Americans hit the road most often when spring arrives. More than a third of American drivers take vacations during the spring and summer, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA), which inevitably means there is a high likelihood for emergency maintenance on their vehicles.
That’s where your tire and auto service shop comes in. Despite the calendar saying it is winter, now is the time to think creatively about how to reach drivers in your area before they embark on that costly road trip once the weather warms up.
The data is on your side. The AAA reported last year that it rescued 7 million American drivers and that 4 out of 10 people are not prepared when road disaster strikes. The most common maladies on the road? Dead batteries, flat tires, and vehicle lockouts.
Here are ways to prepare your customers — and gain new ones — through marketing messages and events designed around the upcoming busy road season.Create a campaign around the perfect summer emergency road kit. It can include a mobile phone charger, flashlight with batteries, first-aid kid, tire pressure gauge, adjustable wrench, jumper cables, flares, drinking water, snacks, and windshield washer fluid. Once you have your list, sell these items separately or offer a discount if bundled together.
Promote a preventative vehicle checkup. Let customers know that summer is coming and that they’ll need a thorough inspection to make sure their vehicle is in premium condition before it hits the road for a long road travel. Figure out a flat price that will cover an oil change, battery test, tire inspection, fluid level check, and more.
Promote tire safety. Email your existing database to remind them to check their tires before they go on their much awaited vacation road trip. Better yet, tell them to bring their vehicle into your shop so their tires can be checked. If replacements are needed, offer a discount.
Roll out the incentives. You need motivated customers to drive activity through your doors. Offer a free tire alignment, a summer tire sale, or four new tires for the price of three. Whatever it takes, make sure the messaging focuses on preventative maintenance.
Fob and key checks. Use messaging that shows how lockouts are one of the summer’s biggest road hazards. Encourage customers to come into your shop for extra keys, or to store up on batteries that power their keyless fob.
Promote a weekly vacation road safety message every week via social media. This will help you get important road safety messages across to a wider audience and create more visibility for your shop. Include a special offer that thematically connects with each message so your potential customers can have a call to action.
Which incentives or preventative maintenance deals worked best in the past for you? How do you prepare your most loyal customers for the busy road season? In the comments below, tell us about your experience and share some tips.