September 23, 2016 – San Francisco, CA. Automotive Defense Specialists, a California law firm of attorneys defending against Bureau of Automotive Repair citations, accusations, and letters, is proud to announce the publication of a resource list for station owners and technicians of official Bureau of Automotive Repair resources. [Read more…] about Leading Law Firm for Bureau of Automotive Repair Defense Cases, Automotive Defense Announces Resource List on Bureau of Automotive Repair
Ice cream. Let’s talk about Ice Cream! Well, what we mean is, let’s talk about ice cream with respect to how important it is to not only work with an attorney if you’re having a dispute with the Bureau of Automotive Repair, but to do your homework when selecting that attorney, up to and including the free phone consultation. [Read more…] about The Importance of a Free Phone Consultation with a Bureau of Automotive Repair Attorney
Nowadays, it is a platitude to say that everyone is in the customer service business. For those of us who work in the SMOG check industry, it is easy to think of what we do as being a required service with respect to your customers. [Read more…] about Tips for SMOG Check Technicians (vis-a-vis Customers)
We spend a fair amount of time on our blog, criticizing and complaining about California’s Bureau of Automotive Repair. [Read more…] about Bureau of Automotive Repair: Resources for Station Owners & Technicians
Although most of our blog has to do with serious issues regarding the California Bureau of Automotive Repair, from time to time we think it is advisable to touch base with some of our station owners and regular blog readers on some other issues of importance to smog stations in this great state.
Making Your SMOG Station Consumer-Friendly
For example, let’s brainstorm some tips on how to promote your SMOG station. Let’s be real: to the consumer, who has received a notification from the California Department of motor vehicles, it doesn’t really matter where he goes to SMOG his car. What is he interested in? First and foremost, convenience. Many Californians are very busy people, especially in the big urban areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles basin, and they are not as much price-sensitive as time-sensitive. They want either an easy appointment, or a quick check-in, they would like to get their car smogged, and be on their way. This implies that it is very important to indicate in your advertising and promotional materials that you are very speedy and able to do a smog check in an efficient way.
Second, people are of course, sensitive to price. They view the SMOG check as a hassle and they are interested only in getting their certificates, transmitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles, so therefore be sure to indicate that you are very inexpensive when it comes to SMOG checks, within your ability to be as cheap as possible. Indeed, if you offer other repair services, you might look at using your SMOG check as what is called a loss leader. You want to use it to get people into your shop, impress them with your professionalism, and then they will come back for other services such as oil changes and auto repairs. If you are a SMOG only station, then this is a different issue. In that case you might promote just the convenience, and not try to compete on price.
Third, of course, people want to pass. Now, within the limits of the law, there is nothing that you can really do. The car either passes or it doesn’t pass. But, you should indicate, for example, that if the car fails, you can help that consumer get the repairs that they need in a timely fashion. All of this, of course, should be done within the limits of the law. But, to the average consumer, this is just seen as a big hassle. So try to make it as easy as possible if a car fails, to point the consumer in the right direction so that he or she can get their car repaired as soon as possible, and meet the smog requirement.
Fourth, make it easy for consumers to understand the SMOG check program. For example, many consumers are not aware that if their car fails, they can get an extension on doing the necessary repairs. By bringing their car in and getting that first test, they can avoid the fines that occur if they do not have their car smogged within the time limits. Explain to them that they can get an extension, if needed, and avoid those hefty fines that are levied by the state of California.
Finally, make your office environment clean and welcoming. Today’s busy, affluent consumers, expect to be treated well, and this means a clean waiting environment, and friendly staff. Many auto repair shops have employees that can be gruff to consumers, so try to educate your staff to be friendly. In addition, most stations have Internet access, so invest a very little money so that you can have free Wi-Fi for consumers. All of this is to make the process as easy and fun as possible for that busy consumer.
In sum, don’t think about your smog check as just a technical service that you offer. Think about transitioning your station from just another gruff, busy, and possibly dirty automotive repair shop to a more modern friendly, and Internet access providing system station.
Stand Out as the Clean, Fun, and Friendly SMOG Check Station
With all the hassles with the Bureau of Automotive Repair, don’t forget that it’s not the government agency that is really your big problem. It is standing out in the consumer’s mind as the most convenient place to get there automobile smog.
June 25, 2016 – Sacramento, California. Automotive Defense Specialists, a California law firm of attorneys defending against Bureau of Automotive Repair citations, accusations, and letters, has announced an important post to its blog on ISO (Interim Suspension Order) problems vis-a-vis the Bureau of Automotive Repair. The confluence of computer data acquisition technologies and data discrepancies may unfortunately cause a so-called ISO to be issued against a technician or SMOG / STAR program participant, thereby threatening their livelihood while the situation is straightened out. [Read more…] about Automotive Defense Specialists Announces Post on ISO (Interim Suspension Order) Problems vis-a-vis Bureau of Automotive Repair