Any of you have seen this deal from Mavis?
Talk about doing the desperate thing to bring people in through the door.
By Joe Marconi
I can't tell you how frustrating it is to give a price on a radiator to a customer at the service counter, while he's on his phone searching for the part!
Here's what I do when I get a customer that tell me he can get the part cheaper....I agree with him!
I let him know that he can get the part cheaper, just like he can buy a steak and potatoes cheaper at the super market too. But he'll pay more for the steak and potatoes at a restaurant.
And then in a calm manner, I review all the benefits of me suppling the part, the warranty and the fact that if the part is wrong or defective or fails in the future, he will have no recourse and will have to pay to have done all again.
For most, it works. For many it's all about price.
Now Most IMPORTANT IS THIS: The reason why you don't mind spending more for a steak at a restaurant is because of the experience. So, make sure the customer experience clearly demonstrates the value of why people need to do business with you. When Value goes up, price becomes less of an issue.
Hope this helps. Let's hear from you on this frustrating topic!
Icahn Automotive Group LLC today announced the launch of Pep Boys Fleet, a program that puts a renewed focus on automotive service designed to better meet the needs of today’s growing fleets. With a new tagline, “Driving your business forward,” Pep Boys Fleet will continue to serve as a preferred partner to large, national fleet management companies and with this move is now better-positioned to meet the needs of the many small fleets emerging from the explosive growth of transportation network companies and last mile delivery services.
Pep Boys Fleet has the experience to handle any size fleet, providing inspections and warranty-backed repairs, both routine and complex, according to Icahn Automotive. Pep Boys Fleet service, including preventative maintenance such as tires, brakes, batteries and suspension, is done through the Pep Boys national network, which consists of more than 9,000 service bays in more than 1,000 company-owned locations. Pep Boys Mobile Crew, which launched in 2018 with state-of-art trailers, will now expand to include smaller-format fleet vans that are fully equipped with all the necessary supplies and staffed by trained technicians to complete common fleet maintenance and repair needs on-location.
“No matter the size of the fleet, our goal is always to decrease the vehicle’s downtime, ultimately providing a more convenient, flexible and personalized way of addressing repairs and vehicle maintenance,” said Brian Kaner, president of service, Icahn Automotive. “Pep Boys Fleet is the only service provider to be backed by a national network and offer mobile
maintenance and repairs, as well as provide dedicated fleet team support and solutions designed to both streamline the fleet manager’s role and help an owner focus on the running the business and not the fleet.”
Today 20% percent* of vehicles are sold to fleets, a number that’s expected to shift as high as 40% over the next 20 years as ride-sharing, ride-hailing and online retail continues to grow. As one of the largest, most trusted and widely known aftermarket automotive service providers, Pep Boys Fleet and the company’s trained and certified technicians can work on all makes and models. Changes have been made to the service format in Pep Boys locations to establish dedicated Pep Boys Fleet bays reserved exclusively to expedite fleet jobs, and locations are also being updated to include meeting rooms with amenities where fleet customers can conduct business while their vehicle is undergoing maintenance.
Pep Boys Fleet provides customers with national, regional, local and store-level support where customers receive a single point-of-contact that gets to know them and their business. The Pep Boys Fleet Team representative develops a customized service program and pricing plan and remains engaged to help manage a customer’s fleet business. Pep Boys Fleet also provides customers with a universal fleet services credit card that allows fleet managers to track and pay for vehicle repairs and preventive service and earn rewards. All fleet customers can also take advantage of a specialized online invoicing and payment system and a 24/7 towing program to any Pep Boys location.
Pep Boys Fleet is an official tire, brake and preventative maintenance supplier of Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners (DSP), which provides negotiated pricing for Amazon DSP maintenance, along with a pro rewards program, and fleet credit which owners can use to cover unforeseen expenses. Later this year, Pep Boys plans to launch a management technology solution to help small and mid-size businesses better manage their fleet maintenance.
The launch of Pep Boys Fleet is a continuation of Icahn Automotive’s investments in its service business and follows the announcement of a comprehensive program to recruit and train automotive service technicians to meet the demands of the industry, which are being driven largely by the fleet customer. In addition to launching new service formats such as Mobile Crew, the company continues expanding its footprint in key markets by acquiring both franchised and owned service centers and remodeling existing Pep Boys locations.
Years ago my younger brother came to work for me. He didn’t know a thing about cars, but was willing to learn all he could. Teaching new techs is an art that most shop owners have to learn to do, but teaching your little brother can be a chore and can test your patience. I muddled thru it all and taught him what I could. I was sure at some point in time the two of us would butt heads like brothers will do, and he would take his new found skills and move up in the rank and files of the automotive technical world, but in the meantime it was his turn to learn from his older brother.
