They’re older, they’re moving less and the creaks and groans when they move around are louder than ever. No, not your customer base – it’s what they’re driving.
Your customers’ vehicles are rapidly turning into an aging population and they‘re counting on you to keep them moving. That means a regular checkup and complete health report is critical.
The average vehicle on the road is well over 11 years old – and that was true BEFORE Covid. It’s your role as a service professional to proactively make sure owners know all the issues that aging presents. Brake lines can start to go bad; bushings and other suspension parts can crack or deteriorate long before they start making a tell-tale noise; and insulation straps around metal gas tanks can retain moisture and cause corrosion on the tank that can lead to a fuel leak.
With aging vehicles, it’s especially important for your shop to compile and communicate a wear history. Note those parts that are at risk of becoming major problems, with photographic evidence. If you tell the customer “those brake lines are rusting out,” or “that leakage will soon become a drip,” you’ll prepare them for the repair down the road and assure them you’re not trying to put one over on them. By becoming a “partner” in the vehicle’s maintenance, you can further build trust and loyalty.
Not only will all this translate to more and repeat business, it will lead to positive reviews, and whether or not your shop is all-in on digital marketing, know that online reviews matter. Indeed, today’s “word of mouth” recommendation is largely found on Google Reviews, Yelp, and social media. – even WITH an aging population.
Customers and the way they drive have changed, and it’s not going back to the old way. At the same time, consumers are under unprecedented assault by such issues as COVID, politics and how their kids are being educated. In this environment, shop owners can’t expect drivers to make their vehicles a priority. By being proactive rather than reactive, by reaching customers on the mobile devices where they live, you can cut through their other concerns and keep revenue flowing.