To Educate Customers, Grow Your Own Knowledge Base
Feb. 4, 2021—How knowledgeable is the top person at your shop? Whether it's an on-site owner or a competent manager, that person should be prepared to handle more than the most common vehicle service issues.
Robert Weissberg, who runs a SpeeDee Oil Change and Auto Service-Midas shop in Watsonville, Calif., is an ASE L1-certified mechanic, and he says that the education and training is crucial for operators. Weissberg knows there's someone around who can handle nearly any vehicle inquiry. In addition to practical benefits, there's a strong leadership component to being that go-to person.
“Having that knowledge, you build a lot of trust because they have somebody there who can help in any situation," he says. "And it allows the owner to not bow down to any employees.”
Sure, maybe you can recall the serpentine belt configuration on any model by memory, but how does that help business at the quick lube shop?
Part of the answer is that operators can take advantage of the service visit to educate customers on their vehicles. As NOLN previously reported with Costa Kapothanasis, education about a customer's vehicle can be part of your normal courtesy tech process and help the business.
Weissberg takes it a step further. He says that in a competitive marketplace, quick lubes need to establish themselves as providers of the latest, most proficient service that's up to par with any other facility. With some customers, shops need to battle the perception that the dealership is the only place qualified to work on a late-model vehicle.
“In California, we carry the same rights and warranty and maintain any manufacturers warranty without any problem,” Weissberg says.
Furthermore, for a lube-plus operation like Weissberg's the quick lube side is often the first and most common point of contact with customers. That's where it's the most important to show off a little vehicle knowledge.
“We work on every manufacturer," he says. "And our whole thing is based on the lube side. Because everything, in my opinion, rolls off the lube side. The trust is built off the lube side. The familiarity is built off the lube side.”