Management: 'Win-Win' Repair Examples Can Positively Impact Customer Education Efforts and Your Bottom Line
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Management: ‘Win-Win’ Repair Examples Can Positively Impact Customer Education Efforts and Your Bottom Line

In the process of educating customers, if you could show the link between proper repairs and vehicle performance and longevity, compared to vehicle neglect and its negative impact on critical components, you’d be able to heighten your customers’ trust in your repair recommendations and comfort level with the repair process.

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While flipping through a magazine on a recent business trip, an article caught my eye, mainly because of the headline, “No Slowing Her Down.” Besides its bold color and large point size, the headline piqued my interest to find out “who” this article was referencing.

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The article was about a 44-year-old Queens, NY, resident, Stephanie Hodge, who is one of the fastest female runners in the world in her age group. In addition to the accolades referencing her skills as an accomplished runner, the article detailed her work as an overseas advisor for the United Nations. Hodge is typically dispatched to countries that are facing or recovering from calamity.

According to the article, Hodge says there is a correlation between the rigors of her UN work and running. “I always look for the links between issues and advocate for win-win outcomes,” explained Hodge. One example she gave was that quality education can lead to less poverty and better health in developing nations.

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Relating her comment about “win-win” situations to our market, I thought about the value of you making such comparisons to customers who bring their vehicles in for repair. In the process of educating customers, if you could show the link between proper repairs and vehicle performance and longevity, compared to vehicle neglect and its negative impact on critical components, you’d be able to heighten your customers’ trust in your repair recommendations and comfort level with the repair process.

Here are some “win-win” repair examples you can use, courtesy of Larry Carley, Babcox technical editor:

1. Scheduling an oil change is something that’s easy to put off.  Maybe you don’t have the time or money to get the oil changed right now. But if you postpone it too long, you increase the risk of sludge buildup in the engine. If enough gunk builds up inside the engine, it can have serious and expensive consequences. Follow the recommended service intervals in your owner’s manual, or get it changed every 3,000 miles if you do a lot of short-trip, stop-and-go driving, especially during cold weather.

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2.  If the brake pads are worn down to minimum thickness, or are starting to make noise, don’t put off having the brakes inspected. If you postpone needed brake repairs for too long, the pads may wear down to bare metal and ruin the rotors. Driving with bad brakes is also very dangerous and increases your risk of brake failure or an accident.

3. The timing belt is an engine component that many motorists don’t realize is a maintenance item. Rubber ­timing belts have a limited service life, typically 60,000 miles on pre-1995 vehicles, and 100,000 miles on later-model vehicles. The timing belt drives the engine’s camshaft and valvetrain. If the belt breaks, the valves stop turning and the engine dies immediately. Worse yet, on many engines, the pistons will hit the valves, and bend or break them. This type of engine damage can be very expensive to repair. So if your timing belt has a lot of miles on it and needs to be replaced, why gamble? Get it replaced now.

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