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Cesare Soresina

In a continually changing world that we are forced to keep up with, offers by specialists must also evolve and change.

In the world of cars and in the world of tyres.

I strongly believe that, from the point of view of the customer, the time of the “product” is at an end.  On the market, in all product sectors, the  watchword we must work on and innovate now is “service”.

In the car world, service has always been after sales: garage work on repairs and maintenance. Then other services were added: bodywork, tyres, inspections – but always by the garage.

For some time now, tyre specialists have also been talking about new services, but they are always associated with the garage, such as work under the body and, to compete with the network of dealerships, also repairs, scheduled maintenance and bodywork.

The car repair culture is still securely anchored to work,  labour and spares rather than to tyres.

If we put ourselves in our customers’ shoes, the question we must ask is: are these the services I want or, at least, is that all there is?

In effect, they can be divided into three categories:

• “Core” services without which customers cannot buy work: the purchase of tyres, availability, equipment lack or standstill and so on.  

• “Performance”, which is the result of services such as guarantees, different forms of payment, maintaining  timescales and appointment punctuality, correct tyre inflation, durability, etc.

• “Care”, which is associated with the quality of interpersonal relationships, the cleanliness and decor of the premises, a comfortable waiting room, possible pickup and delivery, reminders about pressures, rotation, and so on.

Research has made some strange discoveries. For example, customers do not know about all the services that are available and in any case believe them to be tyre related. Frequently, this is why they tend to go to different suppliers.

Another interesting fact is that they do not know about the personal services that are available and are often free. We mentioned performance and care.

What can we deduce from this? That these services are not advertised and that people who go to the shop are not offered or told about them.

Customers are frequently distracted by their own problems and frequently they do not see or read the posters on the walls or the countless pamphlets that are available.

It is probably up to us to do something different. For example, prepare an attractive flyer that can be given to all customers when they pay, or it can be left on the passenger seat so they see it when they get into their vehicle.

I am talking about a menu of services for all tyre specialists. Preparing the menu is simple, much simpler than you think.

The services are presented in two separate parts. Services for cars and personal services. The first is all the work that has to be done on the tyres and vehicle. I will try making a list but I don’t think it will be complete. Preliminary check of wear, balance, spare wheel check, front and rear alignment, under body, brake pads and discs, exhaust replacement, checking and recharging the air conditioning. Scheduled maintenance included or not included in the manufacturer’s guarantee, mechanical work using original spares, inspections and smog checks, bodywork and smart repairs, the sale of new and used cars on the Web.

The list of personal services is usually very long. These are some examples that may amaze you because they are not considered even by the tyre specialists. Roadside signs, GPS indications, external or internal parking, a range of brands and sizes on display, appointments, pickup and delivery, financing, form for checking wear, estimate before buying, waiting room with television, magazines, Internet connection, coffee and soft drinks, play area for children, explanation of work done, gadgets. Promotions, precise and transparent invoices, legal guarantees, insurance for accidental damage, reminders about free tyre pressure checks, reminders about rotation, reminders about changing winter or summer tyres to avoid delays, reminders on request about expiry of licence, identity card, inspections and smog checks, and much more.

Obviously not everyone performs or has all these services and I have not separated the ones that are free from those on payment. They are all the ones I found by going round the numerous shops.

Try counting them and, in particular, count all the ones you offer. You will be amazed – just imagine how your customers would react.

These services cannot be presented like a dish of peanuts. The flyer or brochure must be graphically attractive, well set out and contain all your references, website or blog included. If you are on Facebook or other social networks, this should also be mentioned. More than 24 million Italians use the Internet. The external agencies you use must be assertive and updated.

Lastly, I would be very pleased to know if any of you are following my advice and what results you have had.

I’ll be skipping a number, so until the next time!

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