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The art of making a professional recommendation — it's that extra skill set your service advisors and technicians need to make a real difference in your business’ bottom line. And for the thousands of automotive technicians working today in America’s quick lubes and auto service centers, having the ability to successfully recommend a product or service to a customer is just as important as the technical knowledge they gain from attending automotive school or learn on the job.

If the No. 1 goal in the quick lube industry is to help customers keep their vehicles properly maintained, then knowing how the vehicle’s systems work and their maintenance needs is of utmost importance. That’s the primary objective behind the ITW Professional Automotive Products’ Tech U Training and Rewards Program.

Knowing that service advisors and technicians in the quick lube business need training to help them make professional recommendations to customers, ITW Professional Automotive Products developed and launched its Tech U Training and Rewards Program, a comprehensive program designed to help educate and inform automotive technicians on the benefits and advantages of its products/services and how to properly and effectively recommend those services to their customers. To make the program even more meaningful, ITW wrapped an exciting contest around the program to motivate and reward the participants.

Ramiro Razo of Fresno, California, an accomplished technician and a 14-year veteran of the quick lube industry, is the 2016 grand prize winner in the Tech U Training and Rewards Program. He joined the program at its outset in October of 2016 and never looked back.

Ramiro took the bull by the horns, absorbing everything he could from Tech U’s curriculum and was able to successfully recommend 1,071 Heartland 2-Step Fuel System Cleaning Services in just three months by educating his customers on why and how they could benefit from a fuel system cleaning service. In doing so, he dramatically out-distanced himself from his fellow technicians around the country. His efforts earned him the coveted title of ‘King of FSC’ (Fuel System Cleaning) and the $10,000 cash reward that came with it. He also received a special title belt that replicates those typically awarded to mixed martial arts and boxing champs.

Innovative Training and Rewards Program

The Tech U Training and Rewards Program is free and features six courses covering the fuel system, oil system, transmission, cooling system, power steering system and wiper blades. All of the courses are designed to enhance the techs’ knowledge base, help them learn the skills they need to diagnose and recommend services in a professional manner, respond to customers’ questions and perform the services properly. The program is formatted for a seamless fit into the techs’ lifestyles. It’s easily accessible 24/7 via smartphone, tablet, PC or laptop. The pace of Tech U courses can be started, stopped and resumed as needed by the technician until completion. Upon successful completion of all six training courses, technicians receive a framed certificate of completion and a “certified tech head” hat. They also become eligible to participate in the Tech U Fuel System Rewards program.

The generous rewards program tied to the Tech U Training segment works just as easily, and the account is simple to manage. Techs earn points and rewards for each Full Throttle, Gumout Professional, Heartland and Mile Guard fuel system service sold to customers who need the service. After the sale, they can register their points by scanning the special serialized QR code label on each product or service kit with a smartphone or enter the code online manually. When 50 points are earned, they can be redeemed for cash. While in the rewards program, technicians are automatically entered to compete for the title King of FSC and the grand prize of $10,000 in cash or the title of Mega Tech and one of 40 additional prizes.

Program and Contest Expanded on 12-month Basis

“We are so pleased with the overwhelming success and popularity of our inaugural Tech U program that we expanded it on an annual basis,” noted Joe Farr, ITW Professional Automotive Products national sales manager. “Our new 2017 program is already underway and will run for a full 12 months. Service advisers and techs can join in at any time. This longer time period will help to attract even more participants from across the country. They will have more time to take the courses, learn how to professionally recommend services, get into the heat of the competition and, best of all, earn some extra money along the way.”

Employee turnover rates are normally high in the quick lube business, and a training and reward program of this type could actually work to help reduce that rate as the techs begin to readily see the positive results and financial return from their efforts. There is also a tendency for quick lubes to shy away from fuel system service because the techs are not always comfortable talking about it with customers. But once techs learn how to address the subject, they can leverage their training, look for sales opportunities and properly approach the customer.

Razo was quick to acknowledge the many benefits he received from the courses and encouraged other techs to embrace the program.

“I learned a lot from the program, and I was able to add it to the things I already knew,” he said. “That made me more confident. In addition to the valuable information I got from Tech U, I also learned to approach my work like a business and explain things to my customer just like a lawyer or a doctor would. Only, I put it into my own words in a way the customer is able to understand it. My advice to others is to take the courses because they help a lot. Take what you learn, put it into your own way and it will work for you.”

Participants can learn more about the program or sign up at: www.itwproap-u.com More information is also available at 800.989.8363.

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