Products and services that protect and add value to drivers’ vehicles are key to a successful aftermarket automotive business. Investing in products that will command interest from your customer base can increase revenue and prepare shop owners for long-term success.
Windshield protection is a major asset to any shop owner’s portfolio. Since windshields are an integral part of any vehicle, their protection is incredibly important. Carrying and installing sophisticated windshield protection products is a smart addition to improving your shop’s bottom line.
How to sell windshield protection film to your customers
- Accompany a strong Paint Protection Film (PPF) portfolio – High-end windshield protection film is the perfect offering for shops that already install PPF. PPF is a larger investment, usually applied onto high-end cars. A consumer looking to apply PPF is already making a commitment for ultimate protection ($2,000 on the low end – $5,000 on the very high end), and naturally cares about the investment they’re making in their vehicle. Consumers should be educated about windshield protection and introduced to a package where he or she can have their vehicle PPF job completed at the same time as a windshield protection installation. When a consumer is already investing in PPF, this additional cost is a no-brainer if the shop is carrying the film and can speak to its benefits.
- Preach technology, not glass – Newer, high-end cars with precisely manufactured windshields are becoming more and more standard in the automotive industry. The tide is turning thanks to new technology – rain sensors, heated defrosters, radio antenna, lane departure warnings, dynamic cruise control, blind-spot detection and collision avoidance systems are all now embedded right into the glass through camera systems. “Smart windshields” are excepted to be the norm by 2020 in all new vehicles, a great benefit for the driving experience and safety, but will also significantly increase the price of windshields. In many cases, a windshield with embedded technology will cost a driver between $1,300 and $1,650, with a 2019 BMW 750Li windshield costing $2,100.
While replacing a windshield without embedded technology can be a simple operation, it’s quite the opposite with technology. Technicians must ensure that the multi-function camera is calibrated properly during all replacement jobs, so it’s no longer just simply replacing the glass. Some companies, Subaru, for example, prohibit windshield repairs if the damage is in the area of a camera, meaning any little issue and the glass will need to be fully replaced. Not only will replacing “smart windshields” prove costly, it’s also difficult to track down the sophisticated piece of glass for each job. The cost of windshield film sells itself to any driver making this kind of investment.
- Saving customers time and reducing downtime – On top of their costly price tags, high-end windshields are often very difficult to find aftermarket. When selling windshield protection film, it’s important to communicate that in the event of damage, the customer can come to the shop and have a new sheet of film applied in under an hour. If the windshield is damaged without film, receiving a new piece of glass can take up to a month to receive, given its sophistication and lack of availability on the aftermarket.
Aesthetics are very important to drivers of high-end cars given the price tag often associated with these types of vehicles. Many drivers would even fix a small scratch on the surface of their car. Without windshield protection, drivers must replace the windshield for a significant amount of money and accept a new aftermarket, rather than OEM windshield. With windshield protection, drivers simply wait for the removal and installation of new windshield film. Automotive shops can communicate this comparison to consumers who are already receiving a PPF package. Offering products that fit their protection goals can be a major benefit to any shop.
- Windshield protection goes deeper than investment protection – Protecting the investment is important, but another noteworthy benefit for prospective customers is the driving experience and preservation of the vehicle’s structural integrity. Most high-end films block 99 percent of harmful UV rays, which makes for a more comfortable ride, but also adds to the longevity of the vehicle’s interior. The film also handles salt, debris and gravel far better than the original glass. Furthermore, when applied to a new vehicle with an original OEM windshield, protection film helps maintain a vehicle’s structural integrity. For instance, in a front-end collision the windshield provides up to 45 percent of the structural integrity of the cabin of the vehicle and in a rollover, up to 60 percent. Replacing the original OEM windshield compromises the structural integrity of the windshield and the overall structural integrity of the vehicle.
- Tested for success – High-end windshield protection films are strong and durable and should have a track record of success. Dealers should work with windshield protection film manufacturers that can provide test data to back up their protection film product claims. It is also important to offer customers a visual demonstration of the film’s strength. The best way to perform this test is by stocking a Glass Punch Demo Kit. These tests give customers a baseline knowledge and real-life example of the film’s incredible strength.
Growing your business as a shop owner is no easy task. Automotive shops continue to look for ways to gain a leg up on competitors. Offering high-end windshield protection film provides that competitive edge. As a shop selling many PPF installations or window tint, owners need to carry high-end windshield protection to ensure a perfect combination between the offerings. Growing and sustaining your shop’s business starts with a great understanding of your products and clients. Implementing high-end windshield protection in your shop will grow your profitability and please your customer base.