Leaders and losers
To thrive in a price driven market you need to to be a HIGH VALUE LEADER. Some auto repair shops know they're leaders. Some think they're leaders. Many don't know they're losers. Consumers know the difference and quickly find the leader. What are you?
The High Value LEADER offers the lowest price for highest quality products resulting in high consumer value.
In contrast the low price LOSER provides low pricing for low quality products. Think poor value. Consumers notice the difference and the High Value LEADER becomes the winner.
What's Your Pricing Strategy?
Being the high value leader is a business pricing strategy that uses technical or operational advantages to dominate in competitive pricing markets. Think efficiency gains with better equipment and training. You maintain your profit levels and your customer gets high value services. Think happy customers. Think growth and profitability. The high value leader competes on value, not price.
The low price loser strategy is to lower quality to compete on price. Think low-skilled workers. Think old obsolete equipment. Think inferior parts. Think low value. Think unhappy customers. Think struggling business.
The key difference is that the low price loser tries to compete on price alone. They cut quality and value to generate profits. Beware of this race to the bottom. Cutting quality to enable price matching is a sure road to business failure.
Don't Undervalue Your Services
Auto repair shop managers typically undervalue the product they sell. They get obsessed with price matching and don't promote a true apples-to-apples price comparison. Extended operating hours, quickness of service, quality of parts and workmanship, convenience, quality of facility, etcetera all combine to make up the TRUE value of the service you provide. The mistake is not communicating the VALUE of what you sell.
Show and Tell
You need to educate your customers. Tell them about the TRUE value of what you sell. Show them what makes your product a better value. If you don't, your forcing yourself to promote your business on price alone. If your not educating, congratulations, your the low price loser.
How to be the HIGH VALUE LEADER
Define and state the true value of your service. Use your auto repair shop website to educate your customers. Become a HIGH VALUE LEADER in the eyes of consumers. Charge what your services are truly worth. Use improvements in operating practices to maintain profits.
Hope this helps,
(P.S. Seth Godin, marketing guru, says in his book, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, that the only way to win is to get people to talk about you. Once people see you as a 'High Value Leader' encourage them to talk about you. Check out my blog post about social networking for auto shop marketing and getting people to rave about you!)