CASE STUDY | Battery testing and charging
Increase workshop efficiency, revenue and customer satisfaction
Vehicle technology continues to develop at a pace, and whether the vehicle is in use, in the workshop or parked in an airport car park, the battery is being placed under greater strain than ever before. We therefore cannot ignore the risk that complex vehicle technologies are placing on workshops - battery failure during vehicle repair or service is a distinct possibility. This challenge, however, can actually be turned into an opportunity.
A recent 6-week workshop trial by CTEK has identified that as many as 1 in 2 vehicles arriving in the workshop has a battery problem, a threat that could cause problems when carrying out work on customer vehicles.
The trial provided some interesting statistics:
• The average voltage of vehicle batteries entering the workshop is around 12.3V – many batteries were at risk of sulphation, the biggest killer of batteries
• 34% of batteries needed re-charging
• 17% of batteries needed replacing
These statistics provide workshops with a strong case for testing and charging, and highlight the business opportunities that could be realised through battery replacement and reconditioning services – both of which are chargeable activities.
During the 6-week trial, each workshop was supplied with a CTEK PRO Battery Tester and MXTS 40 battery charger and support unit.
The trial was pretty simple - each workshop was asked to undertake the following procedures:
• Test the battery or every single vehicle that entered the workshop
• The PRO Tester will indicate the battery’s condition a) good condition, no action is required b) good, but in need of a recharge c) replace the battery
• Record this indication, along with the voltage of the battery
• Re-charge or replace the battery if required
“It’s surprising how many batteries could use a service - our sales of batteries has also increased dramatically.“”
- Andrew Kelly, Drighlington MOT Centre
CTEK re-visited trial workshop SJ Wright Motors, to find out how the Test and Charge programme was working longer term. Workshop owner Steve explained that a battery test is now part of the service “it’s one of the first things that we do after we have opened the hood.”
“Testing the battery is now one of the first things that we do after we have opened the hood.”
- Stephen Wright, SJ Wright Motors
Whilst as expected the Test and Charge programme has increased battery sales, it is also helping to much more quickly identify other vehicle faults. “We are finding that when the tester identifies a battery in need of recharge or replacement, other issues have been occurring, for example some vehicles will partially shut down central locking or air conditioning if the battery is low. Undertaking the battery test sometimes helps us to get to the root of a problem a lot sooner, or in some cases draw attention to the problem with the vehicle owner, who may just have been ‘living with the problem’ rather than reporting it to us.”
If the tester indicates that a re-charge is required SJ Wright Motors use this as an opportunity to enhance their customer service offering. Steve explains “We don’t always charge for the service - we deliver a re-charge and then advise the customer that we have done it. For me it’s about customer retention and this is a value-add part of our offering.
“It also means that I can protect my reputation. If I identify that a battery needs replacing and the customer response is ‘don’t worry it’s working so I won’t replace it right now’, and then it fails shortly after leaving my workshop, they don’t think it is something that I have done.”
The CTEK workshop trial has helped these independent workshops to identify a new approach to testing and charging, that can increase battery sales and provide a potential new revenue opportunity. It is also helping to increase customer satisfaction, protect workshop reputation and educate their customers on the importance of battery maintenance.
“For me, the Test & Charge programme is about customer retention - this service is a value-add part of our offering.”
- Stephen Wright, SJ Wright Motors