To ensure we have happy, satisfied and raving fans of our businesses, we need to prioritize the education process. Explaining to customers how our products will be installed, how they will perform and how they should be maintained is essential.

It’s during the post-service phase that long-term value can be built. This is when to ensure clients have the proper expectations and tools to maintain their new products for the long haul. There are five parts to this:

Giving customers the “walk-around” post installation increases long-term satisfaction.
  • The Walk-Around

The walk-around is when you explain to the client every service you performed on their vehicle. Highlight the small touches and all the extra steps. You would not believe how many times I’d point out something and the client would say, “Wow, I had no idea that was going to be a part of the service!” It’s a small step to ensure value is built on the back end and leaves the client feeling like they received a ton of bang for their buck. Take the time and walk through the project with your clients.

  • Give a Heads Up

Depending on the product installed, explain to your client what to avoid or which outside factors could affect the product negatively. This will help reduce issues and tough conversations. Don’t leave it up to chance—give your clients the necessary information.

For example, if a client purchased a full front-end PPF, I would highlight three major things:

  • Hard water spots (potential to settle and bake into the topcoat);
  • Bugs, bird-droppings (acidic material if left to sit, can permanently etch the film); and
  • Automatic tunnel washes (can cause scratching beyond the self-healing capabilities)
  • Teach Proper Care

In short, this is when we explain the most significant pillar of product care—the wash process. No other step will have a greater impact on long term performance and aesthetics.

Explain each step in detail and highlight products that can help in certain situations. For example, if a coated vehicle has water spots, explain how the use of a water spot remover can resolve the issue before it becomes an even bigger problem. Having support guides and sample products for customers to take home only helped get the point across.

This isn’t about scaring the client, but they should leave the shop knowing it takes a bit of thought and care to get the absolute most out of the installed products.

  • Educate on Product Weathering

Client profile, vehicle type, driving style, road quality, climate and storage are all factors that determine how our protective products will wear over time.

The appearance of PPF on the car of a client who tracks their car, washes infrequently and keeps the car outside will be drastically different from the car of a client who drives 3,000 miles per year, garages the car and washes it weekly. PPF is a sacrificial barrier and depending on how the vehicle is used will determine its life cycle. Explaining that at the beginning is important in setting proper expectations.

  • Reinforce with Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) Automation

Once you have gone through the entire post-service process, it’s imperative to follow up and give your clients a link back to the care section of your website. This section can host videos, guides and product recommendations. It will serve as a resource page they can refer to continually while keeping your business top of mind. A CRM can be a valuable tool in automating these messages once a job has been completed. You can give value to the client in less time!

Here’s an example:

MessageDate SentText or Email
Thank You MessageDay of PickupEmail
Google Review MessageDay of PickupText
Maintenance Guide1 Day After ServiceEmail
Maintenance Guide / 1 Month Inspection1 Month After ServiceText
3 or 6 Month Maintenance Detail

(Service Dependent)

3 Months After ServiceEmail

 

James Melfi is a product manager at XPEL.

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