Delta Kits strives to provide its clients with the best answers to the myriad of questions we receive each day. One question we get quite often asks how business new to the windshield repair industry should go after customers. They’ve usually heard about fleet work and know that insurance companies sometimes pay for repairs. So which is “best?”
While there is no wrong way to develop your business (assuming it results in work!), there are different things to consider that will help your business run efficiently.
If you are focused on fleet work you need to consider time and volume. A fleet manager is going to require that you work on the vehicles when they are not being driven. This usually means working evenings or weekends. If the fleet is large enough in size, you may have multiple repairs to complete in one shift. Consider having multiple bridges and curing lamps so you can complete multiple repairs at the same time. Doing so will increase efficiency and increase your hourly profit margin.
Marketing to the fleet manager is also a bit different than marketing to the general public. It may take some time and multiple sales calls to secure a fleet account. Once the account is secured don’t forget to keep in regular contact to make sure your new client is happy with the service. Additionally, a fleet account may want to pay on a monthly basis so be prepared to wait for up to 30 days to receive payment.
A good accounting system will allow you to monitor your account to ensure you get paid on time. (This is also true for insurance billing.)
On the other hand, the general public is more likely to reach out to you after being referred, seeing your service listed on the internet (check out WindshieldReferral.com – hint, hint), seeing an advertisement, or seeing you in action. That being said, make sure you are visible to your customers. Signage for your vehicle and/or shop, a high traffic location for your tent, and targeted radio and newspaper advertising will help.
Don’t forget about a web site. This can be an inexpensive way to help people find you. Services such as the Google Places service will only add to your web exposure. A website for your windshield repair service doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, many Internet Service Providers provide website hosting and simple website templates that you can customize for your business free of charge.
While insurance network providers will refer customers to you occasionally, relying on them will generally not keep you busy on a consistent basis.
Here’s the key – remember to do business at your customer’s convenience. Listening to their needs and knowing what’s important to them will help you make a great impression.