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Who is responsible for maintenance?

Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 07:00
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Should your techs be responsible for recommending maintenance? Should your front counter be responsible? Should your customer be responsible? It is their car after all. ATI coach Brian Hunnicutt has a suggestion that will help shop owners increase revenue, keep it simple, keep from losing customers and stay the best shop in their market. Let’s hear what Brian has to say about who is responsible for maintenance.

Let’s look at this from the ground up. We know that for the most part the customer is not going to understand what they need and is so misinformed it is not even funny. Our techs each have their own opinions and so do your service writers. You should find out what each of their opinions are, but it is the owner of the store that ultimately matters — you sign the checks.

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A short list of items would be shocks, struts, flushes, filters, belts, hoses, timing belts, spark plugs, balance and alignment. Please don’t forget tires as well. When should each one of these be replaced? I have a mileage interval chart that I can share with you, no problem. It is generic and you have to have your brain attached, but it is pretty comprehensive.

Now that we have a grasp on when we are going to recommend what, we can address who is responsible to educate everyone and take care of the maintenance. If a shock is leaking or a filter is dirty or any of the fluids smells bad or is looking bad, then we are talking about repairs, not maintenance, right? Read the previous sentence again. Maintenance means that these items are being replaced before leaking, smelling or clogging. Why do we change the oil before it is looking or smelling bad — same thing, right?

So I think the front counter person is responsible for building the relationship with the customer and educating them about what we are going to do with them and for them, so they don’t feel like we are doing anything to them. To do this is simple and hard at the same time. If you use a hybrid of the five steps to a tire sale to get the maintenance sold today, in the way the tire sale people get tires sold today, then we stand a great chance of winning.

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