An Oil Change Is Not An Oil Change Anymore

mike stallings newsletterIf you have not noticed, the competition is fierce and an oil change is opportunity to showcase your business. People see the service they receive during an oil change as an indicator as to how they will be treated if they were to bring their vehicle in for a more serious and expensive order. If we cannot perform a simple oil change in a reasonable amount of time, (less than an hour) your customer will probably not consider your business when it is time for the normal customer pay-work. The plain and simple fact is that you can get the oil changed at thousands of locations, but our location is where you want your customer to be.

Many dealers have realized that we have to provide this service at a competitive price with extra added value. Let’s talk about some options often over looked; staying open a little bit later, taking walk-ins and appointments, nice customer waiting areas, coffee and snacks, work stations for laptops, loaner iPads, car washes, loaner vehicles and a big screen TV. Many independents and Dealers offer their customers an experience, not just an oil change. If we can offer them an experience to enjoy and that they can come to look forward to, then there is no reason they will not come back for additional oil changes, which of course will lead to them asking for other services.

We know that the clock starts in your customers mind when they pull into the service drive. We also know that for an oil change that is performed in less than an hour, CSI increases, and for those that take more than an hour, CSI decreases.

Let’s consider some options we can do in our stores to help decrease time. Long waiting time getting to the lube bay is a very common problem. First, there must be efficient communication between the service advisor and the technician so that the vehicle can be identified and the order can be acknowledged to its entirety. Consider designating an additional bay for lube. Distribute oil changes to other technicians during busy times. Have the service advisor or consultant start the pre-check on the vehicle while a lube bay is waiting to open up.

Let’s look at time factors such as bay time, oil availability in lube bay, stock oil and air filters in lube bay that can easily be accessed to apply to the vehicle and two technicians per vehicle to help with time efficiency.

Delivery back to the customer is another place many dealers can pick up some time. Let’s bill customers out before the customer’s service order vehicle is completed. Let’s ensure solid communication between lube technicians and advisors when vehicle is complete so that the order can be closed out and word can be given to the customer that they are all ready to go.

Giving a customer a memorable experience with a routine oil change plants a seed in their mind to come back for more business, and we all know the repeat customers are the most valuable.

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