19 years old, walking down Huron Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2,100 miles from home, I watched the wad of chewing gum I had just spit out arc into the street; and realized that my momma had lied to me. As a littler shaver she told me "always spit your gum into the street to strengthen the tires of the cars that run over it”. For well over a decade I enjoyed a warm glow as I did my civic duty and discarded my used gum on America’s roadways.
Well that day I felt rather sheepish for not having figured out sooner that my contributions were not in fact lengthening tire life and that mom was just trying to keep me from spitting my gum on the sidewalk. Thus began my season of disillusionment.
I suppose we all carry around some misconceptions. And yes, some about car care. Studies show that modern vehicles have become increasingly reliable; it’s easy to see why the public can be lulled into the notion that their vehicles are virtually maintenance free. Folks may be pretty good about oil changes (although those intervals keep growing longer, reinforcing the illusion) but all those other pesky items on the schedule seem ethereal and skipping them harmless. Who’s there to give them the straight story?
Well, it’s got to be you. You understand the need, the benefits that can come from having the work done and the damage and expense of ignoring preventive maintenance. Your whole front end customer experience needs to be devoted to educating your customers when they are in for any reason, even if it’s just for an oil change. You’ll consult your service records and data service as well as conduct a walk around to uncover other issues. Well, you will if you have time. But what do you do when there are three people in line, two techs waiting on you for parts authorization and you’re an hour past lunch?
How about digital signage? Digital menu boards and lobby TV programming can help fill in the gaps. They never need a break, don’t take vacations and are always giving your best presentation every time. Of course, digital signage is no substitute for your experience and the personal touch you provide your customers, but when you are pressed for enough time to serve them as well as you wish you could, it will help.
Take a few minutes to look into automotive digital signage. And never spit your gum out on the sidewalk.
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.