3 Marketing Lessons from the Titan of Tires

September 3, 2014
Marketing lessons you can learn from Discount Tire’s amazing service

Taking my car to the shop is never fun. I have to fight for an appointment time, wait around for hours, and spend money fixing things I’m never quite certain were actually broken.

But in the last year or so I’ve found a solution, a magical place where my problems are solved quickly and efficiently — and where marketing lessons abound. I’m talking, of course, about Discount Tire.

Easy as pie

Every six months I get a friendly email reminder that it’s time for a tire rotation. Normally I’d rather drill through a steel beam with a stick of butter than try to make time for something like that, but Discount Tire makes it ludicrously easy.

The reminder email contains a link to their store finder, where I can browse for a convenient location. Rather than being assigned a time by the store, I get to pick when it’s most convenient for me to come in.

I do all this without having to pick up the phone.

It’s so easy to schedule an appointment online that I’m able to do it almost without thinking. Discount Tire makes it impossible for me to hate — and therefore avoid — the appointment process.

Your takeaway: Make it so easy for your potential customers to do what you want them to do, they can’t stop themselves from doing it.

SaaS (Service as a specialty)

Driving up to Discount Tire is nothing like driving up to a shop or dealership. I’m greeted quickly and kindly, and am escorted into the building rather than standing around in a scorching parking lot.

Once inside I’m seen to quickly, asked questions politely, and offered coffee or water while I wait.

Which I never have to do for long — I’ve had breath mints last longer than my wait time at Discount Tire. My bill is settled and I’m out the door faster than I’ve ever been at any other car-related appointment.

Your takeaway: Give excellent service, and give it consistently. Make people feel good.

Flawless follow-up

Soon after every appointment I receive a survey request from Discount Tire, thanking me for my business and asking me to provide feedback on their service.

The survey is short but comprehensive, giving me a chance to air grievances or sing praises. I’ve never given any negative feedback, but if I did I bet I’d hear from them.

Your takeaway: Follow up with surveys, thank-you emails, and anything else that gives your customers a chance to give you feedback. If it’s positive, promote it; if it’s negative, take it to heart and do better.

Whatever you do, do it well

Customers love businesses that treat them right, do good work, and make good products. Whether your business is tires or tacos, hair bows or helicopters, focus on doing great work that turns your customers into promoters.

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