I am old enough to remember the line, “It’s a bird. It’s a plane” as part of the Superman comics and television show.
But I haven’t had a reason to think much about this line until I recently got my car serviced. My dealer has moved into a new building. It’s nice.
As you enter the waiting area, the attached picture shows you a new addition to the business.
My first thought was what a great service. But then I noticed the price lists and wondered if instead they were trying to create a new revenue line from what once a free cup of coffee.
And thus the line, only this time as a question, “it’s a service? No, it’s a revenue generator?” came to mind.
My mind also started wandering down the path that this was an attempt to make my oil change an “experience.”
As the consumer, you can see I was somewhat confused.
But as I continued to scan, my questions were answered. It’s a service for the patrons and a support service, in the form of the profits, to the community. You see that in the title and, if you could read it, a sign on the counter stating what charity is getting the proceeds this month.
So why bring this up?
Well for one thing, you don’t want your customer to be confused. Any time you change something in your business, it should be clear to your customer what the benefit is to them. Obviously in this case, I now can have something more than a plain cup of coffee. Plus there were some great looking baked goods to go along with it.
And it was nice to have someone there to help produce and serve this while I waited. It made the time go faster and, now that I know this, may be my breakfast on those mornings I go there.
But not only are they making it a more pleasant experience for me but they are supporting my community at the same time.
It is always important that the business knows exactly why they added this new service? What is their goal? Without that, how will they ever know if they have met the goal? And how will they advertise it to their customers? Are they just keeping up with the competition?
In this case, they seem to have figured it out. My only issue is that other than some of the initial marketing, I have not seen more marketing for this and I don’t see any reference to it on their web site. Plus I needed to put the dots together. It would be nice to have it spelled out for me along with the impact it has made.
So not only can they answer the question but they are telling me what is going on. Gave me something to think about while they provided me with quick, friendly service.
They certainly have added to the words, full service. How many miles before my next oil change?
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.