Service loyalty drives sales loyalty. Here are five ways to increase your service department’s profitability in today’s competitive landscape:
#1 Importance of Online Presence
Make it easy for your customers to book a service at your dealership, at a time that is convenient for them. The ability to book and manage service appointments online, directly through your website provides your customer the convenience to schedule a time that best suits them. Today, real-time integration to your DMS and workshop is also a must to streamline the booking process and to avoid double handling of data by your service advisors.
#2 Create Lasting First Impressions
Make a lasting first impression by embracing technology and helping to create a modern experience that meets your customer’s expectations. There are various CRM tools and applications that can help dealerships retain their service customers. When your customer arrives at your service driveway, think about their experience. Are you greeting your customer effectively and sending them on their way in a timely and efficient manner?
#3 Offer Seasonal Service Promotions
Have you thought about advertising at the back of your repair orders? Promote your service department throughout your advertising to generate sales opportunities. Mention service offers in your advertising with phrases such as, ‘Factory-trained technicians’ or ‘We service all brands’. Make sure you have someone available to contact your existing customers, offering seasonal service promotions to further entice their return to your dealership. If you find follow-up calls are not being made, there are plenty of affordable solutions to outsource the service.
#4 Keep Training your Service Advisors to Upsell
Encourage your service advisors to use their intuition and provide relevant advice that meets their customers’ needs. Upsells should come from a desire to identify and fill a requirement. Your service advisors must be able to demonstrate value to the customer.
Upselling is also about building credibility and trust with your customers. By informing them of all the faults that have been flagged via diagnostics but do not represent risks in the short term, they are more likely to work with you when a part needs to be replaced or upgraded. Record all recommendations within your DMS so that it is available in the notes the next time a customer returns.
#5 Stay in Touch with Customers
Increase customer retention by locking customers away for their next appointment before leaving the dealership. You can set up within your DMS the next forecasted service date based on the average kilometres driven or time (whichever comes first) to determine when the next appointment should be. Ensure there is a reminder process in place so your customers are notified through their choice of communication channel.
It’s also important to stay in touch with your customers and contact the ‘no shows’. Make sure all follow up calls are noted and review the outcomes. Any information or feedback from lost service customers is an opportunity to improve and generate extra work. Make sure you learn from your mistakes!
To learn more about strategies that could help improve customer service and revenue in your service department, feel free to get in touch with us.