In Lab - Archive

Contacts during the life cycle of the tyres on the customer's vehicle

Cesare Soresina

I want to begin with two observations.
The first is about the word "contact". My first book, "ConTatto", was about this word.
Briefly, written like that, the word has different meanings. Con, in Italian meaning "with", but also through or thanks to...
Tatto, meaning "tact", i.e. care, attention, consideration.
The word as a whole means having a rapport, a relationship, a personalized connection. But care and attention are required in relationships with customers.
So all the "ConTatti" with them regarding the life cycle of the tyres on their cars, not only must be agreed together beforehand, they must also be managed in the correct way. How this is done makes the difference.
The second is about history. Until a few years ago, "ConTatti" were almost non-existent. The date and mileage of the next stage were written on a slip of self-adhesive paper. This was followed by a small leaflet to be left on the dashboard together with the registration document. Given the meagre results this gave, the decision was made to call the customer by phone, provided that you had a database that had the average monthly mileage declared by the customer. Here, too, the results were minimum and the cost was high.
In the meantime, the world, the market and customers had changed. Technology came to the rescue with "ConTatto" actions to be carried out depending on requirements.
But we were still at the hardware stage, the software was lacking, not only technological, which I have discussed in previous articles, but for contents and the reasons for "ConTatti" over time.
What should these contents include, first and foremost, for the correct "ConTatti" with customers?
Let's start with banal things and their reasons:
• Regular pressure checks, because you consume less fuel, less tread, and gain in durability, safety and grip.
• Regular rotation (the choice is yours, depending on the vehicle), because you consume less tread, anomalous wear and possible defects in the tyre are revealed, you maintain a product which, because it is made of rubber, loses its main characteristics over time, making it necessary to "examine it" every so often in order to ensure safety when driving.
• Summer and winter changes, because the customer can make an appointment and avoid waiting times, so the service is better.
• Promotion of various suppliers, so that customers realize they can take advantage of a sell out campaign for their own car or simply for another vehicle at home or that of relatives or friends.
• Non supplier-oriented promotions (many of you do this), for the same reasons described above.
• Events, sponsoring, participation in exhibitions or local shows that are sometimes just for fun, to show your customers that you always remember them.
• The launch of new tyres with innovative characteristics, or new services for customers, so that they know that there are interesting new things to be discovered at your shop.

I've probably forgotten something, but I did not want to end here.
Looking at the list, it seems clear that the aim of "ConTatti" with active customers is product maintenance for the customer's safety rather than the sale of products and services.
Customers might want something more, something that could be of interest from a personal point of view.
If I had the chance to offer customers "ConTatti" for their personal needs, that I could note on a sheet of paper, signed for privacy, such as when a driving licence or identity card expires, the birthdays of family or friends, special celebrations, personal deadlines or deadlines at work and even deadlines regarding their car, so that I could remind them at the right time personally or on web, wouldn't "ConTatto" make a real difference for them?
So "ConTatti" with customers becomes a totally personalized, individual service oriented not only towards tyre maintenance over time to relieve their ever-increasing concerns about safety, nor only to promote what you do in terms of product ranges and services, but also to remind them about important and personal deadlines.
Being able to do this would give you all a competitive edge with a value for the customer that no discount could beat.
In the next article I'll be talking about the customer's decision-making process, when the choice of what to purchase is essentially important. 

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