Dealers who are looking for ways to build their service department’s revenue, increase their number of return customers and grow profits have a valuable tool available to them that is literally in the palm of their hands.
With video, dealers are increasing the dollars per RO by building trust that encourages customers to approve more customer pay repairs — all without investing in expensive hardware or time-consuming training. The tools necessary are likely walking around in the pockets of a dealership’s staff already. Technology and software can make it easy to maintain quality and consistency while improving the customer experience. YouTube has already trained the masses. A dealer just needs to empower their staff to use it as a proactive tool.
Over the last few years, using video as a marketing tool has increased exponentially. For some time, progressive dealers have been using video in the sales department to help the sales team connect with potential buyers. So why can’t the service department take advantage of this opportunity and connect with customers to increase service sales? What is good for the front end of the dealership can even be more beneficial to the back.
On the sales side, a personal video to a potential buyer increases engagement and trust between the salesperson and the buyer. More people show up for their appointments after a salesperson has sent them a personal video. A video of the salesperson and the vehicle initiate a relationship with the customer more than just a text email or photo. This connection will be crucial at the tipping point when the customer is choosing between dealerships. Once they have a personal connection with the dealership, the salesperson and the vehicle, they’ll likely choose to visit this dealership first. Customers prefer to purchase a vehicle from someone they now “know.”
While many customers come into a dealership service department afraid the repair will be expensive or they will be taken advantage of, video is a great way to build a relationship and overcome a customer’s fears.
Starting with a “meet the team” video hosted on the service department page of a dealer’s website introduces a prospective service customer to a dealership’s friendly staff. This will get the customer accustomed to video in their exchanges with the dealership. Here dealers can briefly brag about their staff’s training and certifications and mention any awards won as well as positive BBB ratings and ties to the community.
Service department testimonials can also be hosted on this page. Service advisors can ask their most loyal customers and offer them an extra perk like a free loaner car or free oil change if they agree to make a customer testimonial video. Making these videos is easy and advisors can record them at their desks with their phones. These videos would include customers sharing how long they’ve been servicing with the dealership, what they like about this service department and comments on the quality of the repair work.
Service department “how to” videos are a great way to educate consumers, so they feel more confident they are making the right decision to get the repair work done. Service managers can select a dozen of the dealership’s most common and profitable services and create videos that talk about why these services are important for the health of the vehicle and the safety of the customer. A quick tutorial of the work involved with the repair can be shown as well as a discussion on the costs of parts and the estimated amount of time it takes to complete the service.
In addition to residing on the website, these videos can be used in email campaigns, uploaded to the dealership’s YouTube channel, featured on the social media profiles and used in digital advertising campaigns.
“Multi-channel marketing with videos will help dealers reach and engage new customers, while using multi-video players and widgets will make it easy to display the right video content to the right shopper at the right time of the buying cycle.”
Multi-channel marketing with videos will help dealers reach and engage new customers, while using multi-video players and widgets will make it easy to display the right video content to the right shopper at the right time of the buying cycle.
Where the Profitability Rubber Really Meets the Road
Recommended Repair Videos
One of the most profitable videos to do won’t actually be hosted on the dealership’s site but sent directly to the customer’s phone.
When customers drop off their cars for a scheduled repair, one of their biggest fears is an unnecessary upsell. Unfortunately, this fear can create resistance to any repair recommendations. A short video created by the service advisor or technician can help to alleviate this fear and provide visual proof that a repair is really needed.
Videos are far more effective at doing this than photos or simple phone call descriptions because the service advisor can explain how the old part is worn and compare it to the new part, along with an explanation of how important it is to get the repair done now.
Additionally, advisors can mention the potential impact and cost of related problems that could be caused by not completing the service now.
Recommended repair videos don’t have to be professional. A smartphone with an app that allows the ability to text the video to the customer. Another option is to have a live streaming video call where the service advisor can show the worn part and explain the repair while talking to the customer live on their smartphone.
Integrated video chat gives the customer the ability to engage a video text/email and do a real-time live stream with the service technician. This adds an additional layer of confidence by allowing the customer to visit (live) with the tech in the service bay if they have additional questions regarding their vehicle or recommended services and allows the service technician to show the customer why they are recommending the additional services first-hand, just as if they were standing beside them in the service bay.
Having recommended repair videos of the customer’s vehicle rather than just a stock explanation builds trust and increases understanding. When customers can see the need and understand why a repair is necessary, they are far more likely to agree to have it completed before the technician takes the car off the rack and reparks it outside. This increases customer pay work and technicians will waste less time jockeying cars in and out of the building. More customer pay work and more work completed is very good for a service department’s bottom line.
To top off the benefits of using video in the service department, dealers will find their CSI scores improving. By helping service customers understand why their recommended services are required, they leave happier and are more willing to provide an excellent survey response.
Videos fully engage attention, elicit emotion and generate excitement about a product or service in a way that photos simply cannot. Service department videos are an inexpensive and highly effective way to build customer trust and give your dealerships a competitive edge.
Video Filming Tips
For your service videos, you don’t need to buy a special camera. Service advisors and technicians can use their mobile phones to accomplish these personalized videos. Here are a few tips for getting the best quality video.
• Raise the camera to eye-level so you’re not looking down or up into the camera and shoot your videos in landscape mode so your videos are horizontal.
• If the service drive has ample natural light, you may not need additional lighting. If you are near a window, shoot yourself facing the window to take advantage of natural light. Never shoot with a window behind you, or you will see a dark silhouette. You may need to carry a flashlight to help point out areas of the vehicle that you’re focusing on.
• While your mobile phone’s built-in microphone may be fine inside the dealership, if the service drive has pneumatic tools gunning in the background, use a lavalier or shotgun microphone designed to work with your cell phone. There are plenty of choices online.
• In your video, greet the prospect by name and introduce yourself. Then show them the work that’s being done on the vehicle.
• Speak slowly and clearly and don’t forget to smile. The goal here is to humanize yourself and your dealership. We all know that people buy from people they like and trust.
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