Thursday, April 28, 2011
Why do people go to Jiffy Lube? Easy. Because it is cheaper and more convenient.
Using a 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid with over 87,000 miles on it, we went shopping to find out.
The first stop was to the local Ford dealer where we asked for a comprehensive inspection to find if anything was wrong with the vehicle. We tagged along with the service technician as he did his work - oil was fine, filters were OK, tires safe, all fluids good-to-go and topped off, brakes with plenty of life left, shocks and struts working fine. All they found was a broken license plate light and cracked windshield. When asked for the bill they refused to charge us anything.
Mr. Jiffy Lube came in and called out “Sara Carlisle” - that’s the name in their computer system. He validated where we live and asked. “you still using synthetic oil?” (Ford had already told me that the oil and filter were OK - we had taken off all oil service window stickers before the Ford visit.) I said, “We don’t use synthetic oil.” He replied, “Well, that’s what she’s been using.” I replied that we did not need synthetic oil. He came back at me and said that the “Hybrids are supposed to use synthetic oil.” I asked what it costs. He said “$64.99.” So, we let him put in the synthetic oil, because “Hybrids are supposed to use synthetic oil.” We got the car back in about 15 minutes, paid $67.25 and they did not even find the bad license plate bulb.
We went back home and did something that service customers rarely do - we checked out the owner’s manual.
Next stop was to the Ford Owners Center to see if we could learn anything more. Sticking out like a sore thumb was “The Works” - Ford’s synthetic oil change and comprehensive inspection for $39.95. Their inspection was a lot more comprehensive than Jiffy Lube’s - hey, for free they even found that the license plate bulb was broken.
Now the Big Question: Was Jiffy Lube Cheaper and More Convenient?
Bottom Line: That guy Sy Syms really got it right. An educated consumer really is your best customer. We need to educate them.
Monday, April 18, 2011
About one week ago we asked blog readers to rank a bunch of service customer needs. The chart below has the results of this exercise. Top reader needs start with fixed right the first time (FRFT) and end with comfortable waiting rooms. The green bars show how actual survey customers ranked their needs. The green stars show a ranking of where service customers thought dealers were best vs. chains and IRFs. So, we have some serious disconnects.
- Our intuitively ranked top service customers needs slop all over the top half of surveyed customer needs.
- Perceived dealer strengths don’t line up all that well with real customer needs.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
In this week’s blog I am going to ask you all to starting thinking about one of the topics that will be covered at the upcoming NASB and NAPB in Denver – What is important to our customers when choosing who repairs and maintains their vehicles?