There are a lot of positive economic signs that consumers are becoming more comfortable with their financial situation and are beginning to open their wallets.
A recent report states that department stores, grocery chains and even toy stores are seeing consumers move toward higher-priced and higher-quality items. As an example, cashmere is gaining in popularity and a New York coffee shop
recently introduced a $12 cup of coffee!
While these examples are excessive, the fact is that retailers are adjusting their inventory from low-priced items to higher-priced ones and there are opportunities to offer new services. If the customer wants to buy more of an item or a higher-priced brand, I say the customer is always right.
In the automotive world, we see positive signs of better days to come in the form of:
– An increase in the number of miles being driven;
– An increase in the average age of vehicles;
– Scrappage rates for vehicles are starting to moderate;
– An increase in consumer confidence rates; and
– An increase in total, overall employment.
Far too many shops experienced a reduction in repair orders in 2009 and many of the ROs were at lower average dollar levels. Motorists can extend maintenance intervals for only so-long. Eventually, the service work needs to be performed so you should start to see an increase in service traffic because of this pent-up demand.
So now several questions must be asked:
Are you ready for more business and is your shop prepared to service these customers?
Do you have enough technicians?
Are they trained?
Have you been delaying equipment purchases?
Do your techs have the specialty tools they need to be productive?
Does the shop need a thorough cleaning or a fresh coat of paint?
Is your service writer in the right frame of mind? Do you need to update your scheduling and management system?
Is it time to have a website or update your current site?
Have you planned a Be Car Care Aware check lane event? Do you have the repair information you need?
Are you prepared to service all the import nameplate vehicles on the road today?
Is your current parts supplier providing you with the service and support you need to be successful?
Does your main supplier have the brands and coverage to satisfy the changing vehicle landscape in your area?
I ask all these questions to provide you with a checklist to make sure you are ready to take full advantage of the massive population of vehicles on the road that need service. You have plenty of competition out there and vehicle owners have a choice.
Let’s make it an easy decision for them to get the best experience from your shop.