Service Profitability Can be Pumped Up: Sell Tires

By Bob Atwood

Ser­vice prof­itabil­i­ty strat­e­gy is right at your fin­ger­tips, if your deal­er­ship staff is prepped for this sim­ple strat­e­gy.

Are your ser­vice advi­sors on the look­out for wear and tear on the vehi­cles pulling into the ser­vice dri­ve? All it takes is a few sec­onds to check the tread. You’ll be sur­prised by how many peo­ple need new tires, and how that need can trig­ger ben­e­fits for your ser­vice and parts depart­ments.

In our expe­ri­ence, 15 per­cent of ser­vice cus­tomers need new tires. Be the first to tell them—because 75 per­cent of cus­tomers pur­chase tires from the first per­son who rec­om­mends them.

One of our stu­dents came up with a sys­tem that I thought was inge­nious. He took a worn-out tire and paint­ed it red. Then he found a half-worn tire, which he paint­ed yel­low. He placed the red tire and the yel­low tire right in the ser­vice dri­ve, along with a brand new tire paint­ed green. When the ser­vice advi­sors see a worn-out tire, they take the red tire, put it next to the customer’s tire and show the cus­tomer that he needs tires.

Deal­ers need to sell cars to every cus­tomer. Cus­tomers appre­ci­ate being alert­ed when they need tires—after all, there are poten­tial safe­ty issues.

And 78 per­cent of cus­tomers have their cars ser­viced where they buy tires. See how the ben­e­fits build?

Then you want to pro­vide the cus­tomer with free rota­tion, because that ties the cus­tomer back to the deal­er­ship. Many a time, a ser­vice advi­sor will tell a cus­tomer his tires need to be rotat­ed, and the cus­tomer says he’ll get that done at the tire store, ” because they do it for free.” At that very instant, the ser­vice advi­sor should tell the cus­tomer, “I’ll do it for free,” because I don’t want that cus­tomer going any­where else.

Instruc­tor Bob Atwood teach­es Fixed Oper­a­tions 2 (Ser­vice) in week 3 of 6 in the pro­gram. Reach him at [email protected] or vis­it to down­load the sched­ule and appli­ca­tions for all pro­grams.





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