Your customer likely doesn’t know you can repair/replace their sideview mirror. They know your store, know your logo and they hum your auto glass replacement jingle, but more often than not, they go to a dealership to fix their broken mirror. You could be losing thousands of dollars in revenue each year because the customer doesn’t know you’re their best option. Effectively communicating to your prospective customer that you offer sideview mirror replacement will lead to a lucrative new revenue stream to your business. AGRR spoke to Bill Castleberry, sales director for Burco Inc., for more details on how auto glass companies can pursue this as a diversification option.
First of all, there is a market for it. More than 15 million sideview mirrors are broken each year. This number does not include broken mirror housings which are serviced primarily by the body shop industry. “This translates to 15 million opportunities each year for the auto glass retailers to add significant revenue to their business,” says Castleberry.
The problem, he adds, is that seven out of ten times the dealership gets the mirror sale. The dealership will charge between $250-$600 for an OE installed mirror replacement.
“One of these seven customers may have just had their windshield replaced by you the week before. They have no idea you offer a high quality, lower cost alternative,” Castleberry says.
It is crucial then to make sure the customer can find you—and don’t just let it happen by accident. Unfortunately, Castleberry says the customer usually calls the dealership first but are typically quoted a high price with a long lead time.
“At this point the consumer remembers the local glass shop they drive by every day,” says Castleberry. They contact you and ask, ‘Since you offer auto glass replacement, do you offer auto mirror glass repair too?’ Great news: You just got a call from the one person out of ten who reaches out to an AGR shop for their sideview mirror replacement.
You can see that increasing awareness in your market for these services is key. Here are some tips for promoting this business segment.
- Search on Google (or another search engine) with the key words “sideview mirror replacement” and then add your city or zip code. Do you show up? “Odds are you don’t, nor does any other auto glass company in your local market,” Castleberry says.
- Have your website developer add sideview mirror replacement as a core service and include it in both the title tag and meta description. Now, you’ll show up on Web searches. You can further enhance awareness by employing images. Digital graphics and messaging are readily available through sideview mirror manufacturers.
- Add “We do mirrors, too” messaging to all other advertising media.
- Add some storefront mirror replacement messaging on your marquee or door signage.
- Look for countertop displays to support messaging.
- Contact your insurance and commercial customers to educate them about mirrors. They will thank you for it!
If you are still skeptical, Castleberry points to the potential profits. The average glass shop replaces one sideview mirror a week. But there are success stories of those who are employing these marketing methods and replacing substantially more than that. For example, Haidet’s Auto Glass, an independent retailer in Canton, Ohio, once replaced 500 sideview mirrors in one year! (Canton, Ohio has a population of 72, 329. The median household income is $31,714. There are nine new car dealerships in Canton.)
“It’s up to you what your average installed price will be, but keep in mind your customer was just quoted $200-$500 from the dealership,” says Castleberry. “Now take what you would consider a fair market price and multiply it by 300-500. You now realize the revenue generating power of sideview mirror replacement.”