Focusing On Where the Rubber Meets the Road

While visiting dealerships I rarely see a big push for tires in our service drives. When I ask service and parts managers why they do not push tires, most of the have the same answers, “Tires do not make us much money” and “Tires take up too much room, hard to stock”.

Did you know 78% of customers maintain their vehicles where they purchase tires, and 60% of customers do not even know their dealership sells tires? Also, 15% of the vehicles in your service drive need tires, and 75% of customers purchase tires from the 1st person that recommends them.

With those numbers, why wouldn’t you focus on selling tires? We should view tires as a retaining tool to keep customers at our dealerships. While we may not generate much profit on tires, there are plenty of other areas of opportunity while installing tires such as alignments, suspension components or anything else we might find during a thorough multi-point inspection. Even if there are no additional services needed on this visit, at least we kept that customer at our service center and it is very likely that they will return for their next service.

Having tires visible on the service drive is a great way to let customers know that you are in the tire business. A great practice is save a couple of tires that are considered in the “Red” and “Yellow” on your multipoint inspection and showcase them out on your service drive next to the brand new tires, this gives an interactive way for the customers to compare the difference. I guarantee that you will see a few customers walking back to their car to check their own tires after looking at the tires on your drive. It will also have customers that currently have their vehicle in your shop wondering which example best represents the current wear of their tires. Once seeing the comparison of tread depths on your service drive, it will make tires sales a lot easier for your service advisors.

Making customers aware of the status of their tires on every visit is very important. We do not want to show the customer their tire inspection on the multipoint only at times when they need new tires. They may wonder where this has been on their past visits. Some may even think that the only time that your advisors have the time to review the status of their vehicle is when they are trying to sell them something. This is also important because tires are expensive for most, so showing them the multipoint at all times and the status of their tires gives them time to plan and save for the purchase.

When offering tires to customers, it’s a good idea to give them choices on different brands, maybe a “Good”, “Better”, and “Best.” This shows that there are other tire options at your dealership and they are not limited to the OEM selection.

Tires are one of the most important factors of safety on your vehicle–they should be considered the most important factor of customer retention on your service drives.

Written by Nick Rodgers

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