The Opportunity in 2018: Keep Your Customers Safe

“When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” –John Wooden

Coach Wooden knew his basketball players needed to be prepared for the game, or they wouldn’t be able to capitalize on its opportunities. Is your shop ready to capitalize on your opportunities in 2018? One opportunity you should be looking at is keeping your customer safe — by inspecting (and restoring) their vehicles’ headlights.

Why headlight restoration? Depending on your greeting process, one of the first things that is very noticeable during the basic inspection process is your customer’s headlights. According to the 2017 NOLN operator survey, headlight restoration accounts for about 4 percent of a shop’s gross sales. With the national average charge for headlight restoration at about $70 and an estimated 11,000 customers coming to your shop annually, your average gross revenue for this service should be about $30,800 per store. If you’re not grossing this amount annually, you could be leaving money on the table. But more importantly, you’re not keeping your customers safe on the road.

Here is some important information you can share with your customers — especially when you see a car or truck pull in with yellowed or cloudy headlights:

When a car’s headlights are new, the factory applies a protective coating over your polycarbonate plastic lenses. The coating performs extremely well for many years, but due to acid rain, road grime, debris and exposure to ultraviolet rays, the original coating wears off, exposing the polycarbonate plastic to the harsh environment of the road. Over time, headlights become cloudy, faded and yellowed — reducing the illumination necessary to see safely in near-dark or nighttime conditions. The only thing keeping your customers safe when the road is dark or the weather is stormy is something most drivers take for granted — their vehicle’s headlights.

A CBS4 I-Team investigation in Florida found a growing number of motorists driving with headlights that may not even meet state or federal safety standards.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, headlights have to clearly illuminate the roadway for at least 150 feet. FHP Lieutenant Pat Santangelo said, “The bottom line — it’s a safety problem; it is a safety hazard to have this type of lens.”

Dull headlight lenses are problem affecting hundreds of thousands of headlights on virtually every make of car and truck — foreign or domestic. Aging plastic headlights, after as little as two or three years on the road, are becoming so cloudy that they actually output less light than is needed to legally do their job.

Headlight restoration is an instant-gratification service where your customers can see results immediately. Share some of these safety statistics with them, and tell them about the dangers of driving with yellowed or cloudy headlight lenses. There’s a good chance they will see for themselves their lenses could be clearer — and your shop can help!

We recommend performing a headlight restoration service during the oil change process. Yes, you are able to perform the two services at once. Our headlight restoration product takes about 15 minutes to complete — but depending on the brand you use, it could take up to an hour to complete. A headlight restoration is a visual product that allows the customer to see results right away — and you can also explain how your other professional services provide the same quality of results.

Share the wealth. Incentivize your technicians and managers for performing this service. Not only will they feel good about selling the service, but they will also feel great about keeping your customers safe on the road.