You can smell it in the air—it’s coming! Soon enough, you will have the opportunity to see a nice bump in sales due to what we have come to know and love as “winter tire season.” This time of year can either be stressful or successful. To help you make it the latter, below are a few things you can do to prepare and make the most out of the extra business opportunities this season.
Get your shop stocked up and ready to upsell TPMS to your customers requiring a winter tire changeover.
Programmable or “universal” TPMS sensors provide especially great benefits this time of year. When you are attempting to stock up and predict which vehicles will be coming in for a winter tire changeover, having one sensor that covers a majority of the market will help you be infinitely more prepared with the right part when you need it.
Make sure you have service kits readily available to change out whenever a tire is removed from the rim.
Get in the habit of charging your TPMS tool after every shift.
Make sure your tool has the latest software update installed. Each update offers more coverage, which increases the number of vehicles you are able to service. Your sensor coverage is only as good as your last tool update. Don’t waste time downloading an update while the car is already in the bay!
Do all of the technicians in your shop know how to remove a sensor without damaging it? Can they spot corrosion before servicing? Do they understand the difference between programming and relearning? Do they have a standard operating procedure in place? Do they know they should test the system before servicing it? All of these processes can be huge inconveniences if your technicians are not trained properly. The good news is there are plenty of resources online to help get your team up to speed with the latest in TPMS training.
Now’s the time to start educating your customers about the importance of TPMS and boosting your TPMS sales.
If a customer uses the same set of TPMS sensors for each set of tires, requiring them to pay to have them changed each year, advise them to purchase a second set of sensors and explain the financial benefit in the long run. There is always the risk of breaking the sensor, or its parts, when removing it from the wheel.
If a customer already has an extra set of TPMS sensors in their winter tires, suggest replacing the service kits. TPMS valve components are subject to a great deal of dirt and salt during the winter and may show signs of corrosion. Swapping these out helps prevent corrosion and slow air leaks that require another shop visit.
If one sensor battery is low, recommend the customer buy the other three sensors at the same service. If one has died, the others are sure to follow. Changing them all at once prevents them from having to come back for another service, costing them more time and money in the end.
There’s no more important time of the year than the winter season to get your TPMS program running efficiently. Get prepared so that you can see a spike in your TPMS sales and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year for the tire industry.
Jacki Lutz is the Global Head of Communications, Training and E-Commerce for Schrader TPMS Solutions, a global leader in TPMS. She is a TIA ATS instructor and serves on a variety of industry boards.