Roof It

Sunroof Replacement Services Offer Convenience for Customers

By Brandon Davis

The popularity and consumer demand for sunroofs is at an all-time high. If you’ve recently viewed a car commercial, chances are a sunroof was a prominent feature of the advertisement. In addition to the growing number of vehicles on the road with a roof glass, the types and sizes have also expanded. Panoramic sunroofs are more prevalent than ever before, as vehicle shoppers are attracted to the bright and spacious feel. These multi-panel sunroofs typically consist of both operable and fixed panels and cover the better portion of the roof. Unlike in the past, panoramic sunroofs are now offered in an extended range of vehicles and are no longer exclusive to the luxury segment. Recent estimates show nearly half of new vehicles sold in the U.S. have a roof glass. In addition, early indications show the emerging electric vehicle market will continue following this trend.

Considering the rise in volume and size of sunroofs, accompanied with increases in miles driven, the incidences of roof glass breakage occurrences are naturally on the upswing. Interestingly, I often receive comments from customers seeking sunroof glass replacement service saying: “It’s really hard to find someone in my area that works on sunroofs.” Surely this may be expected in rural Nebraska, however, this seems to be a similar customer experience in larger markets across the country. Is there a lack of marketing or visibility, or are there not enough shops offering the service to satisfy demand? Regardless, there appears to be an opportunity to strengthen the accessibility and ease of locating services for customers in many areas of the country (more on that soon).

Missed Opportunity

I recall attending my first Auto Glass Week six years ago It was the first time I really had a chance to mingle in-person with members of the industry. This gave me the chance to really get a feel for the auto glass community and meet some great people, some of whom had been in the business for nearly as long as I’d been alive. As a new member of the industry, I was surprised to learn the disparity of shop owners’ and technicians’ approach to sunroof repair and replacement. Many of those I talked with had performed sunroof service for years, sharing some of their expertise and knowledge. I also met with auto glass professionals who didn’t include sunroofs in their service mix. When I asked why, I received some interesting answers. What I learned was most had either never been trained on sunroofs, lacked knowledge of the replacement process or had opinions predicated on when sunroofs were newly introduced to the market. When I spent a few minutes to discuss the scope of the work, most were encouraged to learn the process is simplistic for a typical sunroof glass.

Ideal Timing

As we approach the spring season and warmer weather, it seems an appropriate time to discuss how these may fit into your business model. While the past two years have been filled with unpredictability and lack of seasonality to some degree, traditional “busy season” correlates closely with the highest miles driven months, which are in the spring and summer. For shops offering sunroof glass replacement service, now is a great time to review your marketing and service offering awareness.

Understandably, windshields are the core focus of the hundreds of auto glass shop websites I’ve visited. However, if you do offer sunroof glass replacement, is it apparent on your website? For those that use social media for business or other means of promotion, this is a great time to mention sunroofs to help increase your brand reach and attract new potential customers.

For the auto glass shops that don’t currently service sunroofs, now is also an ideal time to consider and/or implement them into your service mix. Nearly half of all passenger vehicles on the road today have a roof glass. The need for capable auto glass shops and technicians who offer sunroof glass repair services is certainly on the rise.

Review “Sunroof Presence”

While windshields are clearly the popular type of vehicle glass replaced, I believe most people would be surprised to learn the number of sunroof replacement service opportunities that exist today. For many auto glass shops, there is room for growth to capitalize on these opportunities. Many vehicle owners seeking service for a shattered or cracked sunroof end up going to the dealership, often because of not knowing where else to go. To help capture more of these lost opportunities, I encourage shops to review their “sunroof presence” on their websites, social media and marketing related efforts.

As you consider ways to obtain new customers and grow your business this year, implementing sunroofs into your marketing plan is one way to give a boost to your business. Although the volume of sunroof breakage will likely never rival that of windshields, offering and promoting this service can help you reach new customers whom you may have missed otherwise. Long term, and most importantly, you have a chance to earn a loyal customer for their future auto glass needs.

Brandon Davis is the sales manager for Sunroof Express Inc.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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