When he first started I would walk him through each step of how to diagnose a certain system in a car. A lot of times he would have questions, and I’d do my best to answer them. He learned quickly and was really sharp at picking up some of those little details that are harder to teach. You know things like how you held a certain wrench or used a certain tool, to you and me it’s no big deal. But to a novice, it’s a revelation, then you (I) tend to forget to mention those certain traits while you’re teaching. Mainly because you are trying to get to the solution as efficiently as possible, and you neglect to bring it up. Such as: “always test your test light connection before testing what you’re testing, or don’t forget to check for all your tools before you pull the car out of the shop….” Things like that.
One day we had a truck come in with dual fuel tanks on it. The gas gauge wasn’t working and needed some attention. This was a perfect opportunity for Junior to learn a few of my short cuts on these old models. It was an older Ford, in which the tank gauge ran thru the tank switchover button. It was rather easy to pull it out of the dash and connect to the gauge from the back of the switch.
Luckily it was the typical problem I’ve seen a hundred times in the past. The switch connections would melt and the tank wouldn’t switch from the front tank to the rear, and of course the gauge wouldn’t move either.
After locating the correct leads to the gauge and to the tanks I decided to show him how the gauge worked. I hooked up the one of the tanks to the crossover lead that would supply the signal from the tank to the gauge.
“Ya see this, that’s the lead to the fuel gauge in the dash, and this is one of the tank wires. I’ll connect these together and we should get a reading on the dash,” I told him.
He was watching intently, taking in all the wiring diagram information, the location of the wires, and how I was bypassing the switch. He was fascinated with the flow of the current and the way the gauge would respond. I even went as far as moving the gauge from full to empty by opening and closing it to a ground signal. While I had his attention I filled him in on the two types of gauges that were used back then (bimetallic and magnetic) and how low resistance on a bimetal type gauge would read near a full tank, while a magnetic gauge would read close to empty. Change the resistance and the gauge would/should read accordingly.
“So, if we put gas in the tank the gauge should move right? That way we could check the sending units in the tanks too,” he asked me.
“Great idea, grab a gas can and let’s add a few gallons,” I said, excited that he was so interested in the project.
He grabbed a can of gas and poured a few gallons in the tank. I was watching the gas guage carefully, but there was no movement. I knew I was on the right wires, but nothing was happening. Now what? Are there more problems?
“Crawl under there, and check to be sure the wire color is correct,” I yelled from the cab to him.
“Yep, it’s the right wire on the tank.”
“Well, we might have to pull the tank; it’s not changing the gauge readings up here.”
“Before we do that let’s add some more gas, maybe we didn’t add enough,” Junior tells me.
I thought I better go back and help hold the funnel, while he poured the gas in the tank. Unknowing to me, all this time my wife (who was the office manager) was listening in on the whole thing. She likes to keep tabs on me, and make sure I’m not going into one of my usual rants or having a fit because I had to explain something over and over again to little brother. This time she was standing at the corner of the shop just behind the truck with a camera. “CLICK”, I heard the camera shutter go off and she was back there laughing like there was no tomorrow.
“What’s so funny?” I asked her.
“You two idiots have been putting gas in the wrong tank. You’re on the front tank, and you’re putting gas in the rear tank,” my wife answers, laughing hysterically.
About then the camera “clicked” again… this time it was an action shot taken at precisely the exact moment when these two idiots had that dumb struck look on their faces and realized what they just did. The shot had both of us on our knees, one holding a funnel and the other with the half empty gas can, and both of us staring right into the camera lens. Couldn’t have set it up any better if you tried.
The picture clearly showed the side of the truck with both fuel tank doors visible and there was no doubt which tank we were putting in the extra gas. I guess it was one of those things I should have mentioned when we were checking the tank senders… make sure we are both on the same tank.
For years that picture hung over her desk, and anytime I thought I was so smart she would point at the photo. Usually with that typical smirk, usually shaking her finger at me and of course the laugh… she had to laugh, but it wasn’t all that funny until she had me laughing about it too. Ok, Ok, I’m not perfect... and now my little brother knows it too.
These days he’s a top notch tech at a dealership, and I have to call him on occasions for some help on how to solve things once in a while. Oh the photo… uhmmm… what photo?? Somehow it’s missing… haven’t seen the darn thing in years. But I guess I really don’t need to see the photo … the wife has a pretty good memory... she reminds me just how smart I think I am every chance she gets.
Click here to view the article