When inflation is hitting an all-time high, that’s going to impact you and your customers. Now’s the time to be doing something about it, and make a difference for your customers.
Everyone is trimming budgets, and often, that means they’re keeping their cars longer. Between the availability of tires and the prices of tires, it’s going to be a tough market.
Although we’ve been getting tires from places like China, right now, they’re locked down with Covid. Some of the largest tire manufacturers have stopped or cut production in Russia, and we’re feeling the effect. There just aren’t a lot of tires out there, and the ones that are available will cost you.
Shops should be keeping an eye on pricing structure and availability of what you can get, and stock up whenever possible. As the price of oil and gas shoots up, shipping gets expensive and is hitting the market hard.
You need to set up a program for taking care of your customer’s tires. There are many ways you can help customers save money! By contributing to the longevity of tires, you’ll keep your customers on the road.
Service is a huge part of it. Bringing your customers in for a spring changeover, check their TPMS, rotate and align their tires, making sure there’s no premature wear. Your customers will remember you if you take care of them right.
You know the number one thing that affects gas mileage is tires, especially an under-inflated tire. Invite customers to come in to get their tire pressure checked for free. Take the time to educate them on the importance of having the right tire pressure.
People don’t realize how much fuel they burn, and how much more it costs in tires. Let them know they can get more miles out of their tires. And let them know how much it costs to get rid of tires, how much it costs to produce tires, and how it’s all affected by oil, gas and shipping.
Check anything that affects the wear on tires, like suspension parts, shocks, and struts on a regular basis. It all comes down to impacting fuel mileage.
Don’t let your customers drive on unsafe tires! Don’t compromise on safety – be sure to check manufacturers’ specs if you have to change size. Don’t put on a tire that isn’t legal, make sure any tire, including and especially pre-owned, is checked and can safely go on the car.
Your customers will remember you if you take care of them right.
Think ahead to the winter tire season
This is an opportunity to take care of your customers. Get those winter tires off so they’ll last longer for next year. Since it doesn’t seem hazardous to drive with winter tires, some people wait too long. You know that winter tires are not made for driving on hot roads. Provide those extras like storing tires, cleaning them, and making a real effort to go above and beyond needs and expectations.
If your customer is going to need new winter tires, get them on the list for next year right now. There are going to be availability issues on winter tires. These may seem like small things, but it’s what people remember. It’s never been more important to provide the best customer service, keep everyone safe on the road and save money on tires and fuel.
Matt White is the Director of Tire Services for the Tire Industry Association (TIA). He has over 34 years of experience training technicians from all over the globe on how to stay safe on the job.