Do you know what stands a business apart from others? When that business provides invaluable information to its customers, it'll win over these customers for life.
In the auto repair industry, technical service bulletins help you fill this niche.
What are technical service bulletins?
In case you're unsure of the term, manufacturers release technical service bulletins detailing common issues that have appeared in specific makes and models of cars. TSBs can be accessed from your AllData or other repair information services you subscribe to.
While some recalls are reported nationally, your customers don't always have the type of information made available to you. That's where you can become an invaluable service.
Use your client database to your advantage
Whenever you see a new issue arise in a make or model, print out that TSB and send it to your customers who have that car. How do you know who has that car? Simple, you have it all recorded in your client database.
You can either mail out the TSB, or email it using an email client like Constant Contact. In your correspondence, include the following:
- Hey, here's a problem your car's manufacturer has seen in your make and model
- Let them know, as their mechanic, why it's important to have this issue addressed
- If it's a standard repair, give them an estimate
- Offer them a free inspection (it's nearly impossible to pass up on FREE) to see if their vehicle is affected by this issue
Remember what your ultimate goal is: to get the car into your shop. Once you perform your 30-point inspection, you may discover that your client's car isn't affected. But that's okay, because either:
- You'll have found something else wrong in the car that you can offer to fix or
- You'll have given your customer peace of mind that his or her car is safe and in fine running order (for free!), meaning you'll likely win over that customer for upcoming service needs
No TSB? No problem. Take charge!
Why wait until a manufacturer pinpoints a problem with certain makes and models? You can be your own invaluable resource here. Chances are at some point in your career, you'll notice the same issue popping up in your garage. It could be an issue specific to a make and model, or to a type of car (SUV, for example) or during a specific season (like late winter/early spring).
When you notice these common issues, create your own TSB. Just like above, access your client database. Contact your customers by mail or email and let them know, "Hey, just wanted you to know we've been seeing an unexpected high number of [issue] in cars like yours. Have you noticed anything "off" about your car lately? Bring it in and we'll check it out for free!"
Again, by offering that free inspection, you're increasing the likelihood of the customer bringing his or her car into your garage. You're also proving that you're an invaluable resource, and, lastly, you're doing your own bit of marketing by reminding your customers of your name, brand, and service.
Be the mechanic in your customer's life that they can't live without
Not all mechanics are equal. Some are just better at fixing things. But to the common customer, all they care about is that their car is fixed and stays that way. That means they may not be very loyal to you for the long run. But they can be if you prove your worth to them.
If the only time your customers see your face is when they're upset and stressed out due to an issue with their car, you're not cementing the type of relationship that will win them over for a lifetime.
Use Technical Service Bulletins as a way for you to reach out to your customers on a personal level, and to remind them that you're their go-to for all of their vehicle concerns.