Many vehicle owners really don’t know that keeping an eye on every part is essential, including the tires. Mechanics can impress their customers if they monitor tire quality and offer helpful tips and suggestions. It can earn goodwill and maybe an upsell if the tires are pointing toward a suspension or steering problem that needs repair or if the shop sells tires, wheel alignments, or wheel balancing.
Why Should You Check Your Customers’ Tires?
When you review a car’s tires, what do you see? Every time a car is on the rack, and you’re ready to inspect, how much attention do you pay to the tires? In some cases, the repairs needed don’t include the tires, so many mechanics skip over them.
Just because a customer doesn’t mention an issue with their tires doesn’t mean you should ignore the car’s most basic safety equipment. Taking a few extra minutes to assess the tires can uncover problems that could be avoided in the future, preventing further damage and saving your customers’ money and aggravation.
How Will This Help Your Business?
Sure, it takes a few minutes of your valuable time. However, your customers will appreciate the free advice, and it costs you nothing. As a mechanic, you will increase business and loyalty by informing them of warning signs and possible issues they need to fix.
If you provide more information than a customer expects, you’re adding value to their experience. They’ll likely return for repeat business, which results in a positive outcome for your business.
Consider the impact a few words of advice on tires can impact your customer base.
- This is damage that a customer can see with their own eyes, helping them to trust the advice you may give.
- Customers may consider purchasing extra services from your shop if you offer those services.
- If you don’t offer those services, they will see your actions as honorable and be all the more thankful for it.
- Either way, you’ll improve the rate of repeat business and customer loyalty.
- If you perform fleet service, the fleet manager will remember that you went a little above and beyond the call of duty.
In time, you’ll see consistent improvements to your business when customers develop trust in your expertise. Customer satisfaction is the number one reason for repeat business.
A Quick Tire Assessment: What to Look For
There are a few important things to review during a routine or scheduled car repair, including some common issues that may go unnoticed. Some of the most important characteristics to look for include the following:
- Are there any air caps missing?
- Are there any bald spots or tears that indicate a tire must be replaced immediately?
- If the tires are relatively new, is the amount of wear out of proportion to how long the tires have been on the road?
- Are the tires wearing unevenly?
- Are the tires appropriate for the season? Some people may not install the proper winter tires for icy conditions and heavy snow, or they may leave winter tires on the car too long.
Tire Wear and Tear Issues
Even if you never check tires, you may be asked about car problems that may relate to tires. You might as well be ready with answers and suggestions. Here are some reminders of the most common tire problems.
Tire cupping is a common problem, and it is a sign of underlying issues. This problem happens for a few reasons, including bad shocks, suspension, or bad wheel bearings. It can also involve the steering mechanism.
Is the outer edge of the tire wearing quicker than the inside? This damage may be the result of underinflation. If the center wears too fast, it may be due to overinflating the tires. If the tire’s middle is wearing out, it may be a sign of overinflation. Underinflation and overinflation are most likely to occur during seasonal changes. Some customers won’t know that they should check their inflation rate to match the cold weather or the very hot weather.
Feathered edges, where different treads have different wear patterns, is another indicator. These tire wear patterns may mean that the vehicle needs a realignment and/or tire balancing.
Without detection, more damage can occur over time. Once you inform your customer, they may request further inspection to determine the cause of the cupping so that you can provide some options and a solution.
Standard Tire Care for Your Customers
Some drivers are unfamiliar with crucial tire maintenance and regular checks needed. This process involves rotating tires every six months or 6,000 miles, checking the alignment every year, pressure levels, and knowing when to replace tires fully. On the other hand, some drivers may rotate or replace their tires too soon and spend more than they need to keep their vehicle running smoothly.
Initially, it’s essential to go over the basics of tire care with your customers, establishing a trusting relationship between you and clients. If that sounds too time-consuming, print out a one-page guide to tire maintenance and hand that out.
Your expertise and knowledge will encourage them to adhere to proper maintenance intervals as needed. This may mean more work for your shop.
If you don’t perform the service, it’s good to have some idea where they could go to get the service. You want to appear as helpful as possible.
New Customers: Making a Good First Impression
Customers have many choices, and mechanics often have only one chance to persuade them to become regular customers. When you make a good first impression, your actions will encourage them to come back. They may even tell a family member or friend about the nice mechanic who went the extra mile. That’s a lot of return on a very small investment of time.
A bit of friendly advice is sure to build a favorable impression and help your customer build confidence in your abilities as a mechanic. If it keeps your customers coming back, it will be well worth the effort.