As new car sales continue to decline, demand for preventive maintenance services will increase. The average driver is looking to get more out of his current vehicle and maintaining the vehicle’s vital fluids is the best way to improve performance and extend its life. Every shop, in every town, should be performing these valuable and profitable services.
Starting a fluid maintenance program and offering these services to customers might be the smartest move a shop could make given the current economic conditions. With a low investment and high potential returns, a fluid maintenance program will provide the shop with various services that can be easily added to their menu and will immediately start generating new and incremental sales.
The most popular fluid maintenance services are the ATF exchange and fuel system cleaning services. However, many other services are rapidly increasing in popularity, including coolant exchange, power steering fluid exchange, engine oil flush, brake fluid exchange and differential fluid exchange. Most shops begin either offering a fuel service or ATF exchange and use the profits from these services to expand their menu to a complete fluid maintenance program.
Fluid services can be performed easier, faster and with greater efficiency than typical repair work. Many fluid services that are conducted with a machine can run unattended. The technician can perform and bill other work while doing most fluid services. Fluid service jobs do not stay overnight and almost never come back. Different than a repair the customer wants the service and leaves satisfied. Fluid services can provide good steady work with predictable cash flow that will help retain good technicians and grow shop sales. To be most effective, the shop should focus on their current customers to create add-on sales and provide a complimentary fluid evaluation using a professional fluid test kit. Simply check each vehicle’s fluids, then staple the pad and strip with the results to the invoice. Most customers will ask what is attached and the service advisor can compare the results to an easy-to-read chart and discuss the condition of the vehicle’s fluids. If a fluid needs replacement, then recommend the service but also show the customer what fluids are good, since this creates trust and an opportunity to educate them for the future.
The automotive service market is changing and it is the shops that can adapt and respond to these changes that will continue to profit and grow through these tough economic times.
This Tech Tip provided courtesy of MotorVac.
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