Plus, there is a great need for it. Unperformed maintenance continues to rise, as evidenced in the failure rate stats from vehicle inspection lanes conducted throughout the U.S. by organizations and businesses involved in car care events each year.
The vehicle failure rate for at least one part or system in 2009 was 80%, which remained unchanged from the previous two years. This means that eight out of every 10 vehicles failed at least one component of the vehicle inspection process.
Tony Zanders, president of Heritage Auto Repair in Meridian, ID, extols the advantages of getting involved in be “Be Car Care Aware” activities. His eight-bay shop, with four full-time techs and one part-time student intern, has been involved in the campaign since October, 2007. The shop’s service writers and techs staff the car care events, along with volunteers from the local technical college and personnel from its top parts suppliers.
In addition to increased revenue from the car care events “driving” business to your shop, Zanders says there are other benefits to participation. “These events are an excellent way to promote ‘goodwill marketing,’” Zanders remarks. “Although they do produce some very high-quality customers, those who are interested in preventive maintenance, they also give us a very positive reputation in the community as ‘the shop that does free car check-ups.’”
Zanders also extends some advice to shop owners who’ve never participated in car care events, but who may be interested. “I encourage every shop to participate, from the simplest activity of hanging a sign in their shop to show that they participate in the Be Car Care Aware Campaign, to a full-blown promotional event that includes a Car Care Fair,” he explains. “There is an intangible to be gained if a high percentage of shops across the country participated. Our motoring public would identify our industry as one that partners with our customers to promote better vehicle maintenance, rather than just being order takers when something goes wrong.
“Any successful marketing campaign should include image marketing, as well as drive customers into the bays. The Be Car Care Aware Cam-paign is the most complete, well-developed program I have seen that accomplishes both of these objectives in every event,” Zanders adds.
What are you waiting for? Get involved in the Be Car Care Aware Campaign and help educate customers about how much money they can save with proper vehicle maintenance. You’ll heighten your shop’s image in the community, earn existing customers’ lasting loyalty and prompt new referrals along the way.
Log onto www.carcare.org for more information.