It’s all about the customers experience

Price vs Value – How to Win by Focusing on Value.

It was a busy Friday morning when Tom called me for an update on his vehicle. I let Tom know his car would be ready at the end of the day. There was a pause, and then he blindsided me with this, “You know Joe, I did a little research on that water pump you’re replacing on my car. I can get that same part for $30 less, why does your part cost so much?” I fired back at him by saying, “that’s impossible, it can’t be.” I went on and on attempting to defend myself, but I could tell I wasn’t getting through to him. After a few more words back and forth, Tom finally said, “Look you started the job, so you might as well finish it.”

You’re probably thinking Tom went online to check the part. Well, this happened in 1980, my first year in business, and years before the internet even existed. Tom simply called a local part store. The parts store gave him a discounted price and then figured he would challenge me.

Consumers checking your prices is nothing new – it just a whole lot easier these days with the internet. Now, let’s clarify one thing: I am not going to tell you in this article there is a foolproof way to train customers not to go online to check your prices or call other shops. However, what I can tell you with certainty is that if you continue to focus on products and not the customer experience, you are telling people to please check your prices.

Consider this: you’re out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and you ask the waiter to bring you the wine list. As you scan the list you recognize a brand and then look at the price. Do you google the bottle of wine to see what it really costs? Probably not. We all know that a $10 bottle of wine in the store can cost over $40 at the restaurant. But you order it anyway. Why?

The restaurant is selling more than wine and food, it’s selling the experience. If all goes the way it should, we pay for the meal and the bottle of wine, and we are okay with it.

Our business is not different, we need to focus on the experience, not the products. Yes, we install water pumps, control arms and radiators, but that should not be our main focus. Our focus should be on the value and benefit of doing business with US. Now, with that being said, there’s a delicate balance between being competitive and being profitable. However, as value goes up, price becomes less of an issue.

Here is the difference between our business and product driven business; when you buy a product like a watch or a cell phone, the experience lives on long after the sale. Every time you put the watch on or use your phone, you are continuing the experience, and if the product is high quality, the experience gets reinforced over and over every time you use it. With auto repair, what we do does not live on much after the sale. Once a customer leaves with a new timing belt and water pump there’s not much about that repair that lives on in the eyes of the consumer, except the customer experience. Your entire sales process – your marketing, the look of your shop, the people you employ, etc. – must tell the customer what you sell is worth the price.

Let’s remember one thing, your prices will be challenged from time to time, so here are a few more tips. Get the right training for your service advisors, especially in the area of customer service. Ensure your marketing communicates your brand and your culture, and please be careful with discounting. Claims that you have the best price on tires or brakes only challenges customers to check online to see if its true. Most importantly, communicate the benefits of doing business with your company.

Let’s get back to Tom. After 39 years, Tom and his family are still my customers. I have to believe it’s because Tom appreciates the level of service we have given him throughout the years and the relationship we have built. Tom has learned what Warren Buffet has often said, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get”.

NEW* Falken now offering road hazards on select lines!

Scholars of hazardous roads take note Falken is now offering road hazard protection on almost all of their lines. They tested the water last year with their popular CT60 CUV line and now they’re going all in. The only tires excluded are the racetrack oriented RT615K, their M/T and O.E. fitments. Falken is covering the first 3/32nds or 2 years, whichever comes
first. Make sure invoices are dated later than January 1st 2019 for claims.

Original Equipment blow by blow

Like two boxers locked in a title slugfest, NEXEN and Falken have both been landing solid blows. These are two welterweight companies punching above their class. Of course they’re not true top-ranked heavyweights like Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin, but they are amassing solid records by by scoring important OE contracts. The latest: Falken’s Wildpeak M/T has been chosen as the official tire on Jeep Wrangler Rubicon models. NEXEN strikes back, winning O.E. on Volkswagen Jetta. Falken springs off the ropes with a counter punch to supply Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. Sensing their prey has been stunned, Falken closes in for the knockout. With a lightning fast Nissan one-two, Falken jabs with Rogue SV and then winds up the Altima haymaker. Ka-bam! Falken wins this bout, but NEXEN went the distance. We’ll await the next announcement from our neutral corner as I’m all out of boxing cliches.

Falken adds road hazard and wants to fly you to Cali…

In case you needed just one or two more reasons to start selling Falkens – here you go. Falken has added road hazard coverage to just about everything they sell with the exception of their RT615 road race tires and their M/T. Only tires sold after January 1st 2019 count. They’ll cover the first 3/32nds or 2 years, whichever comes first. And if you’d like to hear more about it, just buy 12 of their tires to sign up on the Fanatic program and Falken will fly you out to California, all expenses paid, for an in-depth brainwashing at the Falken Academy. Ride and drives on California Motor Speedway, off-road Jeep adventures, and some good old classroom sessions. And don’t even get me started on the extremely cool hotel they put you up at. To learn more call us at 800.732.3563, ask to talk to Brandy or Jessica!

Falken is O.E. on Mercedes G wagon and Dodge Ram 1500

Whatever happened to rock stars?

Funny things happen when you start talking with dealers about Falken. Often they are very surprised to see the list of original equipment fitments this brand has managed to find their way onto. Add to this list the Mercedes Benz G-Class. Yes, Falken is now O.E. on the official SUV of rap stars and oligarchs. Google a list of celebrities that drive a G-Class and you’ll see names like Clifford ‘T.I.’ Harris (rapper/actor) Matt Kemp ($160 million baseball contract) Kylie Jenner (famous for ummm?) Matthew Hagg (professional video game player – what has the world come to?) Anyway, these are obviously fabulous people that we should all want to emulate by making millions with hip careers, gliding about in G-Class SUVs, while rolling on Falken tires to parties that they’re paid to attend. Good enough for G-Class, good enough for…

Dodge Ram 1500
I didn’t have to google Dodge Ram to know what the heck it is. Some of my friends even drive them. They’re made in MICHIGAN. USA. Anyway, if you buy a 2019 Ram and spec it with the ‘4×4 off-road package’, you’ll be tooling through the mud on Falken WILDPEAK AT3W tires because they’ve earned the EXCLUSIVE O.E. contract. You get the point – this Falken company is for real.

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