By Joe Marconi of Elite
This past winter will no doubt go in the history books as one of the toughest on record. Many shops, mine included, lost six or more days of work in February alone. I don’t want to think about the loss of revenue; I’d rather put it behind me and move on. There are some things that we cannot control, Mother Nature being one of them.
However, as with all adversity, it’s not about getting knocked down that counts, it’s what you do when you get back on your feet. All indicators are pointing to a very busy spring. Will you be ready and cash in?
Speak to all customers starting now about the safety of their cars after a tough winter. Put together a promotion to inspect cars for winter related vehicle damage. Here are a few tips I put together to think about:
• Every car that hit a pothole should have at least a safety check and alignment check. Check shocks, struts, springs and other undercarriage components.
• Carefully inspect tires and wheels, too.
• Think about selling alignments, wheel balance, etc.
• Every car that drove in snow and ice storms need to have a safety check and the transmission fluid inspected. I saw with my own eyes countless cars with the drive wheels spinning out of control. This overheats transmission fluid and may damage transmissions and clutches.
• Salt and other chemicals used on the roads will takes its toll on many cars.
• Neglected maintenance, such as overdue oil changes, will become an issue – educate customers.
• Wiper blades took a beating – should I say more on this subject?
I am sure you can think of more things, too. The point is you need to inform customers and take care of their cars.
Take a proactive approach, rather than a reactive approach. In other words, don’t wait for the customer to come to you with a problem; inform and inspect.
A doctor once told me that the time to start thinking about taking care of your body is not on the way to the hospital in an ambulance.