• March 20, 2015 at 10:00 am #64582

    We all talk about our customer base but how do we define who
    is a customer for measurement purposes. Unless your business consistently has too
    many customers, this is an important figure to track.

    To measure and compare I would suggest an easy method to define
    who is a customer to be a person who has been to your shop 2 times in the last 12
    months. This is an arbitrary definition but can be used for making comparisons.

    This method, in its simplicity, does not tell you if the
    customer is a good customer, or how much they spent but simply that they
    visited your shop and came back a second time.

    I have been using this method for 3 month in my son’s 15
    month old shop to track the potential for growth.

    I would like your comments or suggestions.

    Lowell Nigoff

    I owned Lowell’s Bluegrass Automotive (Toyota/Lexus) from
    1979 to 2008 when I sold the business as well as the property. I am now helping
    my son Brian with the operation of his shop, Brian’s Bluegrass Automotive (all
    brands) in Lexington KY.

    March 21, 2015 at 8:55 am #73983
    Tom Ham

    Lowell, I have usually gone with 3 or more ROs since a lot of one time customers had 2 RO’s – added A/C dye and came in for a recheck a bit later, etc. We start an RO for almost everything.

    I also use the one year time period, but with the longer service intervals 18 months might make more sense.

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    March 1, 2016 at 9:04 pm #74302

    I realize this might be a little slow in commenting but it is most important to measure and look for increases or decreases. The method one uses to measure is not as important.


    April 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm #74328

    We our looking at this right now , We had a lot of clients that have only been in once in a year.
    Understand at my shop we our very rigid doing inspections and selling needed work so sometimes a client might not need to come in as often as a shop that just repairs per concern of the day.
    My belief window is Two times a year average and this depends on your mix of clients age , use age , age of car , fleet service etc.
    I also sent out cards to all client personalized in a envelope , addressed to the client.
    We have found many had moved , We now our getting ready to call the clients cards that came back for address reasons , to see if we can retain them.

    My belief window has been not when the last time they were in as more important , will they come back in and our we touching them at least three times a year to let them know we still our here for them.

    Would like to know if I am on the right track also [ No Magic Stick ] Thanks Dan R.

    April 4, 2016 at 6:52 pm #74329

    I think it’d make sense to look at this a little differently.

    What exactly are you trying to measure?
    If it’s defining who a “customer” is, I would include a dollar amount with that to make sure you’re including every “edge” case. For example, why not every customer with at least 1 R/O and total dollars spent over $60 or $100? Isn’t that a customer? 
    From another perspective, isn’t everyone a customer?
    What’s the purpose of knowing how many “customers” you have? If you’re looking for growth, it could be a number of things. Unique customers in 12 months, unique customers vs avg. R/O, or simply repeat business – % of customers that had already been to your shop in the preceding XX months… 
    Define what growth is to you. Usually it’s a mix of repeat & new customers. What about X thousand total customers, broken down into repeat (last 24 months) vs new (never in the database), growth year-over-year, and overall revenue growth?

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