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Shop Appearance: Cleanliness Matters


A Tale of Two Shops

Imagine there are two auto repair shops in your town. One is clean, tidy and professional with everything organized in a logical fashion. The other shop is disheveled and looks more like a garage in someone’s backyard rather than a place of business.

Everything else being equal, which shop would you go to? Which shop do you think your customers would take their vehicles to? First impressions, good and bad, can have a powerful impact. Remember, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. A clean shop goes a long way in making a good first impression that brings customers back.

Commitment to professionalism

From the service bays to the waiting area, you want your shop to be a model of professionalism -- a clean and orderly shop is the embodiment of this. When maintaining a clean shop is a priority, your business will see increased productivity and sales.

Number 1 with green background

Customers appreciate a clean and organized shop and will reward you with their business. A successful shop not only delivers great service, it pays attention to the little details like a clean restroom and tidy waiting area.

Number 2 with green background

When customers have a positive experience at your shop, they tell their friends and family. This positive word-of-mouth is crucial in helping your shop build sales.

Number 1 with green background

By keeping tools organized, techs know exactly where to find the tool they need to get the job done. This reduces wasted time searching for missing tools and increases productivity by helping them complete more jobs.

Number 2 with red background

A clean shop is a safe shop. Messy workspaces and floors increase odds for slip-and-fall accidents that can lead to extended time off work.

Number 5 with red background

An organized shop can boost employee morale. When techs don’t have to struggle to locate tools, they can just concentrate on getting the job done without added frustration.

Tips for Success

Like any good habit, keeping a clean and orderly shop is a mindset that needs to be cultivated. Check out these tips that can help transform your shop.

  • Make cleaning the service bays part of the daily routine. After each job, have techs take a few minutes to tidy up before moving on to the next repair. Wipe down tools and return them to their proper location, sweep the floor, and wipe up any oil or other fluids that may have spilled.
  • Do a thorough scrubbing of the service bays on a monthly basis (or more if necessary). Have a cleaning crew come in with scrubbers and do a complete cleanup on all the bays.
  • Don’t forget about the restrooms and waiting room. Designate someone to check on the state of both of these areas a few times during the day. Make sure everything is clean and paper products are stocked. Consider bringing in a professional cleaning crew to do a deep cleaning on a weekly basis.
  • Hire a high school student to help keep things clean around the shop. They can help the techs clean between jobs and also monitor the condition of the restrooms and waiting area.
  • Pay attention to the appearance of your employees. A shop uniform reinforces the professional image of your shop. Choose a uniform that is cool and comfortable to work in. Bonus points for consulting with employees before selecting an ensemble.
  • Outfit the service bays with mobile organizers that keep needed tools at your techs’ fingertips. Also have plenty of storage cabinets around the service area to keep everything stored away
  • Get rid of old or useless tools that can contribute to clutter around the shop.
  • Take a look at the service counter. Is it clean and free of clutter? Is there room for customers to put down a bag or other belongings?