Did you just say INYA?

27 01 2012

We’ve all done it in some form or another, made an attempt to remember something we shouldn’t overlook.  Whether it was as overt as tying a red ribbon around your finger or keeping something in your front pocket that only you knew was there, the idea behind it was the same – don’t forget.  What if somebody else attempted to simplify this process for you, would this be of particular benefit?  Do you believe the rhythm of your day would be less interrupted by not having to resort to alternative means of memory retention?  Well, even if you prefer to don a small piece of fabric on your finger or that special polished stone, we’d like to at least offer our assistance.  Therein lies the INYA.

INYA in our corner of the world stands for Items Needing Your Attention.  We believe too often the case has been customers leaving their respective auto repair facilities with less information than they may desire, and certainly short of what they deserve.  Our observation isn’t based on any specific shop or potential competitor as much as the general culture of the customers we serve and their reaction upon receiving that initial INYA (and subsequently each time they return).

You’ve known us to use the medical analogy in previous blog posts and this is no different.  It fits equally as well.  Do you seek surface level information from a health practitioner or physical therapist when you see them?  And if you happen to be one of the less than 10% of people alive today that haven’t ever been to see one of these professionals, please replace our example with one that relates to you and privately forward us your secret.  The same point still holds true.  You not only desire detailed information but you often require it.  Why might this be?  We can’t say for certain because we’re not you but we suspect it’s because your life (or somebody with whom you have close relation) may depend on it.  Yes, your vehicle is inanimate.  As such, we will not be making any attempts to equate it with human life.  We will, however, call close attention to how your vehicle relies on proper care to operate.  That much is no longer relative but absolute fact.  Just as you and all other living creatures would perish without food and water (among other things), a vehicle simply cannot sustain itself without oil and certain fluids.  Notice we didn’t say gasoline, for we’re entering a day and age that has introduced motor vehicles dependent on electronic energy for fuel.  WOW, the times… they are a-changin’.

Do you currently view your vehicle(s) as entities worthy of the actual care they need?  Be honest.  If you don’t, you have plenty of company.  It’s not uncommon for us to take certain areas of our lives for granted, and the automobile often tends to find itself in this category.  We’re not suggesting that your mode of transportation needs to be the most important thing in your life, but we are expressing caution for allowing it to be the least.  Regardless of whether you’re one to appreciate the open road (read as car/truck enthusiast) or see your vehicle as a way to travel from point A to B, a certain level of upkeep is paramount.  Sometimes knowing and realizing this isn’t where there’s a disconnect since people to some degree assume as much, but the real challenge is knowing WHAT needs to be done and WHEN.  Once again, therein lies the INYA.

With every service visit at Community Automotive Repair our customers receive a detailed invoice, which breaks down all the services performed, recommended, and forecasted (so to speak).  In other words, we aspire to inform, educate, and engage – and each of these steps are accomplished prior to and within the INYA itself.  Let’s take a closer look at each:

Inform – Unless we’re asked not to by the customer, your vehicle receives a comprehensive (and complimentary) visual inspection with each visit.  This is our commitment to making you more aware of where your vehicle is in its “maintenance life.”  Without hesitance we confidently make professional recommendations concerning the care your vehicle needs (when applicable).  We’re open to discussing other items you may have questions about but it is no interest of ours to “conveniently find” extras to secure work.  We are here to serve you to the best of our abilities and while profit is necessary to sustain business, it will not be conducted at the expense of integrity.

* Educate – Often times when we reveal the result of our inspection it will raise valid questions.  After all, we don’t expect you to be the authority on your vehicle as much as we are honored to accept that responsibility.  We’ve meticulously followed trends and the latest advances in this industry for almost 40 years, which is why we attempt to teach you as much as you’re willing to learn about your vehicle, as it pertains to your specific concerns.  We’d like for you to be empowered and feel the advantages of a wise consumer.  It is also during this time where we tend to break recommendations into categories of importance, as necessary.  You have the right to know if there’s a safety concern and you’ll in effect assume responsibility for any potential harm this may cause, or you’ll also know if the condition of your vehicle is such that waiting a bit won’t introduce any additional risk.

* Engage – It isn’t uncommon for there to be a natural segue way between educating and informing because let’s face it, if we’ve done justice in explaining things clearly up to this point all that’s left is to share the resolve.  This is the point where we come alongside as a partner (ideally) for short and long term care of your vehicle.  We will develop a plan based on your needs and attempt to work within any specific constraints, which of course often amounts to time or budget.  Your options will be clearly laid out and the INYA (yes, another honorable mention) will be utilized to bring this entire process full circle.

INYA (Items Needing Your Attention) – With every service your vehicle may stand in need of at the time it’s inspected, a separate line will be reserved in the INYA section of your invoice.  The INYA is always towards the bottom, following the detailed breakdown of services you had performed and/or estimated.  What’s more is that you’ll receive reminders to let you know when each of these services are due.  For example, let’s figure on you needing a brake inspection, tire rotation, and oil change.  General rule of thumb (there are many exceptions) is that your vehicle should have its motor oil and filter changed every 3000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first.  Along those same lines the tires should be rotated about every other oil change service.  In this case we’re also suggesting that your brakes aren’t quite due but should be checked in 6 months.  With all of this taken into consideration, you’d receive a reminder in about 2.5 months for the oil change and a separate one for the tire rotation/brake inspection in roughly 5.5 months.  Most of our customers receive these notices electronically (which the trees appreciate) but they are also available as snail mail for those that happen to prefer more traditional means of communication.  Bottom line, this eliminates the guesswork and all you have to do is schedule the appointment and sleep easy.

We don’t want to disrupt any creativity or other forms of self expression you may have to remind you about important events.  But we do believe in making the most of your time, and this process goes a long way if you’ll let it.  Our recommendation is to leave the yarn/string for the kids or family member that enjoys knitting and craft work, as we’re wholeheartedly committed to easing the pressure associated with memory.

Each of us have enough to remember already.  Feel free to cross the personal responsibility of auto care off your list and add it to ours.  We can handle it.

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