I recently had a great conversation, with a great customer, about pricing. He told me that he loved our service, and thought it was high-quality, but he wondered why prices vary so much when calling around and shopping with a few other shops in the area. My answer lies in value, not price. Let me explain:
When customers compare shops, price often becomes the only question they ask. But price is only one part of the equation. Do you know exactly what you’re getting for the price? Many people aren’t sure what questions to ask to determine the value for their dollars spent. Some key questions to ask, and answers to consider, could be the following:
• Are the technicians ASE master-certified? Are the certifications present and displayed?
• What is the shop warranty on parts and labor?
• Is the warranty valid anywhere, or only at the shop where the work is performed?
• What is the quality of the parts installed, and how were they chosen?
• What is the result if this repair is done incorrectly?
These are just a few questions, but there’s even more to consider. The automotive industry is one filled with technology and constant change (self-driving cars are just around the corner). Newer cars (anything from 2000 on) are basically computers on wheels!
As such, a shop is responsible for providing the required continuing education and training resources for a technician to stay current and relevant in his or her field. In addition to these factors there is also tooling, equipment investment, and upgrades for the shop which are required to stay “up to speed.” Staying current in a world of constant change is difficult, and expensive, but ensures the customer’s car is being properly and safely maintained. If not, you may end up paying more in the long run when the less expensive “repair” doesn’t actually work.
Customers should consider the environment where their vehicle is being serviced. Is it a clean, well-kept, safe, and technologically sophisticated environment? Are the needs of the employees being met? For example, many of our customers are pleased when they discover our staff has a comprehensive benefits package. As Ashlanders, and Rogue Valley residents, we value our community. By shopping locally, we support local employees and their families. We help create, and keep jobs in our community.
In summary, we’re talking about price vs. value. Understanding the value of the service you’re getting is crucial when determining whether or not the price is right for you. What’s best for the industry, and the customer, is for drivers to have the information they need in order to make the decision which is right for them.