National Brake Month: a great time to catch up on maintenance
by Ian Johan-Gomez
August is National Brake Safety Month, so now is the time to emphasize the importance of brake maintenance to your customers. It’s normally difficult to sell maintenance work outside of OEM service schedules (and being in the midst of a pandemic doesn’t help the situation) but here are some strategies to convince your customers that maintenance is in their best interest.
“Even though people are now trying to keep their current vehicles going as long as possible, maintenance costs are still going to look scary. Be prepared to cost-justify any recommended maintenance. ”
It’s All About Education
People are more likely to invest in something they know information about. Explain to your customers how their brakes work, what they should be looking out for, and how they can stay on top of maintenance.
Make sure that you’re caught up as well. If your shop has more down time, it doesn’t hurt to refamiliarize yourself with brake maintenance, so you can confidently answer any question a customer may throw at you. If it’s a repeat customer, you also should make sure you’re familiar with their buying habits and service histories. You’ll gain insight to what maintenance needs to be done more or less frequently based on their driving habits, car model, and local driving conditions. Your customers will appreciate this level of care and might be more receptive your maintenance recommendations.
Cost vs. Care
Even though people are now trying to keep their current vehicles going as long as possible, maintenance costs are still going to look scary. Be prepared to cost-justify any recommended maintenance. Elite advises that you break down the cost of maintenance into more digestible increments. For example, if your customer should be investing around $400 for new brake pads, and they’re hesitant because it’s not in line with the manufacturer’s service schedule, break it down for them. If their previous brake pads lasted them about 50,000, and they drove an average of 12,000 miles a year, that’s about 4 years’ worth of driving. This means they can break down that $400 into $100/year, $8/month, or even $0.27/day. These numbers seem a lot less scary than $400, and you can explain that for a little over a quarter a day, you’re staying on top of your brake pads and reducing the potential for brake failure or damages to even more expensive brake parts. It would also be beneficial to explain to them the cost differences between brake parts (For example, $400 for brake pads, $100 for brake fluid flush, $500 for rotors, $250 for calipers, etc.). This will help your customer realize how much they’re actually saving when they stay on top of maintenance work.
Being consistent with your customer service and communication will help your customers stay savvy about their cars’ maintenance. So, this month, participate in National Brake Safety Month and make sure your customers are up to date on their brake maintenance.