Why Not Checking Customer Car Batteries This Winter Could Cost You Money
Save Your Customers Time and Provide a Much-Needed Revenue Stream
For years in the automotive industry, the response to car battery troubles was largely reactionary. When vehicles broke down, customers would call a tow truck, tow their vehicle to a service shop, and the service shop would then test the battery, electrical system, starter, alternator and so forth.
With an average car battery life of 3-5 years, more times than not, the remedy would lie in a new battery and wherever the customer happened to be at the time got the sale.
Now, in order to avoid unhappy customers and a missed revenue opportunity, every shop and service department should be checking batteries up front, said SCL Customer Solutions Specialist Don Parker, who spent 40 years in various roles in the automotive industry.
“Realistically, these tests have been out so many years that no customer should ever break down because of a failing car battery anymore,” he said. “Whomever is doing the maintenance on any given vehicle should let customers know beforehand if their battery is failing. With the winter months fast approaching and battery-killing weather around the corner, if you’re not testing your customers’ batteries you’re not only leaving money on the table; you’re setting them up for disappointment.”
Here are three reasons why automotive businesses should be offering a battery check to customers if they aren’t already:
- It’s a low-hanging revenue stream. Faulty batteries are one of the most common causes of car breakdowns, which means it’s safe to assume a large percentage of your customers will eventually need a battery in the next 3-5 years. The likelihood increases in winter months, when thicker oil viscosity increases starter draw and cold temperatures lower battery efficiency. If and when your customers need new batteries, you want them to recognize it while they’re in your shop and can buy them off your shelves.
“A battery check is something every shop, every automotive department should be performing every time they’re under the hood of a customer’s car,” Parker said. “We’ve been doing these tests for a lot of years now and a customer knows and trusts when you tell them they’re at the end of their battery’s life. You can either sell them a battery before they’re stranded or you can give that sale up to the tow truck driver or whatever shop that tow truck driver decides to take their vehicle to.”
- It shows your customers you’re looking out for them. It only takes one time for a customer to be stranded with a dead battery before they will come to trust the accuracy of a battery check, Parker said. “If you’re set up and you’re performing this test properly you’re going to find a high number of customers needing batteries, and that’s a high number of people who could otherwise be stranded on the side of the road or in the Costco parking lot if you hadn’t given them the information they need,” he said. “You’re showing your customers you’re not just the kind of shop where they drop their car off for oil; you’re an expert and you’re doing things that are going to protect them down the road.”
- It can enhance service packages and foster loyalty. While many service departments want to cater to the desire for quick oil changes, it may be beneficial to slow the process down a bit to ensure you’re providing the best possible service. In addition to a value add for maintenance packages, pumping the proverbial brakes a bit could also help ensure your customers don’t have to turn right around and come back to your shop (or any shop) in the near future for a battery. With the coronavirus epidemic still affecting the way people do business, keeping the number of required visits or points of contact down is something most customers will appreciate. And with appreciation comes loyalty, which is something no business can afford to sacrifice.
Contact an SCL Consultant today
In a wide range of automotive, industrial and commercial sectors, SCL remains steadfast on its commitment to product and industry knowledge, performance satisfaction and superior logistics. We protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving. For more information on how we help can help with services including bulk purchasing or managing inventory, contact an SCL expert today.