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PMF – Are You Proactively Leading Your Customers?

Written on October 1, 2015 at 9:14 am

Are You Proactively Leading Your Customers?

When it comes to changing technology, workshops are at the frontline, which means that sometimes the decisions they make and the planning needed to make those decisions successful suffer as they are unable to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

 

This is where proactive motor factors can make a difference as they have both the relationships and the wider perspective that can help workshops to take a more objective look at the situation and subsequently take decisions that make a positive difference to their businesses.

 

For many years, national battery distributor Manbat has been actively encouraging factors to support their customers in this way and highlighting areas where they can make a difference. Two current examples exist in the shape of AGM/EFB batteries and battery testing.

 

AGM/EFB Batteries

Sales patterns confirm that the move from familiar high output capacity lead-acid batteries in traditional vehicle applications, to specialist cyclic batteries fitted to vehicles with a Start-Stop function has begun.

 

This means that more than ever, workshops need to be prepared to cater for the challenges that the batteries in these vehicles present. However, with some assistance from their supplying factor, the opportunities far outweigh these challenges.

 

Over the last 25 years, profits from battery sales have fallen, so that today a typical battery is the same price now as it was in 1990 and the labour rate a workshop can now charge to change a traditionally battery is zero!

 

With the technology change however, three factors now begin to work in the trade’s favour:

  1. The AGM/EFB batteries required for Start-Stop vehicles command a higher price, which means more of a margin for both motor factors and their workshop customers.
  2. Workshops can now charge for fitting the replacement because in contrast to a traditional system, this process can sometimes take a couple of hours work.
  3. As the average motorist becomes less knowledgeable from a maintenance and repair perspective, they are less likely to call into question a fitting charge as they have no previous DIY experience to base their objections on.

 

As a result, workshops and factors together have a real opportunity to use the changing landscape to their advantage and increase their profits.

 

On a practical level, workshops also need the equipment to liberate the opportunities, as fitting these batteries requires a device such as the Manbat ‘Connect + Reset®’ battery validation tool.

 

Failure to validate the battery can cause issues with the Start-Stop functionality, the shutdown of non-essential electrical systems and the premature failure of the replacement. The ‘Connect + Reset tool, which is available only via the factor, provides them with a simple, effective and inexpensive way to allow them to install a Start-Stop battery with confidence.

 

Battery Testing

Motorists are looking for workshops that provide a good service and that they can trust. Battery testing is an easy and effective way of building customer confidence and is very easy to introduce.

 

Whether a vehicle is in the workshop for a service, MOT or repair, it should be automatic that technicians test the condition of its battery.

 

This is a win-win service because:

  1. If the battery is in poor condition, there is the immediate opportunity for a sale.
  2. If it is okay, but might need replacing in the next few months, the garage is providing their customer with helpful timely piece of ‘free’ advice.
  3. If however, the battery is in excellent condition, it’s a good news story that will boost the customer’s confidence that it is a garage they can trust and they’ll be sure to comeback when a new battery is required.

 

Motor factors can help workshops to maximise these opportunities in two practical ways, first by helping them to coherently explain the facts to motorists and second, by supplying them with the tools they need to fit the batteries and carry out the battery testing.

 

Workshops are looking for help and factors with an eye on the future, must be willing to provide them with the leadership they need.

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