Every profession has its own jargon and acronyms.  Doctors have EKG’s, VSD’s, PAT’s and TIA’s (which does not stand for the Tire Industry Association).  The automotive service industry is just as bad: PCV’s, PCM’s, EGR’s and TIA (which does stand for the Tire Industry Association).  All this leaves someone outside the industry feeling – well, like an outsider. 

 This can lead to trust issues.  For example, I asked my technician for a quote to replace my timing belt.  He said, “It’ll be $XXX because we need to replace the water pump.”  Now I know that if you have a water pump that’s driven by your timing belt, it just makes good economic sense to replace it at the same time you replace the timing belt.  That’s because the water pump will likely fail before the timing belt needs to be replaced again.  So it’s cheaper to pay for the labor once rather than twice.

 But if I didn’t know this, the recommendation – and the price quote – wouldn’t make sense.  I would be skeptical.  If I weren’t the bold type, I may not ask for clarification and could leave feeling taken advantage of and not return to have the work done.

 We recently had a shop owner drop by the studio.  He’s convinced of the power of video for marketing and educating his customers on the way he does business.  He focuses exclusively on transmission repair.  He sticks to his written estimate even if it means eating an unexpected cost.  And he offers one heck of a warranty. 

 We talked about a video strategy for his business and about options for producing custom video content for him.  In the following days, he remained convinced that he wanted to move ahead, but was getting out of his comfort zone and wanted to be sure he understood every step in the process and could be confident in the cost.  My response to him was something like this:

 “I hear you – this is an adventure into the unknown.  In a lot of ways our challenge is like what you do with all your customers: de-mystify the process, be clear on the costs and the expected outcome.  

 If I can say one thing that I hope gives you confidence it’s this: AutoNetTV didn’t set out to be a “Production Company”.  Our mission is to bridge the gap between consumers of automotive service/repair and the professionals that serve them.  AutoNetTV has a demonstrated track record of effectively educating automotive consumers, instilling confidence in their decisions and supporting relationships of trust with their repair shop.  And we’ve become an award winning Production Company along the way.  I can’t think of anyone that would do a better job for you.”

 In our next conversation we’ll nail down the final specifications.  Then we’ll get him a firm quote for studio time, filming b-roll at his shop, talent, script help and final edits.   We realize that the more closely we work with our customers, the better their experience will be – and the final product will exceed their expectations.

 So next time you make a recommendation, take an extra moment to explain your recommendation in lay terms.  Help the customer understand the benefits of following your recommendations and what to expect if they put it off.  They’ll appreciate the information and the respect it conveys.