How Comfortable Are You with Oil Changes?
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How Comfortable Are You with Oil Changes?

Sponsored by Valvoline

Most shops are comfortable with performing an oil change. But what can make a shop uncomfortable is recommending, upselling and promoting oil changes.

The oil change is the most performed service at all shops. For the 276 million vehicles registered in the United States, it’s estimated each vehicle will receive an average of two oil changes every year. These numbers mean there are more than half a billion oil changes performed this year. Do you feel your shop is performing its fair share?

Some shops often fall into the trap of thinking an oil change is only part of a larger repair or when the customer requests the service. The focus at the front counter is on repair and getting the customer back on the road. The idea of actively promoting a standalone oil change or other maintenance services at these shops is almost non-existent.

To break this cycle, the first step is to evaluate your current oil-change analytics and operations. Most of the answers can be found in your customer database. Next, try answering the following questions:

What is the average invoice when an oil change is performed?
What other services were performed?
Who is getting their oil changed at your shop?

By answering these questions, you will quickly realize the simple oil change drives a lot of revenue at your shop. You also may discover that the oil change is a customer-retention tool that drives maintenance sales and repair sales. But this is only a small part of the total picture. Other data can provide you with information that can help you to grow your oil-change operations further.

Programs like Valvoline SPARK identify the best service package for your customer while bolstering pricing and profitability. With this information, you quickly realize that the simple oil change helps grow revenue at your shop now and in the future. SPARK’s optimized service bundles, menu designs, messaging and customer-communications approach have proven to increase premium oil changes by 12%. Selling more premium products is a win-win because your customers get enhanced vehicle protection, and your sales grow.

The other part of your research is to understand the customer experience. For this, you might want to have your oil changed at one of your competitors. Observe how the oil change is presented to you. Look for the branding and how they leverage their vendors and products. For example, were there counter mats, menus or brochures?

Leveraging the marketing of an oil brand can give your staff and customers confidence in your service options. The best tool can be the menu or sales sheet used to communicate to the customers what an oil change involves. However, developing these materials in-house can be challenging to make them look professional.

Also, pay attention to your mail and email to see how your competition follows up. With this new perspective, it’s possible to decide where your oil-change operations rank.

It’s not so difficult to drive traffic with an attractive offer; the challenge comes once they’re through the door. First, you must offer them a valuable, repeatable service beneficial to your business. Successful advertising motivates people to visit and revisit your location and generates profit.

Feeling comfortable recommending oil changes becomes easier if you have support and the knowledge that an oil change can help your business grow. It also is a lot easier to sell an oil change if the customer is requesting one.

For a shop to survive, it must grow. Growth for most shops is not about new bays and technicians. Growth is about car counts, average ticket price and customer-retention rates. The one tool to help you grow is the oil change.

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