Go big or go home. That was the message from a shop coach at a recent conference to shop owners when it comes to offering warranties for your services.
Bryan Stasch, vice president of product and content development at the Automotive Training Institute, was talking about ways to differentiate yourself from the competition. One thing he likes to do is offer a massive warranty period.
“I’m a believer in the five-year warranty, unlimited mileage,” he said during his presentation Master the Chaos — Art and Science of a Successful Service Advisor at the Midwest Auto Care Alliance’s Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo in March in Kansas City.
This helps when attracting customers who will only take their vehicle to the dealer where they believe they will get better parts put on their vehicle.
“So with those customers, you have to work a little harder to sell your company and why you’re better,” he said.
And that’s where the big warranty comes into play.
One attendee said that if a part is going to break, it’s going to break in the first six months anyway. Another said it would likely happen within days. Stasch agreed. He emphasized that if you have a three-year warranty anyway, and parts will fail within a year, why not make your warranty five years. It just sounds great to the customer.
“If you’re going to have a parts failure, how quickly does that typically happen? How many of you agree it’s in the first 12 months anyway? How many of you have a great partner and how to take care of it if it will [fail]? And how many of you, even if [the part] went out of warranty, you value the customer relationships and you’re going to take care of it anyway?” Stasch asked.
In all likelihood, the most your competitors will offer is a three-year, 60,000-km warranty, or maybe a 24-month unlimited mileage warranty. That means most of your competition is about the same, he said. How does a customer differentiate one from the other when it’s all more or less the same?
But if they see you with a five-year warranty, that gets their attention.
Stasch remembers one key piece of marketing advice that has stuck with him throughout his career. “I had somebody tell me, ‘Do not do what your competition is not doing; Do what your competition is not willing to do.’”
A big warranty offer adds to the value proposition of your shop. It tells the customer “they will never replace the water pump ever again. We are believers in lifetime warranties on a lot of things,” he said.