If you’re not offering a spring maintenance package, you could be missing a great opportunity to build trust and loyalty among your regulars and draw new customers into your bays.
At this time of year, customers are thrilled to be putting winter behind them, and they’re more than ready to ramp up for the summer driving season.
The first step to capturing the ‘spring tune-up’ business is to create a comprehensive maintenance package that makes sense and speaks to customers. Then all you have to do is use your social media and in-store marketing to make sure they know how to take advantage of it.
Make it comprehensive
Owners of newer vehicles want to keep them healthy. They’re predisposed to preserving the value of their investment.
Meanwhile, owners of older vehicles may notice new sounds and ticks coming from the engine compartment or chassis as they emerge from winter. This is your chance to find those deficiencies and correct them.
Above all, educate all of your customers on why a thorough spring service is so important.
Rubber and cold weather are not a good combination. When the warm weather returns, it’s time to check belts and hoses for cracks, damage and dried rubber. A quick inspection will reveal the kind of trouble that could lead to roadside breakdowns. Always stress that some fairly simple replacements now will prevent expensive repairs later.
Given winter’s effects on Canadian roads, a wheel alignment makes good sense. Motorists often don’t notice steering pulls when roads are ice, snow, and slush covered. But let them know that leaving alignment issues unaddressed for too long can lead to bigger problems like premature tire wear, reduced fuel efficiency, and related undercar damage.
Remember that April showers bring wiper blade sales. Wipers that were needed for snow and slush will soon be needed to clear winter debris and dirty water kicked up by wet roads. Inspect the wiper blades carefully, checking for cracks, tears, and other damage.
Winter can be especially tough on ignition coils, and batteries. Give them the once-over to ensure they’re in good shape. And, with summer coming, now’s a good time to check the engine cooling system, as well as air conditioning components. The timing makes sense.
Finally, make sure an oil and filter service is part of your spring package. This is the most important service to sell, and it’s the one that consumers understand the best. It’s a strong selling point.
Your messaging, in advertising, social media, and onsite signage, needs to stress road safety. This resonates with modern consumers.
The latest automotive technology, with its advanced driver assist functions and reinforced cabins, have created heightened expectations for human safety. The modern vehicle is an astounding piece of engineering with elaborate safeguards built in to protect people on the roads. But consumers need to be reminded that they have to do their part too. They have to make sure that their vehicles are well maintained. All the technology in the world won’t keep them safe if it is not functioning properly.
That clearly involves tires, brakes and suspension – systems that are on the vanguard of personal safety.
Connect it to autumn
Take the opportunity to store your customer’s winter tires. The beauty of handling tire changeovers is that your customers will have to come back to you at the end of the season. Studies have shown that people are coming in for auto service fewer times per year. If you can guarantee two visits per year, where you really get a chance to look under the hood and all around the vehicle, you’re doing well.
Spring service can be a significant part of a vehicle maintenance strategy. It could be one of the cornerstones of care you offer.
It’s not hard to explain why cold and wet weather takes a heavy toll on vehicles. Take the time to explain the intrinsic value of your spring maintenance package. The way you talk about it is very important.
Just remember, you’re there to make sure your customers have a stress-free summer driving season. A check-up now could prevent a lot of headaches – and expensive repair bills – down the road.