A Win-Win For Shops and Customers

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With better weather and longer days on the horizon, many motorists will start making plans to hit the road this spring and summer. Relatively low gas prices means they will have lots of company. The millions of Americans that take road trips each year will increase service opportunities for fast lube operators and automotive shops, especially for oil changes and related maintenance. Making sure your customers’ vehicles are ready for travel and taking steps to have any problems fixed before heading out for vacation will help avoid the hassle and unexpected cost of a break down miles away from home.

To capitalize on this potential business, the Car Care Council offers simple steps your shop can take to make a big difference to your bottom line. For example, offering free inspections to make sure your customers’ vehicles are running reliably for the spring and summer driving seasons will not only generate positive feelings with customers, but lead to increased service and repair business. This is a great chance to educate customers about the importance of following a regular service schedule and performing preventative maintenance too.

Inspections can be simple and straightforward, and shouldn’t take much time or manpower to conduct. During a 10-minute inspection, check the following vehicle components:

•   All fluids including engine oil, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer and power steering solvent, brake and transmission fluids

•   Hoses and belts can become cracked, brittle, frayed, loose check for signs of excessive wear

•   Tires including tire pressure and tread

•   Wipers and interior and exterior lighting so your customers can see and be seen

In addition to making sure your customers’ vehicles are road ready, you can provide them with fuel savings tips to help them keep even more money in their pockets. For fuel saving tips from the Car Care Council, visit: http://www.carcare.org/2015/02/invest-gas-savings-vehicle/

By sharing these tips with your customers, they will be reminded that you are looking out for their best interest and establish customer loyalty. You can also suggest your customers pack an emergency road kit of essential items to keep in the trunk, just in case. The summer road trip kit should include jumper cables, a road atlas, first-aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, blankets, water, non-perishable food and any needed medication.

It’s a good idea for customers to keep a copy of the Car Care Council’s Car Care Guide in their glove box for information on vehicle systems and maintenance. It’s a useful reference guide to better understand the when, why and how of caring for their vehicles. A free copy can be ordered online, at: www.carcare.org/car-care-guide

By utilizing the Car Care Council’s free resources to help prepare customers for their spring and summer road trips, you will not only give them peace of mind and make their journey safer, but you will increase your business. It’s a win-win for everyone.

RICH WHITE is the executive director of the Car Care Council. For more information about the Car Care Council and the “Be Car Care Aware” campaign, visit: www.carcare.org

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