There's one thing you know for sure every time you wave a customer goodbye after issuing an MOT pass certificate; the car will need another MOT in a year's time. What is less certain is whether the owner will come back to your VTS to have their car Tested. Of course, it's a free market and many factors will affect the car owner's decision in that respect; superb personal service, price and location being just a few.
But even if you pride yourself on your customer relations, are exemplary in your pricing and are located in the most convenient part of town; guess what? Apparently around thirty per cent of car owners will completely forget that their MOT is due in good time.
Then what happens?
The motorist call their friendly, economical and convenient VTS, apologetically explain how they can't understand where the time has gone, they're going away on a driving holiday next week and... what do you mean you're booked solid until a week next Thursday?
So of course there's no option – someone else will get the work. Probably the friendly, cheap and convenient bloke who's been slowly nicking your customers since he set up on your patch a year ago.
What to do?
What about an ingenious electronic device which sits on your customer's windscreen (on the back of the tax disk for example) all year, quietly tracking the time since the car's last MOT. Then, when it has been eleven months, it starts flashing amber. This is unlikely to be missed by even the most distracted customer, and of course the name and telephone number of his (or her) favourite Testing Station is conveniently printed on the device. What are the chances you are going to get a timely call from a loyal customer very soon thereafter?
The device in question is called the USER MOT Test Reminder.
USER claim that use of the device will result in increased customer retention, more MOT business and increased general repair business, and they could well be right – the MOT reminder market seems to have been attracting a good deal of attention recently.
Use of these units is extremely simple; the VTS sets the device after Test and it is then applied to a suitable part of the interior windscreen.
Whether the units are charged separately or 'included' in the price of the MOT is down to your marketing policy.
FAQ (frequently Asked Questions)
"Can the USER MOT Reminder be reset after its initial use"?
No, the unit is designed to operate for a 12-month cycle (it will however remain operative for a while after the initial period and indicate the length of time since the 12-month period elapsed).
"Is any point-of-sale material available"?
Yes, point-of-sale material will be included with the first order.
"Can the time period until it flashes be adjusted"?
No, the unit is sealed and the time periods are preset.
"Can the device be used to remind me about calibration and service of MOT Testing equipment?"
USER have developed a range of devices with various time-period settings for this purpose – see below:
A range of USER devices are available for industrial and Health & Safety applications.
USER is available in the following formats: 6 weeks, 3 months,12 months and 2 years. It can also be tailored to other time periods and the format and design of the product can be changed (e.g. into the shape of a fire extinguisher, smoke alarm or anything else!) Contact USER if you feel it could be altered for new applications.
"Having purchased 50 units of the MOT Electronic reminders we were stunned to have sold them in just over 2 weeks of purchase, customers were delighted to have such a simple yet catchy gadget attached to the inside of the top windscreen, comments ranged from 'Now I don't have to try and peel off all the glue from the old MOT reminder sticker', also "this is a unique bit of kit I'll have to show it off to my friends!"
As part of the service having carried out the MOT my tester will reset the reminder and sign and date and leave on the passenger seat of the car so the customer understands how it all works. Certainly a excellent reminder and a unique gadget which will soon catch on to others, must also say great prompt service from yourselves look forward to a long working relationship."
From Mits Pancholi, Aftersales Manager, Sycamore Uppingham