So what does it mean for you to “one up” the competition? You’ve invested time and money to install the latest and greatest software systems throughout your business. You have the best frame rack and electronic measuring devices available on the market. You have the most talented welders who allow you to replace panels and structural components according to OEM standards, and you have the equipment necessary to refinish vehicles in a way that rivals factory paint jobs. So what more do you need?
One way to improve your business would be to get more traffic coming to your facility during off-peak times. However, another piece of repair equipment or a tech isn’t going to solve that problem because it’s not a collision repair issue but a marketing one. With the overwhelming amount of marketing tools available today, are you making the best investments to get the return you want?
When you select a tool or piece of equipment, it’s usually to address a specific issue. You need to transfer that type of clarity to your business. Start by determining exactly what problem(s) you want to solve. Make a list. Think big, then scale down from there based on your timeline and finances.
Over the last 20 years, one of the most essential marketing tools that has come to the forefront is a website. Do you have a business website that not only gives current and prospective customers contact information but gives them the ability to schedule appointments? Does it provide customers with Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) or facts about recalls, which not only is valuable information but provides you opportunity to up-sell? Does it make use of social networking such as Facebook or Twitter? Do you have e-mail? Twenty years ago, an advertisement in the Yellow Pages was enough. Not in today’s world.
Finding someone to build a quality website that meets your needs is not easy, and the process can be time consuming and costly. However, it can provide a return on investment that rivals your best equipment or tools. Things to do:
• Check with your current or prospective business vendors to see if they offer a low-cost solution. Use the Internet to find testimonials, reviews and Better Business Bureau ratings.
• Explore the Internet for offerings that can provide a minimal investment with a high rate of return. Make sure that the business tool you choose provides you with the capabilities to drive traffic to your door.
An often overlooked resource may already be in your shop. Re-examine the business tools you currently have in place. There may be updates or unused features that can help you generate additional traffic to your business. These tools may also provide avenues to connect to a website or other communication tool. Maximize the tools that you have in-house; make them work harder and smarter!
TSBs can generate an additional income stream. Determine if your current systems and software provide up-to-date releases or give you an alert when the manufacturer posts the release so that the information you have is timely, not behind the curve and superseded.
Here’s a real-world scenario where a TSB paired with a customer complaint can make you the hero and potentially give you repeat business.
A customer has just dropped off their vehicle for collision repairs. While speaking with them, you find that they have a problem with something totally unrelated to the accident.
The vehicle is a 2006 Chevrolet Impala. It’s out of factory warranty. The problem the customer has relates to the front door glass squealing when it’s rolled up or down.
A quick search by you reveals a TSB on the problem. It explains the reasons as well as the steps to perform the repair. If the car remained under warranty, then you probably just made a lasting impression on your customer. In this scenario, the warranty has expired, which gives an opportunity to remedy the issue, create additional revenue for your business and educate the customer that your business does standard automotive repair as well as collision repair.
Here’s the TSB that turned the above scenario into a business opportunity.
Always refer to ALLDATA for safety procedures, identification of material types, recommended refinish materials, removal and installation procedures. Always refer to General Motors Company for questions relating to applicable or non-applicable
warranty repair information.
• 2006-2008 Chevrolet Impala V6-3.9L VIN 1 built prior to November 2007.
• Front door window glass weather strip
• TSB Title: 06-08-64-033C 04/29/2008 Body – Front/Rear Window Noise When Operated
• Supersede: This bulletin is being revised to update the model years and add the build date. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 06-08-64-033B (Section 08 – Body & Accessories).
Rubbing/squealing/grinding noise when door glass is raised or lowered, scratches in door glass (replace door glass belt sealing strip). This condition may be caused by dirt accumulating on the lip of the belt sealing strip.
Part Number Description
15930908 Right Front Outer Door Glass Belt Sealing Strip
15930909 Left Front Outer Door Glass Belt Sealing Strip
15950548 Right Rear Outer Door Glass Belt Sealing Strip
15950549 Left Rear Outer Door Glass Belt Sealing Strip
Replace the door glass outer belt sealing strip with a newly designed outer belt sealing strip. Refer to Front Side Door Window Belt Outer Sealing Strip Replacement or Rear Side Door Window Belt Outer Sealing Strip Replacement in SI.
Clean the glass with glass cleaner, and if scuffs or scratches are found, it may be necessary to replace the glass as well.
Dan Espersen is the ALLDATA Collision Senior Program Manager. He’s a well-regarded collision expert with over 35 years experience in the automotive industry. He’s also a Gold Pin member of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and holds an AA Degree in Automotive Technology.
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