By Elvis L. Hoffpauir, MACS president and COO
As of 2009 an estimated one-quarter of the Earth’s population used the services of the Internet, and you can bet that many of your potential customers do too. What they find there influences not only their choice of goods and services but their general attitude toward vendors like you as well.
As part of a larger project, ACTION editor Jim Taylor devoted quite a few hours to trolling the electronic ocean. His catch was a mixed bag, to say the least.
In a report summarizing his findings, he notes: “The World Wide Web has become a tangled place, but it is still often the first place a home mechanic or do-it-yourselfer (DIY’er) will turn for information. … On overview, the quality of the information found ranges from truly excellent to downright ghastly and dangerous. Each site and video presents itself as a source of “expert information,” but it is clear that an uninformed consumer attempting a driveway repair might not recognize which procedures are reasonable and which pose a variety of hazards.”
On the consumer’s perspective, JT observes: “In spite of the industry efforts to improve its image, many consumers believe that every technician and shop will ‘rip them off’ or otherwise treat them badly. These statements and complaints almost always revolve around charges and dollar amounts rather than shoddy repairs or unreliable parts.”
We’ve previously encouraged our readers to develop a web presence and tell their own story. While no single entity can correct what JT identifies as “half-truths and not-quite-right advice,” your efforts to provide accurate information to consumers may help many to avoid bad choices and could help bring them to your door.
Like the classic western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Internet searches are basically about a treasure hunt; some of the nuggets are gold, others not so much.
For these reasons, beginning with the January/February 2011 issue of ACTION we are introducing “Virtual View” to help you better understand your customers’ perspectives as they are colored by the WWW so you can plan how best to address their expectations and needs.
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When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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You can E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://bit.ly/cf7az8 to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit http://bit.ly/9FxwTh to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.