Tires are one of the most misunderstood consumer products on the market. In common sizes, the number of replacement tire options can be overwhelming. For CUVs it can be even more confusing. Consider the size 225/65R17. There are available options in standard Passenger, Touring, Grand Touring, High Performance, CUV, Sport Truck, Highway Terrain, All-Terrain and Mud-Terrain segments. Helping your customers wade through the options to recommend a quality tire that will meet their needs can go a long way to build a good reputation for your business and loyalty for years to come. An effective way to help in this regard is asking your customers important qualifying questions to better understand their personal tire needs.
7 questions to ask consumers when they need tires for a crossover SUV
1. Can we go inspect your vehicle?
Inspecting a customer’s vehicle is a must to start an optimal interaction with the consumer. You get to see the tire size, model and brand already on the vehicle. You get to see the condition of the tires. When you check the mileage, you can check the placard to see if the tire size is original to the vehicle. And since you have seen the vehicle with you own eyes, you know a lot more than a phone conversation, email or text can convey.
2. What did you like about the tires you have now?
Here is where you can begin to understand a consumer’s needs and wants. Listen to what they mention specifically. If they bring up ride quality and noise, more aggressive designs may be off the table. If they mention handling, a sportier tire could meet their needs. In fact there has been a dramatic growth in Luxury and Performance CUV’s in the last 5 years. A CUV tire that offers a sporty and responsive driving experience like Yokohama’s GEOLANDAR X-CV could be just what is needed in such a scenario.
3. What didn’t you like about the tires you have now?
Listen carefully to their tire critiques. Did they not last long enough? Did they feel uneasy in wet weather or snow? Were they noisy? These comments combined with what you saw on the vehicle should start to build an idea of what type of tire will meet the demands of the consumer.
4. How do you drive/What is your driving style?
Although many people will not have a specific answer, often the drivers at the extremes will voice their style. Spirited or more aggressive drivers will often identify themselves as such as will extremely careful or defensive drivers. Drivers that are very concerned with miles per gallon or ultimate fuel efficiency might also be more willing to let you know. These are traits that often connect with tire features and benefits.
5. Where do you drive?
This question is also very important to recommending a tire. All city driving is very different from mostly highway driving or a rural 40 mile commute on two lane roads. Do they drive to the mountains on weekends or go camping or further off-road? If so, the Yokohama GEOLANDAR A/T G015 all-terrain tire is available in many popular CUV sizes for the more adventurous Crossover SUV driver. If offers a 60,000 mile treadlife warranty, more aggressive traction and all sizes are rated for severe snow service.
6. Do you often have passengers in your vehicle?
Are you driving for friends, family, customers or mostly yourself? This question helps consumers align their priorities. Many people regard tire purchases about as fondly as dentist visits and try to get through the process as painlessly as possible; which often means with as little money as possible. This question is your opportunity to remind them that their tires are important for the safety of themselves and others.
7. What is most important to you?
Here’s another chance for you to ask the customer to clarify their priorities and align a tire with those priorities. Maybe they think mileage is their highest priority or wet traction or snow traction. Maybe they want a tire that handles better. Maybe they want a tire that helps save on fuel costs. Maybe they want to take their vehicle camping or fishing off-road on weekends.
Long wearing tires often provides a lot of value but are not as responsive as other tire types. A tire with more grip and responsiveness will stop or turn as you command, but not last as long. A tire that is better in snow often has to sacrifice ultimate dry grip. Sadly, there is no CUV tire that: allows a vehicle to handle like a sports car, gets 80,000 miles of wear, grips in snow, holds up to off-road terrain, is fuel efficient and whisper quiet.
However, it’s safe to believe most CUV drivers will appreciate a realistic well-rounded tire like the Yokohama GEOLANDAR CV G058. It has a 65,000 mile tread life warranty, new symmetric tread design and a micro silica tread compound that grips in wet and snow. It is fuel-efficient and designed to offer a quiet, comfortable ride. But in case your customer wants a tire that does something more specific, it’s up to you to ask these seven questions (or more) to help the consumer get the best tire for their Crossover SUV.