts looking for problems if the conversion rate falls below 30 percent. Grabina agreed that 25 to 30 percent is a reasonable expectation for repair shops, but he added, “It depends on the source that the lead comes from: it may be an organic source like Google or an ad, or it could be a referral from a regular customer. I need to figure out where the lead came from and decide if this is an advertising source I want to pursue.”
Lea shared Gossel and Grabina’s dashboards, exploring and explaining various metrics, including revenue, car count, average repair order, leads to new customers and many more.
Gossel stressed, “The key is to know where everything is coming from. You have to determine which ad sources generate the most leads and customers. For missed leads, look at when it happened and why you missed the lead. If you don’t answer the phone, you’re flushing money down the toilet. Tracking your email conversion rate is also huge.”
Grabina evaluates his dashboard on a monthly basis, looking at total revenue and car count to figure out how to get to where he wants to be. He stressed the importance of the lead tab to identify his best ad sources as well as potential issues when conversions don’t happen. “We use this information to train our service advisors and provide them with performance feedback,” he said.
When Lea asked about the value in Tekmetric, Chilukuri explained, “It’s mostly about streamlining the effort [to track metrics]. We offer tools that allow automotive and collision repair shops to bring in a job that was previously declined and make it more efficient for service writers to sell that job in the future. We love to build things that users want to see. Shop owners follow the metrics they’re told to follow, but they should step back and think about what is important to their individual business.”
Chilukuri continued, “It’s easy to get inundated with all these metrics, but what you really need to do is tell your story. What are the core metrics that drive your business? To me, profitability is the bottom line, and Tekmetric tries to highlight everything related to profit, plus we enable users to adjust to volume shifts and use metrics based on current needs.”
Gossel and Grabina answered questions as the webinar concluded. Grabina emphasized the value of communicating with the vehicle owner: “Text them the inspection and then call them to go over it. Review the estimate with them and make recommendations. Walk them through the guided approval process. Customers appreciate seeing what’s going on and making the decision because they’re in control, and that’s empowering. It’s all about transparency.”