Posted to Shop Management Forum on 4/27/2015
Customer Education - Do THEY Want It?
This is a take-off from Don's post/thread on tune-ups. Don
posted an excellent narrative explaining the ins and outs
and the whys and why nots of tune-ups. I read through most
of the replies, and it strikes me that some may not see the
forest for the trees. If you'll allow me to explain:
Several responses were critical that Don's explanation was
too long, went too in depth, and was too technical. They
went on to say that consumers in general aren't interested
in all that stuff, and not only that, but they don't have
the patience or the attention span or are in too much of a
hurry to listen anyway. Is this really true? Or is this what
we've come to believe?
We live in a culture today where everything has been reduced
to 30-second sound bites. This has not always been the case.
Recently I read "Team of Rivals" -- a book about Lincoln
(excellent by the way). One thing that caught my attention
was how engaged people were back then. Oh, I'm sure there
were (as there always are) those who didn't engage. But
consider how people turned out by the hundreds to the town
square to listen to political candidates speak; and not just
for 15-minutes, but for hours. Newspapers would print and
people would read entire speeches. People wrote letters,
often lengthy ones. I was astounded at the number of letters
and memos written by Lincoln and others.
Now this, of course, is a bygone era. There's no turning
back the hands of time. We have, and are used to,
information on demand, from the comfort of our living rooms
and offices, while driving in the car, while waiting for a
flight, etc. There's nary a place you can go where there
isn't a TV broadcasting headline news from around the world,
let alone smartphone technology that puts the world at our
fingertips. We want and expect information that's fast and
concise. But just because folks want it fast and concise
doesn't mean that they're not interested and aren't willing
Heck, if you're reading this sentence you've permitted
yourself to be engaged for more than one minute.
In terms of interest… Is there a motorist out there
who DOESN'T want to stay on the road and never stranded
alongside of it? Is there a motorist out there who DOESN'T
want to save money? Of course not!
Folks may not always have the time or be in the right state
of mind to hear you out at the point of sale, but from the
comfort of their favorite easy chair many will gladly spend
5 to 10-minutes reading your newsletter. Others will
appreciate the helpful car care tips you post on your FB
page that take 20-senconds to read in the morning before
heading out to work. Some will find it interesting and even
fun to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday attending a car
care clinic. Others will appreciate the videos on your
I think we're all in agreement that today's vehicles are
complex and that maintaining and repairing them can
sometimes be complex. I think most would also agree that
it's in the best interest of the consumer to be 'educated.'
I guess what I'm suggesting is to quit believing that nobody
is interested and that everyone is always in a hurry. Even
at the point of sale where you think you have to be fast,
you might be surprised how willing people will be to slow
down a bit and listen IF you'll just ask and you demonstrate
that you genuinely care.
MDH Automotive Services
Richville, Michigan, USA
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4 Replies Received