Several years ago, Sant Automotive developed and deployed vehicle maintenance charts which were Excel Spreadsheets that would track both time and mileage based service recommendations for our customers’ vehicles. We considered our reminders to be superior because they accounted for all of our maintenance recommendations and would alert customers to upcoming maintenance needs. We got away from these Vehicle Maintenance Charts for a couple of reasons. One of the biggest is that the records were manually updated. If data entry mistakes were made, they would not be corrected unless noticed. We never want to provide our customers with incorrect information. Second, because of environmental impact and cost, we wanted to get away from printed material and rely more heavily on electronic communication. We tried emailing the charts as attachments to our newsletters, but customer reaction was not what we had hoped. Finally, we wanted to make absolutely sure that we did not conflate our recommendations with factory recommendations. Our recommendations are always made in the interest of our customers; however, not all of the recommendations that we were making matched those of the vehicle manufacturers. Part of this was a result of our desire to avoid the confusion that owners’ manuals create when they direct a technician or motorist to inspect an item. “Inspect” obviously means “Inspect and replace if necessary,” but not everyone sees things that way. To address these problems, as well as others related to estimating and parts ordering, we switched our “point of sale” software provider to Mitchell1.
The switch has been successful, but customer response to the reminders has not been as successful as anticipated. The main point of friction seems to be that our maintenance sheets provided our customers with better information for anticipating future recommendations and budgeting upcoming maintenance.
To improve, we have come up with some options. First, if you liked our Vehicle Maintenance Charts, you can keep them. (Sorry.) Let us know, and we’ll update them and send them to you, quarterly. If you would like automatic recommendations from our Mitchell1 CRM program, just provide us with an email, and you will receive reminders that are based on actual factory recommendations. Email addresses will never be provided to third parties. We will limit non-service reminder emails to no more than one per month, and you can opt out at any time. Just give us a buzz at 314-849-2900, and we’ll get you set up. Finally, if you ever have any questions about the difference between our maintenance sheet recommendations or factory recommendations, let us know. We will happily and cheerfully answer any questions that you may have.