By Jeff Stankard
April is National Car Care Month, so take this opportunity to plan an event to tie into this national program. By doing so, you will showcase your shop as an expert in automotive repair and service, plus you’ll ensure the safety and performance of your customers’ and prospective customers’ vehicles.
It’s also an ideal way to leverage the momentum of the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer campaign (now celebrating its fifth anniversary) that promotes the benefits of proper vehicle maintenance and repair.
Are you hooked? Here are 10 steps to make your car care event a success.
1. Order a starter kit (www.carcare.org) that includes bay banners, posters, countermats, brochures, inspection forms, mirror hangers and other promotional items.
2. Ask to have your event included in the local community activity calendar.
3. Promote the event by sending out a postcard to your current customer base. And, don’t forget to spread the word among your family and friends.
4. Find a place to hold your car care fair. Ideally, it would be in a high-traffic area, visible to a lot of motorists and not in your shop’s parking lot.
5. Order extra Car Care Guides so you can pass them out at your event.
6. Enlist the help of local tech schools whose students could assist your technicians in carrying out the 41-point visual inspection under the hood and around the car.
7. Create excitement for your event by involving a local high school band and cheerleaders, and including Girl Scout troops, Little League fundraisers, a bake sale and maybe even a car wash.
8. Train your staff. The objective is to not only pinpoint problem areas on vehicles, but to further the motorists’ understanding of the importance and value of preventive maintenance, and build goodwill and trust between service shops and the motoring public.
9. Provide a trinket with your shop name as a reminder of where event attendees can go for expert vehicle service.
10. Follow-up with motorists who attended your event, as a customer service outreach effort.
You have nothing to lose, and lots to gain like more loyal, long-time customers. Is that incentive enough?