I ran into an ex-customer at the grocery store the other day. After some pleasant small talk, he apologized for not bringing his Honda into our St Paul auto repair shop any longer. I remembered after the last repair on the older Honda Accord air conditioner that he talked about getting a new car. He said that he had traded the Honda in on a new Toyota and has been taking to the Toyota dealer for oil changes and basic service because “the discount coupons make it so inexpensive.” I’ve also run into ex-customers that have explained that they’ve been going to the Nissan dealer for repairs because of the great service contract that came with their new car.
What I say to customers in these situations is that “we’d love to have you back” and remind them that we can take care or repairs for almost all service contract companies and do, on a regular basis. I mention that service contracts are one of the highest profit areas for car dealers and they can be added into the cost of the vehicle and those so called discounted or ten free oil changes can also be added into the cost of your car. Service contracts and oil changes can cost you more than if you declined them, kept the difference and had the repairs done separately!
The dealer may be more convenient for auto repair if you live right next to them but it’s usually an out of the way long drive for people to run to the Toyota or Honda dealer for an oil change or a maintenance repair.
An independent service shop has a big advantage when it comes to cost on oil changes and all auto repair work for that matter. Think about the overhead expense of the real-estate, big building, property tax, insurance and the utilities to light and heat such a large area that the dealership must pay.
The independent auto repair shop’s overhead is much lower and its success depends on return customers and personal referrals not hidden costs or prepaid costs. We survive on the trust and loyalty of a relationship built with each customer over time using honest clear communication, reasonable prices, technical expertise and dependability.
Minnesota Repair Inc