After working in fleet maintenance shops for 15 or 20 years, you understand just how important a good preventive maintenance program is. We wondered if some of the same principles could be applied in the retail market, so we talked with service department managers at several local dealerships, and learned that many had never thought of preventive vehicle maintenance (PVM) as a business line. Most of them kept busy with warranty service, state inspections, and repairs.
At the same time, many of them noted that the "discounters" (quick lube stores, department store auto centers, and specialized tire, muffler and brake shops) were capturing bigger shares of the overall market by leading with low-cost oil changes or specials on tires and brakes.
Whether they knew it or not, their emphasis was on periodic maintenance: send the customer a post card every 3 months or so, announce an economical oil change, and take it from there.
This sounded like the foundation of a pretty good PVM program. So, we designed CQM (for Continuous Quality Maintenance) to help dealerships stay connected with their customers through a relationship built on sound PVM principles.
The original program was paper-based and worked like this:
We had to streamline the program to make it more workable, and we chose the Internet as the way to do it. We eliminated almost all of the paper (we still send a customized maintenance book and welcoming letter to each vehicle owner) and we created a "rule base" for generating maintenance schedules.
Now, our customers go to a web site to enroll their customers' vehicles, forecast all upcoming maintenance events, manage the contact with their customers, report completion of each service, and request customization if our maintenance rules don't meet their needs.
With CQM Online, our customers have a complete PVM management system that provides an objective framework for building a maintenance-based business and enhancing the relationship between them and their customers.
CQM Online Elements
CQM Book - prepared by FTI whenever you submit an online enrollment request. Each CQM Book consists of:
Introductory Letter - sent with each CQM Book by FTI on your behalf to welcome each vehicle owner into the program and reinforce its benefits. We print the letter on your stationery, with your personalized message and signature and send it in a special CQM envelope that features your logo and return address.
Complete Marketing Tool
Using CQM Online, you can teach your customers about PVM and its benefits. You can help them lower their total cost of ownership and increase the reliability and resale value of their vehicles.
The major benefits to you are improved customer relations, more repeat business, and less dependence on high-stress breakdown work.