I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who says they immediately say “Yes” to all their service advisors’ recommendations.  I’ve definitely talked with some who always say “No”.  Most of us listen and make a decision.  It’s how we come to those responses and decisions that’s so very interesting.

It’s been said that we all make decisions emotionally and then use logic to justify them.  While that may not be strictly true, there are certainly elements of both logic and emotion in most of our decisions.  Take my friends who always say “No”: Their premise that every recommendation is incorrect, unnecessary or self-serving defies logic.  For them, the fear of being taken advantage of and appearing foolish is replaced by a feeling of superiority and control by saying “No”.

Of course there are logical reasons for saying “No”.  I recently declined a differential service because I had already had it done and it wasn’t due for another 65,000 miles (perhaps checking their own records before making the recommendation would avoid the unpleasant emotion of embarrassment).   When replacing a battery in a vehicle I intended to sell soon I did not opt for the added cost of the Super Premium Titanium with an 8-year full replacement warranty.  For some, the money may just not be in the budget just then.

That said, we would be foolish to avoid the impact of emotion in the decision making process.  Every choice has consequences, both positive and negative.  Automotive service and repair choices have performance, safety and economic consequences.  One of the things I like about my personal car is its power and handling.  When recommending a fuel system cleaning to me, why wouldn’t you strike an emotional cord and tell me about how the service will restore lost power.  I may not think my handling is bad, but the truth is that after 50,000 miles or so, my vehicle control isn’t what it used to be and I can restore it with new shocks/struts – so tell me about it.

On the safety front every declined service should not be depicted as ending in a fiery death.  Rather explain the logical consequences and sell the peace of mind that comes with taking care of important items when they are due.

When our creative team is working on a new video, we realize that each piece needs to both educate and motive the consumer.  We want viewers to understand the importance of following needed recommendations, but we need them to feel how it will improve their life.

 A recent study I was following focused on how images “turn on” the emotional element in the decision making process.  It shouldn’t be a surprise that science is confirming what ad men and filmmakers have been doing all along.  This really gets to the heart of what we do at AutoNetTV: create powerfully effective videos for automotive websites, service lobbies and service counters.  We tap into the emotions that seek to avoid pain (breakdowns, unnecessary expense, etc.), provide the logical justification for taking proper care of the family vehicle and leave a feeling of empowerment and peace of mind. 

So, say I with a thick Transylvanian accent, ‘Look deep into my eyes . . .”

Lance Boldt is Vice President and Co-Founder of AutoNetTV.  AutoNetTV’s digital signage products deliver entertaining and educational TV programming to the lobbies of automotive service and repair businesses as well as digital menu boards and automotive website video content.