My friend Lucas, who has spent the past 20 years at the service center of a local new-car dealership, recently remarked that “selling a service customer tires (at a deep discount) keeps that customer for life.”
That stuck with me for several reasons. The first is that new-car dealerships are approaching the automotive service repair segment of their business differently — quite frankly, more are paying attention to this category as a profit center than ever before.
Secondly, the primary reason independent repair facility shop owners capture business is directly due to relationships. These individuals draw in and retain customers by providing reliable service work at fair prices. This approach resonates with most folks, but it isn’t a magic formula for capturing all of your possible customers.
Stay with me on my thought process: Dealerships are selling tires at really low prices to capture the automotive service work of consumers. This is compared to independent repair shops that thrive on customer relationships to contribute to the success and profitability of their businesses.
So, who’s buying tires at dealerships that are likely to remain loyal for future vehicle service?
Research conducted by IMR indicates a typical dealership customer is a single man or head of household, over 60 years old, affluent with earnings over $100,000 who works at a white-collar job. Hmm, that doesn’t seem to surprise me.
So, here’s my takeaway, while a lot of attention has been placed on the importance of the female consumer as a decision-maker and vital customer, don’t undervalue the affluent 60-year-old male who doesn’t hesitate to invest wisely in the repair of his vehicle, but who also reacts favorably to a little customer service and attention.
Take back this customer. There’s no reason your formula for attracting your customer base doesn’t apply to this demographic. In the end, paying a bit more attention to this aging male audience may make a positive impact on your bottom line.