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Marketing does not work like it use to
Posted by Jorge Antico on 07 February 2014 10:41 AM

Linked-In discussion thread

Super interesting thread. I read the whole discussion with much interest. I am with George C. on this one.

Marketing does not work like it use to. Speaking with Dave Piper of Dave's Lamont St Auto Repair In San Diego, CA, he told me that in the 80's a Yellow Page ad for $5K per month would yield $20K in new customers' work. Today, nothing you spend the $5K on will produce that kind of huge return. The world has changed. Our customers are blasted from every direction with deals and empty promises. It's like trying to have a conversation in a loud nightclub.

Shops that understand the new realities have a strong presence on the web with a CMS (content management system) that integrates SEO (search engine optimization), a blog that is interesting, timely and relevant, online reviews with an excellent reputation, PPC (pay per click adds so that people typing in searches for key words see you at the top of on the first page), online appointment capabilities and a mobile friendly website (a responsive site that adjust to smaller screen sizes).

But at the core of a successful growth strategy is keeping your customers delighted with your "signature" service. They are your ambassadors by word of month and online advertising you to the world.

Check out our new website -

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Jason Hood, Owner – Cooper Fuel & Auto Repair, Bremerton, WA
Posted by Ann Antico on 09 October 2013 01:26 PM

“Finally, someone has designed a system that actually helps me provide BETTER SERVICE to my customers, all while making my job easier. Service Intelligence is customizable so that it tracks maintenance and makes recommendations the way I want it to. I love it! I have used CustomerLink, MechanicNet, and Mitchell1 CRM, to find out that I was sending my customers unnecessary recommendations, because the vehicle's service history was not being tracked. That is not how any shop gains a customer’s trust. Now, I just print a very professional looking Vehicle Service Report, present it to my customer at the counter, and show them exactly what their vehicle needs now, and what services are not due until a later date. This report is also sent to my customer’s email when the next service is due. This has proven to be successful in many ways, including a higher level of customer loyalty, and a substantial ARO increase. And, the SI Support Department can’t be beat! Service Intelligence is what I have been waiting for!"

Jason Hood, Owner – Cooper Fuel & Auto Repair, Bremerton, WA

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Unlock the power of ServiceIntelligence POS with training
Posted by Jorge Antico on 09 September 2013 02:35 PM


Unlock the power of ServiceIntelligence POS


No time? Click on this link to view the pre-recorded  webinar on YouTube. Otherwise, join us by scrolling to the bottom of this email and click on the date of your choice to join our LIVE webinar. Need help? Call us at 310/984-3501 x107.   

I am a MaxxTraxx user and have used ServiceIntelligence for 19 days. I made an additional $10,000 in revenue so far from presenting the ServiceIntelligence Point-of-Sale reports to the customers at the front counter.  Before ServiceIntelligence, I used safety inspection worksheets but  it was difficult to get customers to buy recommended service.  Now, when I print out the reports from ServiceIntelligence, customers accept recommendations and purchase more services because the computer is unbiased and generated what is needed for their car with accuracy.  Two examples: Ford truck came in for a transmission issue, told him what was wrong with the transmission plus showed him the SI report regarding the radiator hoses needing to be change after four years and the customer bought all the water hoses, $1600 worth.  Then a  new Lexus with 16,000 miles came in for an oil change, according to the SI report she had not had a wheel alignment and  balancing ever done on her car listed under the “No History” section. The customer bought the wheel alignment and balancing also.  She spent $250 instead of $30 for just the oil change.  I have used  DemandForce and was interested in Customer Link when Rex at MaxxTraxx suggested I give ServiceIntelligence a try.  I  have been in business for a long time and this is the best Customer Retention company I have ever used!  I am a believer in ServiceIntelligence and will be with them for a long time! I highly recommend

Dave Piper,
Owner of Dave Lamont Street Auto Repair, Pacific Beach, California. 6/2013 Additional testimonials link.

ServiceIntelligence CRM 360 Training (approx. 30-45 minutes).

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The eAutoClub Story
Posted by Jorge Antico on 12 August 2013 02:07 PM

Automotive service business intelligence (read "accurate mechanic shop service recommendations") has become my obsession. It all started after deciding to own an automotive mechanic shop late in my professional career. I thought that with extensive business, computer science and accounting experience, making a profit in the Aftermarket automotive service business would be a breeze. Boy was I wrong!

With over ten years of history, totaling over a million service records of parts and labor line items, the service writing process was lacking a formal analysis of previously installed parts and fluids to objectively determine recurring service needs. Shop management systems do a lot of vital things but are not designed or able to provide predictive service-need analytic for fleet-service tracking style maintenance management. This was determined to be top priority to improve quality of service and create competitive advantage for commercial and family-owned vehicles.

It turned out that arming my staff with ultra-accurate service knowledge was a winner all around. Service writers knew everything about every vehicle sub-second and technicians saved time by not inspecting everything but rather only what was needed. Vehicle owners embraced the factual, non-biased nature of the system, easily outperforming any type of marketing such as loss-leader or super-deal offers. eAutoClub, Inc was incorporated in 1999 when several of my Top 20 R.L. O'Connor Group asked me to take over their CRM services.

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CRM service reminders' dirty little secret.
Posted by Jorge Antico on 27 August 2012 09:33 AM

Are you using DIFM Customer Retention Marketing (CRM) services such as MechanicNet, Mitchell 1 CRM, DemandForce or CustomerLink or are in the market for service reminders for your shop? This article is for you.

The fact is that the average shop has hundreds of thousands of vital service records accummulated over the years, which might as well be in saved in Hieroglyphics. You may wonder how does your vendor know if an Air Filter, a Coolant Flush or a Tire Rotation service is needed. You will be surprised to know they don't.

With all the talk of social media, text messaging, reviews, demographics and other cool features, the accuracy of service recommendations sometimes is forgotten.

Top CRM providers do not use your shop's vehicle detailed service records. Automotive CRM industry instead use the Year Make and Model (YMM) together with estimated odometer of a vehicle to quote the manufacturer service recommendations without reference to the vehicles' service history. The problem is that customers are told they need to perform services that may not actually be needed.  

The CRM alternative is to use ServiceIntelligence (SI) CRM. The difference is that SI CRM uses your shop’s detailed parts, labor and sublet line items and age them based on each vehicle's daily mileage. SI accurately predicts twenty-six customizable recurring service needs. The problem with lack of CRM accuracy is reduced response rates. Generic recommendations are perceived by vehicle owners as junk mail. The alternative is "managed automotive care" communication.

The reason CRM companies do not use your detailed service records is that computers do not interpret automotive terms in your service history reliably enough to predict recurring maintenance needs accurately. ServiceIntelligence's claim to fame is that it uses fuzzy logic to "understand" the automotive service descriptions. It is then able to deliver ultra-accurate, vehicle-specific service recommendations. It is widely recognized as the CRM golden standard in service need predictions. For example: Two 2008 Acuras have 120,000 miles each. Both are repeat customers but one has 14 visits and a properly maintained the vehicle while the other has only 4 oil changes and no other services. The first customer is in great shape and out of 14 different services performed in the past he only needs an oil change and tire rotation today. Customer B on the other hand has only a few repairs but almost no maintenance history. Customer B probably is due for a lot of deferred maintenance work. The typical CRM sends both the identical service recommendations suggesting they need a major service.  In contrast ServiceIntelligence produces two very different CRM reports for the example above that vehicle owners learn to trust and follow.

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