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Driving More Business to Your Business

There is a perfect storm brewing out there that offers independent repair shops a great opportunity to grow their business. This is why National Car Care Month in April is the ideal time for repair shops to help consumers see the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance. Central to National Car Care Month are community car care events that feature free vehicle check-ups or inspections.

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Are you interested in:

• Attracting new customers;

• Reinforcing loyalty of current ­customers;

• Increasing your business’ visibility in the community;

• Adopting a proven marketing program to increase business;

• Engaging your technicians in a rewarding and fun event; and

• Getting a leg up on your competition?

Assuming this is a no-brainer, read on to learn how the Car Care Council can help you easily and affordably achieve these objectives.

There is a perfect storm brewing out there that offers independent repair shops a great opportunity to grow their business:

• Gas prices are rising;

• The average vehicle is older than ever before;

• Car owners are hanging onto their vehicles longer; and

• Car owners are deferring maintenance for ­economic reasons.

As a result of these factors, consumers are ­desperately looking for ways to keep their vehicles safer, dependable and fuel efficient longer.

This is why National Car Care Month in April is the ideal time for repair shops to help consumers see the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance. Central to National Car Care Month are community car care events that feature free vehicle check-ups or inspections. 

While consumers don’t like mandatory state safety and emissions inspections, they love these free check-ups. Research from focus groups, ­surveys, Facebook comments and interviews at events continually reinforce the popularity of the events. 

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The events are not intended to be selling events, but rather free, non-threatening opportunities for consumers and technicians, shop and store owners and managers to interact. They are educational and promote goodwill in the community. However, the bottom line is that in almost every situation, the businesses that host an event see an immediate spike in traffic, sales and service. After all, if a consumer could talk to a doctor for 15 minutes free of charge, who is that consumer likely to call when they need to make an appointment?

Repair shops can greatly benefit by getting involved in National Car Care Month. It’s when the Car Care Council focuses the tremendous attention of the media and consumers on the benefits of regular vehicle maintenance and repair. 

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Getting involved is easy and inexpensive. Shops can participate in many ways, and at whatever level they are comfortable with. A shop could hang a banner over a bay and invite current and prospective customers to stop by for a free inspection and pick up a free Car Care Guide. Shops can partner with other shops or parts stores or with their WD or jobber to host an event with the free vehicle check-up. A video from the Council can walk you through the event process, showcasing various events from around the country with testimonials from shop owners, distributors and consumers. You can view the video at www.carcareindustry.com. The Council will provide the information for planning and organization, as well as the marketing and promotional materials.

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Many shops go all out involving a local radio station to broadcast from the event. Others arrange for race team show cars or vintage cars to be on display. Local or state police are eager to host demonstrations on the proper installation of child safety seats. While car owners are waiting for or finished with their vehicle check-ups performed by technicians, they enjoy visiting the tables with samples of dirty oil and fluids, worn wiper blades, hoses and belts, worn tires, dirty filters and other items.

Moon bounces, car washes, refreshments from local restaurants and much more can make a community car care event a real success for businesses that host them. I will be happy to send you the names and contact information of dozens of shop owners who host events every year. Contact me at [email protected].

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For more information on how to get involved in National Car Care Month and how to host a community car care event, visit www.carcareindustry.com.

There is no better time to reach out to consumers to take better care of their vehicles. Maintenance neglect has been on the rise. In fact, $62 billion in service and parts went unperformed last year. That’s a heck of a lot of business left on the table.

Results of community car care event vehicle inspections last April and October revealed that 82% of the vehicles that went through the inspection lanes failed because they needed a new part(s) or service performed.

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National Car Care Month is the time to remind everyone that the automotive aftermarket is the industry that keeps America on the road. It’s the time to remind everyone about our industry’s huge contribution to the economy, vehicle performance and safety, energy use, the environment and society overall. 

So get on board the National Car Care Month bandwagon and help your business at the same time.

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