As a member of the automotive service industry, the winter season presents a lot of unique opportunities, both to generate extra income and to better serve your customers.
More than simple seasonal upsells, colder weather gives you the chance to help your customers prepare for winter. Whether that means assisting them in winterizing their vehicles, performing an important cooling system service to prevent freeze-overs, or the discovery of important maintenance activities or repairs before it’s too late, winter isn’t just a great time for business—it’s an opportunity for you to give back to your community in the form of reliable transportation.
In today’s post, we’ll be taking a look at the many different ways automotive shop owners or managers can help customers prepare for the cold to come. Let’s begin with an obvious but certainly not insignificant starting point: vehicle winterization.
Ways to Help Automotive Customers Winterize Their Vehicles
Our post The BG Guide to Winterizing Your Vehicle, while intended for a consumer audience, discusses a handful of great ways that automotive service industry professionals can help their customers winterize their vehicles. Chief among these services includes fluid-related services (coolant, oil, and wiper/windshield cleaning fluid).
If you live in a part of the country where temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, informing your customers that this has a significant impact on their motor oil performance (and specifically their oil filter) can save them plenty of unwanted trouble—after all, oil that’s too thick has the consistency of syrup and can’t be properly passed through the oil filter. Recommend the correct viscosity for their vehicle and double-check their oil filter. This is a great example of an ethical upsell.
Finally, and while this is often forgotten or dismissed as a not-so-important service by bother drivers and technicians alike, making sure that drivers have enough wiper fluid is especially important when it’s wet outside—a splash of mud can dramatically decrease visibility, so always offer to replace it for your customers.
Selling other accessories appropriate for the winter like a battery warmer or carrying a stock of safety/convenience items like ice scrapers, jumper cables, and rain ponchos can add a nice touch to the checkout stand.
Next, let’s discuss why offering a coolant service this time of year is so important:
Offering a Coolant Check & Replace Service is Just as Important in the Winter as the Summer
As you know, the coolant in a vehicle is just as important during cold weather conditions as hot ones—but your customers might not know that (after all, it has “coolant” in the name).
Explain to your customers the two primary reasons to check and possibly replace the coolant during the cold months is to make sure that the correct amount of antifreeze is added to prevent freezing, but also, and perhaps more importantly, that engines can overheat just as easily in the winter as in the summer. Since engine overheating is the leading cause of roadside breakdowns, this is a great way to keep your customers happy and on the road, no matter what time of year it is.
This is a basic example of how to overcome a sales objection. If you’d like to learn more about that topic, check out our post How to Identify & Overcome Common Auto Repair Sales Objections.
Your Employees are the Front Line Against Inclement Weather Driving
Your staff and technician team are the “front line” against preventing winter breakdowns or other weather related problems for your customers each and every year. Give them the tools and training they need to do the best job possible. For example, have you considered BG’s SmartVMA? This virtual maintenance advisor will provide ultra-fast, personalized maintenance service recommendations based on the customer’s vehicle type, year, and mileage.
Technology in the workplace can make your staff seem like superheroes. In addition to SmartVMA, if you’re already a BG product enthusiast (which we hope you are!) consider picking up the BG Advisor app, a tool that can make your technician’s lives easier by helping them search for and discover all products, services, and equipment from BG’s entire catalog.
Learn More About Successful Automotive Service Industry Sales Techniques, Employee Training, and BG’s Industry Leading Products & Equipment
If you’d like to learn more about training your employees, take a look at our post How Successful Automotive Service Shops Train Their Employees as well as the information we provide about BG University. If you’re ready to see the difference that BG products and equipment can make for your business, please feel free to get in touch or request a product demo.