We have all seen the Sunday direct mailers from our local dentists, lawn care, chiropractor and auto repair/oil change shops. The whole idea is that through steep discounts, these professionals and companies can gain new customers. The question is, are these the types of clients that you want to build upon and keep for the long-term? If not, this strategy may be leading you down an uneven path.
Let’s face it. If you are pulling in clients that are price driven, they most likely will not be loyal in the long run. Instead, they will be looking out for the next “cheapest” deal. This type of approach, although well-intentioned and helpful in bringing in some additional revenue, will not sustain the long-term profitability of an auto repair company. There will always be a competitor that will undercut your pricing strategy, and in that game you are sure to lose.
So, you might be asking, what should I do? Stop focusing on price and start focusing on VALUE. If you are focused on price, your existing and potential clients can easily compare your company with the other fifteen in the immediate vicinity and choose the least expensive. Instead, create a packaged offer that includes this “value”. For example, don’t just do an oil change, but package it with another complementary service or two (i.e. brake and fluid level checks). You now have a package that is yours, is not easily compared to your competitors and brings value. If you can create unique packages for your clients, they will be willing to pay more for the service, you will generate trust and both are reaping the rewards of building a long-term relationship.
Start looking at your client needs, what do they consider important? Let’s face it, most people put their oil change low on their priority list. However, providing a full 10 point check along with this oil change will not only bring you higher profits but also creates value in your clients’ minds. Another important consideration is time. Is there a way that you can help your clients by co-marketing with another local business? How about setting up a shuttle service to their local supermarket or mall while they wait for their vehicle to be serviced? The ideas are endless once you know what your clients’ perceived values are.
Think custom not cookie-cutter. Trying to convert customers who are price driven into profit is hard work and largely a waste of your valuable time and resources. Why not customize your marketing and services to a select group of clients that value your service and create higher margins for your business?