Confessions of a Millennial

by Erin Coldewey

photo-1416339306562-f3d12fefd36fHi, my name is Erin, and I am a millennial, a bona fide member of the generation responsible for YOLO, the popularity of Justin Bieber, hashtags, social media oversharing and something called a selfie stick. For that I deeply apologize. I’ve heard a lot of industry buzz about how to sell to this up-and-coming group of consumers and have listened to presentations about how to go about it. Research and power points presentations aside, here are a few things I know to be true about my peers that can be used to your advantage.

We Like Convenience
It’s something we’ve grown up with. We’re talking about a generation that’s been shouting a number at a speaker box to order food since we were old enough to scream for a Happy Meal. We like convenience; therefore, we like you. Ten minutes to have my oil changed? You mean I don’t have to sit for an hour at the dealership? It’s one of the greatest advantages of the fast lube. It’s even right there in the name. Fast. Before we know it, our oil has been changed, tire pressure checked and we’re back in the Chik-fil-A drive-thru line.

We are Obsessed with our Phones
I was on a flight last month, sitting between two strangers close to my age. We were getting prepped for take-off and the three of us were frantically emailing, texting and posting long after we’d been asked to power down. The flight attendant came by, and the three of us, as if we were still sitting in our respective high school econ classes, dropped our phones in our laps and tried to play it cool. We were clearly waiting until the last possible second to turn off our phones. It’s a strange addiction, made even stranger by the fact that we rarely use them to talk. We post pictures, look up directions, text like nobody’s business, tweet, play Clash of Clans and when that pesky light appears on our dashboard, we turn to Google to find a place to have our oil changed.
If you don’t already have a digital presence, a mobile responsive website, or at the very least, updated and easy-to-locate contact information on your page, now is the time. Maybe it’s even time to consider a mobile marketing strategy or going paperless in favor of texting or emailing oil change reminders with coupons. We like a good deal just like everyone else. If we can flash our phone instead of clipping a coupon, all the better.

We Don’t Know Very Much About Our Cars
It’s sad, really. Barring those of us who work in the industry or have a real passion for cars, most of us have no idea what’s going on under the hood. We gas ‘em up, drive them until the gas light comes on (sometimes further) and pray we don’t get a flat or have something illuminate on the dashboard. Next time you see a millennial pull up to your bay, before they bury themselves into the digital recesses of their smartphone, explain to them what kind of oil their car needs, where they can find their correct tire pressure and how to check their oil. Consider it an educational opportunity. Teach us a thing or two, be friendly and personable and believe me, we’ll post, tweet, write a Yelp review or tell our friends about it. You’re also likely to earn yourself a loyal customer.

About National Oil & Lube News

National Oil & Lube News is the fast oil change industry's oldest and largest trade publication. Started in 1986 by Steve Hurt (a former fast lube owner) and David Arrington, NOLN has grown and evolved right alongside the fast lube industry. Here at NOLN, our aim is to help fast lube operators with every facet of their business, from operations to technical issues. Our monthly magazine and this regularly updated website contain everything from technical tips, recall announcements and service guides to articles on handling customer complaints, building your brand and making your business the best it can be. With tips and advice from experts both inside and outside the industry, you're sure to learn something that can help your fast lube business grow and prosper.
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