As the designs of cars have been changing over the years, our businesses are learning new ways to service various components of these changes. How many of you are out there looking into ways to service electric vehicles? How many of you are looking for extra revenue streams with add-ons for GDI engines and new A/C freon configurations? These are all great things to start getting into for future business. However, I bet that many of you are not realizing how much opportunity you are missing on some tried and true sales items as you move forward. I will highlight a few below and remind you of the preventative maintenance items that are on your table.
This has got to be the biggest area where I see lost revenue in the stores. I remember the times when there were store managers that would hang these things in the back room like a badge of honor and compete to see who could do them faster. I remember when vendor trainers would come to the markets and give away prizes for this very thing. How many have you sold this month? How about this YEAR? With those technological changes mentioned above, it is not just in the operation of the vehicles but also the components. Many belts do not crack or break any longer, they stretch. The old way of looking down at the belt ribs with a flashlight to count the cracks does not work any longer. Many engine builders are out stretch guides on the tensioner pulleys on their new builds, but if you do not know they are there, are you looking for them? There are a few things that you can do to get your stores back on track for these sales. First, don’t forget to look! How many of you remember the small A/C belt that sits behind the serpentine on GM trucks? I change two to three a month just by looking for them. Teach your guys to take a few seconds and retrain the flashlight method. Also do some research on stretch guides, as you will find a lot of usefulness in this refresher yourself.
I know that many of these filters are now in the gas tanks or not accessible in new vehicles. But do you have a process in place where your lower bay tech LOOKS for one in line? There are a ton of them still on cars and they can be easily changed. If you remember the old recommendations, these things were due to be changed at 15,000 and 30,000 miles. Diesels are also an easy sell for this service as well, and usually come with a bigger price point. How many of you know that certain fleets have mileage data for these filters if you just ask for them? These do take special tools to release the lines, but it’s a few dollars, so not a big investment. You change one filter out and you have reached your return on investment.
This is something that has been out there for a while now, but not many facilities have taken this on as a service. We have all seen the discoloration that occurs on the headlights over time. This service is a little time consuming and has some steps, but it is a great safety item that you can offer for your customers. By cleaning and putting on the new clear coat, you are increasing the night visibility for the driver and for others on the road with them. This can also be an item in which you might fail a state safety inspection for in some states. So, if you have this as an action item for a sticker, add this to your lineup of sales items to be the one stop shop for inspection needs.
I have only mentioned three items that could be lost sales but, with a little training, they can become profit makers for your locations. These are all items that take little time to inspect, so you do not really add time into your service by checking these items. Take the time to look at your service offerings and crunch some numbers. I bet that you will find that some of these areas have had a sharp decline in sales for your centers. You may think that it’s just a thing of the past, but with a little training and expectation setting, they can take you to the next level of service for your customers.