The way we always try and approach our customers vehicles and our customers needs is simple.
Firstly, what is the complaint the customer has today?
No heat? No coolant? The brakes make noise? The brakes take a long time to stop? The brakes just do not work?
The A/C is not really cold?
Then we determine the cause of the complaint, recommend the best solution to the complaint, and resolve the issue in the most satisfactory manner to both the customer and the shop.
Secondly, we look at what may need done, or may soon need done with the rest of the vehicle.
We look at it in three categories.
One: Things that absolutely have to be done today due to safety concerns or legal issues.
Two: Things that are going to need to be done soon. But, do not, absolutely, have to be done today. They can wait a week or two. Sometimes a little more.
Three: Things that are developing, or ongoing, and that should probably be dealt with when time, and more importantly finances, allow.
That is it.
A nice and simple method for determining what other services the consumer may need. And recommending them based on the ranking system above.
What some shops will do is to recommend additional services to the consumer. The service advisor, will try and convince you to purchase services that are not what you came in for, or are not following the general rules of thumb.
This is up selling.
You come in for an oil change at 100,000km at the service advisor recommends you change all of your spark plugs.
Now yes, it cannot harm to replace the plugs, and yes 100,000km is around most manufacturer recommendations for changing them.
However, you do not necessarily need to do. The service advisor knows however, that that job pays a decent amount of money, so they want to earn the extra if they can.
Other times, it is a brake service or a brake replacement.
Let's be honest again, how many people that drive cars know how often a brake service should be done? Or when they will need to be replaced?
The answer is that most brake systems should be serviced every
20,000-25,000km. Or around once a year.
The brakes should be replaced, if they are serviced regularly, and the driver is not too heavy on the application, every 100,000km or so. Some drivers get a much longer life out of their brakes, some get less.
Up Selling works, because you believe that you should be able to trust what the professional is telling you. So if you are told that you need a brand new set of brakes even though you had them done 35,000-40,000km ago are you going to challenge what the advisor is telling you?
Up Selling, or Up Servicing, is a tricky thing, because shops want to see that their customers vehicles are working properly, but they cannot just try and sell you everything they can. Although some shops do.
The real problem is that some shops have done, and still do, exactly that. Trying to sell you services and parts that you do not really need, simply because it means they will make more money.
Which is not a good way to run a business.
We are, as always, going to be honest with you for a second.
What are mechanics known for? Or rather what is the reputation mechanics and garages have?
Let's face it, it is not exactly sterling in a lot of cases.
The usual thought of a lot of people when going to their mechanic is "Geez, I wonder how much this is going to cost me today."
Which is really an unfortunate thing to be thinking. Especially if you are going to be handing this person, or company, the second most expensive asset most of us ever purchase.
There are, admittedly, many times that things are honestly, and legitimately wrong with your vehicle. And between just getting used to the problem, or ignoring it. And simply not knowing the problem was there, you may end up having to pay more than you originally wanted.
Which is why Preventative maintenance is so vitally important.
Building on what was just said above,
Although there are many times that things are happening without our knowledge. Same as when you go to your dentist and find out that, sadly, you do have a cavity even though it was not hurting. Hurting yet at least.
The same is true about cars.
At the end of the day, all companies are trying to make money.
Due to this, there are many shops, that will attempt to make more money. Which is good, it means they can continue to pay the bills and the employees.