My Recent Experience With A Quick Lube

Rhonda HiltbrandWhen solving problems, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves. ~Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

Recently I had an overheating vehicle…on the weekend!  I needed it to be in perfect working order by Monday morning so…I debated taking it to the corner chain store or to a quick lube equally close by.  The quick lube won.

The young men there quickly took a look under the hood and then the equally fast diagnosis began.

            “You need a new radiator!” said one.

            “You need a new water pump!” declared another.

After much debate a manager returned from lunch and felt the hoses.  It was a hose.  It had a small slit-like crack underneath. The young men didn’t even feel the hoses and even I know that is the first thing to look at.

He ordered the hose…but it took three tries to get the correct hose delivered from an Advanced Auto Parts store.  It also took three hours to replace the hose and give my radiator a flush (or fluid exchange for those of you out west!).  I paid my bill and when I got home was amazed at how dirty the guys left my hood.  I took it to a car wash immediately.

A few days later I had a rather longer than normal drive to another state and thought I detected a kind of burning smell.  After my meeting I drove back to the quick lube.  Again…they gathered around and looked under the hood whispering and gesturing and finally said that the hose had not been clamped properly and the cap had not been put on correctly either.  It took about 45 minutes and I was given every assurance that all was well but they did ask me to drop by again in a few days so they could take another look…just to be sure. I did and all was declared well!

I had to take my car through the car wash again and wipe down my credit card that was extremely greasy.  Yuck.

The moral of this story is…even the most eager to please, enthusiastic quick lube employees (including the manager) will never be as good at diagnosing and repairing even the simplest of issues as a certified technician.

My suggestion to all of you…SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!  To be certified takes work, dedication and a strong desire to be the best!  You are the BEST!  Wear it proudly!

Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing


Direct Mail

Rhonda HiltbrandThe speed and efficiency of programmatic advertising is valuable, but it should always be used in conjunction with creativity to engage consumers, writes Denise Colella. “Overreliance on performance metrics at the expense of creativity is a dangerous practice, yet it’s easy to do,” she writes.

(Marketing Essentials of the Highly Successful Shop Owner – Part 4 Continued)

The advantages of direct mail are many…here are just a few!

  • It is targeted – You decide who it goes to.
  • It is measureable – You know who it went to and you can tell who responded to it right down to the individual.
  • It is scalable – You can mail as few or as many as you like. If using bulk mail to get the best rate you do need a minimum of 200 pieces.
  • It is expected – Consumers expect mail six days a week. They don’t have to order it, subscribe to it or drive out to get it.
  • It is appreciated – USPS did a recent study that showed over 60% of consumers would prefer getting offers by mail than by any other method.
  • It is non-intrusive – It doesn’t pop up in an article, appear in their social media viewing and it doesn’t show up in their inbox to be deleted in seconds. It comes and gets viewed regularly.
  • Now more than ever it captures attention because many bills, etc., are received online rather than in the mailbox.
  • Consumers can put it aside to look at later…unlike an email, social media, etc. You only get a quick moment and setting it aside for later is not an option with those venues.

You want consumers to spend time with your mail piece so make it worth their while. A recipient spends 213 seconds with a mail piece.  You have three seconds to draw interest to your piece.  You have 30 seconds to engage and 180 seconds to get it looked at thoroughly and generate a response.

  • Make it fun!
  • Add color and graphics
  • Make it sizzle!
  • Entertain for brand awareness!
  • Remember…it isn’t always, sell, sell, and sell!! (but do include an offer)

A short reminder…always live up to your marketing campaign no matter what method you use.  A lot of times shops say they are the best, the friendliest, the most high tech, etc…then they get a consumer to try them once.  When that shop fails to live up to that marketing campaign…they seldom get a second chance.

I hope these “Marketing Essentials of Highly Successful Shop Owners” has been helpful.  They were a brief overview of each type of marketing that most shop owners (and other small businesses use).  If you need more in-depth information on one or all, just let me know!

Thanks!
Rhonda Hiltbrand
CEO
News Works Marketing