We have an exclusive interview with Richard Coxon, Sales Manager at Ring, a Tier 1 supplier to TPS of Quantum lighting products, who provides his illuminating thoughts and insight on the best lighting and bulb options available in the market.
Richard discusses how, with additional income streams more important than ever, lighting offers a growing opportunity for switched-on garages to add to their margins. Our lighting expert also shines a light on the importance of staying up to date with developing bulb technology and offers his top tips on upselling lighting options to customers.
Ring is a Leeds-based company, first formed nearly 50 years ago tosell bulbs into the trade aftermarket.
Now part of the AMS-OSRAM group, it offers a comprehensive range of high-specification lighting and automotive trade products. With over 30 million bulbs dispatched annually to its customers, Ring is a shining star in the automotive lighting industry and supplier of TPS’s Quantum lighting products.
Richard said: “Our heritage is in high-specification lighting and trade products. We understand that independent garages and their customers need products that perform to an exceptional standard.
“As a result, we design all our products, including lighting and bulbs, with professionals in mind and test them extensively to make sure they'll perform under any circumstances.
“We have the only lighting beam lab in the UK, where we batch test all the bulbs to ensure they meet the highest of standards. This includes measuring eight million points of light to give accurate assessments of performance and longevity for each of our bulb products.
“The rigorous testing procedures we apply to our lighting products are on a par with those Volkswagen Group use in manufacturing their Genuine Parts. It’s what makes TPS such a natural fit for us as a supply partner, providing them with Quantum bulbs for their customer network.
“The quality assurance TPS’s independent garage customers can point to in their conversations with their customers about Genuine Parts is the same with our bulbs and lighting products. It’s a great opportunity for garages to sell lighting products to their customers, confident in the knowledge that Quantum bulbs are among the most rigorously tested in the market.
“As part of that research and development, we are continually striving to provide motorists with the brightest bulbs – boosting our lighting projection and visibility by up to 200% during the last 20 years. It means the high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs in the top-end Quantum range last longer and are brighter than ever before.
"We have 48 product lines in the Quantum range, with a UK car parc coverage of over 95%. This allows us to meet all the key customer expectations for bulbs – range, availability quality, longevity, price, and trust in the product. It makes for a compelling product offer and with it an excellent opportunity to upsell to customers.
“There are a few upselling opportunities, but these would be my top three tips. Firstly, if a bulb is out, always replace it in pairs. The other bulb may well blow soon if part of a pair, just like a set of headlights or brake lights. The customer won’t thank you if charged for replacing a bulb and the paired bulb fails a short time later. In addition, it will give an equal light output and the same visual appearance.
“Secondly, help your customers stay ahead of the game. Lighting failures from blown bulbs are the most common MOT failure. So, when a vehicle comes in for a service or repair, do a quick scan of the external lights. If they are all working, great, if not there is the opportunity to sell an additional service. Either way, it’s good customer service as the customer knows you are looking out for them.
“Thirdly talk about upgrades. It doesn’t need to be a hard sell. If a headlamp bulb needs replacing, instead of automatically replacing it with a standard bulb, ask the customer if they would like a brighter whiter light. They might say no, but there will be motorists who want more light on the road and never knew they could get it.
“As well as providing the opportunity to upsell to customers, offering top tips and advice in turn increases customer confidence and trust, resulting in better customer retention and repeat business.”