5 Best Practices for Increasing Your Average Repair Orders

As an automotive professional, you understand the importance of maximizing revenue and improving efficiency. One key metric to keep an eye on when driving this is the Average Price per RO – sometimes ARO for short.

Compared to the cost of each job being performed – you can loosely understand how profitable the team is on average with each RO they write. It can also signal if you have opportunities to improve overall efficiencies and market pricing to match consumer demand.

You can calculate the Average RO in your service lane by taking the total revenue generated by ROs and dividing it by the total number of ROs associated with that revenue.

Calculation for Average RO Price for Service Lanes

For example, assume your team generated $138,000 in revenue this month and wrote 161 customer pay ROs. We would divide the $138,000/230 ROs to get $600.00/RO on average.

Now, if your costs come in below the $600.00/RO (say $550.00) and your current ARO is at $600 then, albeit not large, you can still be profitable but it will be a tight race each month to hit your metrics. How can you move that $600 to say $750 or above? Let’s explore a few best practices that will help you get there:

1. Implement a Thorough Vehicle Inspection Process

A comprehensive vehicle inspection is the cornerstone of increasing your average RO. By systematically checking every car for potential issues—both reported by the customer and found during inspection—you can identify additional legitimate repair needs. Train your technicians to use a standardized checklist that covers all major systems and components, such as brakes, tires, fluids, and exhaust systems. This not only ensures consistency in your service but also builds trust with customers when you can explain and show the need for additional repairs or maintenance.

2. Utilize High-Quality Chemical Products and Solutions

Incorporating high-quality chemical products, such as cleaners, additives, and lubricants, can significantly improve the quality of service you offer. Explain the benefits of these premium products to your customers, such as longer-lasting repairs, enhanced performance, and increased vehicle longevity. By associating these high-quality products with regular service offerings, customers are more likely to opt for these upgrades, thus increasing the RO value.

3. Enhance Customer Communication and Education

Effective communication is key to customer satisfaction and increasing sales. Train your service advisors to communicate clearly and effectively about the benefits of recommended services and products. Use technology such as tablets to show customers what issues have been found and how they will be addressed. Additionally, educating customers about the importance of preventative maintenance and how it can save them money, in the long run, helps in securing approvals for suggested service work.

4. Offer Bundled Services and Seasonal Promotions

Create bundled service packages that combine routine maintenance tasks at a discounted rate. For example, offer an oil change, tire rotation, and brake inspection combo to encourage customers to complete multiple services altogether. Seasonal promotions will attract additional customers and prompt them to approve more comprehensive service orders. For instance, promote HVAC services during the Spring and Summer combined with regular maintenance.

5. Implement a Follow-Up Strategy

A robust follow-up strategy can enhance customer retention and increase ROs. After each service, follow up with customers to ensure they are satisfied with the work performed and to remind them of upcoming service needs. This can be done via email, text messages, or phone calls. Regular follow-ups keep your service top-of-mind for customers and encourage them to return to your shop for future service needs.

By implementing these strategies, auto shops and dealerships can improve service quality and significantly boost their average repair order values. This proactive approach to automotive service will help you build a loyal customer base and increase overall profitability.

Implementing these strategies requires quality partners, driven advisors, and a willingness to experiment with new methods. Start by evaluating your current service lane operations and identify areas for improvement. With the right approach, we’ve seen that service departments can significantly enhance your offerings and see a marked increase in your average repair order.

author avatar
Chase Tinkham is a seasoned Customer Success and Automotive expert. He has worked for KT Automotive from a young age and spent years in dealerships, parts departments, and absorbing the customer experience in auto shops. Fast forward a decade, he graduated from Old Dominion University and drove millions in profits for multiple startups, publicly traded companies, and everywhere inbetween. His extensive background in Marketing, Public Relations, Data Analysis, and SaaS has led to a unique value propostion for customers of KT Automotive. He has recieved mutliple rewards and accolates for his work in Customer Success and loves to write about the relationship between that Customer Experience and driving revneue for automotive shops.
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