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Business and Management

With Today’s Customer

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Although you’ll find many definitions, I believe we can all agree that in the mind of your customers, value means getting the most bang for their buck. In the auto service business, there are a number of ways we can create value for our customers in both marketing and sales. Here are some recommendations you can put to use immediately…

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1. Assure that your marketing pieces offer money-saving promotions, limited time specials and strong calls-to-action. You should use key words like “Save,”, “Value,” “Special Offer,” “Money-Saving,” “Limited Time,” etc.

2. With jobs that typically contain overlaps (such as timing belts), rather than just telling your customers that they’ll save $128.00 if they authorize all of the services at the same time, take it to the next step by showing them the savings on their repair order. List the price of each individual service, then list a line-item discount that shows the customer how much they saved as a “credit.”

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If you do any repair or service as a customer courtesy (cleaning, crack detection or inspections) make sure you show the retail price as a line item on the repair order, and then show a credit to zero it out. It’s one thing for a customer to know that you washed their engine, but if they see the price of the wash on the repair order, it reinforces the value as they see exactly how much they saved when you were kind enough to waive the charge.

3. Whenever possible, use the words “no charge” rather than “free.” “No charge” suggests that there is a cost (value) being set aside, while “free” is often associated with a product or service that is worthless.

Bob Cooper is the president of Elite Worldwide, Inc. offering automotive professionals sales, marketing and employee management solutions. To learn more about how Elite can help you build your automotive business, visit www.eliteworldwidestore.com.

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