Although customer service starts at the front counter, that is only the first step in satisfying a tire customer.
What do you need beyond the front counter? Product availability from a well-maintained inventory, customers' applications so you can supply the right products, an understanding of casing value and a qualified technician ready to install the tires.
To ensure accurate inventory levels, inventory counts need to be completed regularly, and tires must be organized into a well-planned layout.
Accurately inventoried and easy-to-sort tires increase shop efficiency, as well as eliminate the frustrating situation of quoting a tire that your computer shows is in inventory but isn't in the racks.
More importantly, accurate inventory is just one more step that will help ensure you have a satisfied customer.
Having product in stock is important, but do you have the right tires in stock?
You must know the customer and his or her application to properly service their needs and meet their expectations.
This is where you need not only a friendly and courteous staff, but a well-trained staff that knows and understands fleet tire applications.
Seek regular training for your staff to keep them up to speed with market trends and well equipped with adequate product training.
The proper tire is not determined by cost, but first by application and need. Cost is always a secondary factor in correctly servicing a customer's need. The right product is far better than the wrong product at a better price.
Now that you have the customer ready to buy the tires and have what the customer needs, do you know the value of the off tire casings?
Fleets expect something in exchange for the casings on their truck, so know the market and give a fair and adequate value for the casings.
If you are maintaining a managed retread program, properly label the customer casings so they are not lost and adequate credit is applied.
Although there are many elements to running a successful tire shop, above all else sometimes it is best to step on the other side of the counter and consider the service you are providing from the customer's perspective.
Robert Armstrong is director of commercial tire sales for TravelCenters of America L.L.C. (TA)'s Truck Service Commercial Tire Network.