Quality, Value Still No. 1
No doubt about it, 2009 was an interesting year. And it taught us some lessons.
For example, we were reminded that in today's economy, consumers don't want to spend their hard-earned dollars on something that lacks quality. They don't want to waste their money. They're demanding value.
Price is still vital, but consumers today regard quality as more important.
I read a lot about "do it yourselfers" (DIYers) being on the rise. Some people are going online to get tips on how to change their oil or install brake pads in the hope of saving a few dollars. Others are simply hoping their cars will go longer between services.
Thank goodness, most motorists are still opting for regular service at shops like ours. This is likely because they aren't going to buy a new car anytime soon, and they want their current one to last.
We need to tell the DIYers we can understand their wanting to save money, but that their handiwork may wind up costing them even more money. Postponing maintenance can also prove more costly in the long run.
The consumer's best bet is to take his or her vehicle to an ASA shop for regular service. Moreover, they shouldn't necessarily expect to gain from taking it to different shops. "Shopping around" for the best price isn't necessarily going to give them the best value for their money. They need to deal with one shop that knows the vehicle's history.
We also need to stress to them the importance of preventive maintenance.
In short, we need to keep our customers better informed and educated on what we can do to help keep their vehicles rolling.
At the same time, we need to ask ourselves:
• Is our service better or worse than it was?
• Do we offer better service than our competition?
• Do we follow up with our customers after the repairs are done?
• Do we keep customers informed on what their vehicles need?
If we heed the lessons we learned in 2009, this will be a better year. Just remember: quality and value still rank No. 1.
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