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Cheap oil changes and Mudlick mail


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I started watching mudlick mails webinars and one thing that stuck a cord with me. The "highly successful" owner that owns many stores and sells millions a year preaches car count and sales, not per ticket or gross profit. He claims "where they get their oil changed is where they will get their brakes done in six months" * This seems to be a strongly held idea on this forum about those being bad customers. I am not trying to start a battle and I know he is trying to sell me their services but I thought it was worth a discussion.

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Flash Sale + Social Proof


Flash Sale + Social Proof


Flash Sale + Social Proof

I started watching mudlick mails webinars and one thing that stuck a cord with me. The "highly successful" owner that owns many stores and sells millions a year preaches car count and sales, not per ticket or gross profit. He claims "where they get their oil changed is where they will get their brakes done in six months" * This seems to be a strongly held idea on this forum about those being bad customers. I am not trying to start a battle and I know he is trying to sell me their services but I thought it was worth a discussion.

 

There are different business models that are successful in their own right. Let's take Ruth Chris Steak House. Would we consider Ruth Chris Steak House, which is an upscale restaurant that caters to a certain clientele, the true business model for steak houses? If that were true, how do you explain Outback Steak House? (Lower priced, high traffic count).

 

It's the job of the shop owner to determine what business model fits your strategy. Personally, I like the oil change customer. But, you need the bays to handle the flow of cars and the workflow process to handle the flow of cars. Shops that do heavy repairs, many times shy away from LOFs. They are too busy with large repairs and that's ok. It fits their model.

 

From my experience, when you get customers to return on a consistent basis for their oil changes, it is far easier to sell other work. The customer creates a relationship with you and thinks of you for all automotive needs.

 

Great discussion, great post!

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I agree with Joe on this one. I have been trying to pound this into my service writer. When people call wanting oil changes, we do them now. They normally aren't hard. We stock most of the filters and keep people coming back. Its the same reason that I added a tire machine. I don't sell a lot of tires but my most loyal customers don't want to go anywhere else and it keeps them coming to me for everything.

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GREAT TOPIC!

I also believe in making sure we can handle oil changes ASAP and at a competitive price. We have to make sure that we are thought of as "their" shop for everything the vehicle needs. Allowing them to go other places for service seems to really hurt the "loyalty" we want from our customer base.

 

In regards to the "cheap" oil change:

I too have believed cheap oil changes and coupons may attract too many of the wrong type customers. I accidentally just exposed my customer base to coupons, and had unexpected results.

 

I have never used coupons in any of my advertising/marketing pieces (except for my referral program). I recently started using Customer Link for my customer retention, and it has been received very very well by my customers. I did not catch that ALL of the emails and mailers had some sort of coupon on them ($5 off next oil change, $10 off $100, $20 off $200, etc). Once they started pouring in the front door I called and removed the coupons. I have been using Customer Link for 3 months, I removed the coupons in the second month, and now I have actually had a few customers comment on the fact that they haven't been getting any coupons! These are my GOOD customers and not "bottom feeders."

 

I am having a hard time deciding what to do with this information. The coupons worked very well on making sure my customers came back, but most of them were coming back anyways. (although I did have 3 customers tell me that they chose to do previously recommended work because of the coupon). I do not like the idea of paying for the coupon to be sent, and discounting my service with the same coupon! It's like a double hit! But, if it keeps the bays full AND I adjust pricing around it, it may work well. It just goes against everything I have been told (and believed) up to this point.

 

I am very curious as to what others are doing in regards to coupons and if anyone has had any similar experiences. (I hope that isn't too far off topic!)

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  • 4 weeks later...

How long did you use them? Seems like marketing can be hit or mis. I just bought 2 5000 drops.

 

My last direct mail campaign looked far worse and I got 4 to 1 return. That was a smaller run and that return was one customer over a month.

 

They are cheaper than vista print.

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We do oil changes, we also do not stock tires, but we can get them from a warehouse for the next day. People do like the one-stop-shop. What we have stopped doing, is oil, filter change coupons, no more discounts for that. We had too many customers that we only saw for the coupon. Well, those people still come here for their oil changes. There's always the "Jiffy Lube" too. We do the 10% discount for, seniors, Moose Members, elk members and military (we're close to a base).

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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         7
      There are many things to consider when creating a marketing plan. Among them are establishing a budget, what forms of media should be used, and whether traditional advertising, such as TV, radio, and print, is still relevant.  And of course, how much should be allocated to social media and digital advertising?
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      We all know that happy employees create happy customers. No form of advertising can overcome a toxic workplace with unhappy employees. If your employees are not creating an amazing customer experience, your marketing plan will not work.
      Advertising and marketing may bring in customers, but the people in your company creating an amazing customer experience will be the most important component of your marketing plan.  It’s the customer experience that sells work and gives the customer a reason to return. 
      Creating an amazing employee experience, which creates an amazing customer experience, is also the most cost-effective part of your marketing plan. In fact, it cost next to nothing.
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