Working in dealerships, we soon find out that service departments and sales departments oftentimes work as well together as do oil and water. This is a sad and costly common medium as each department and their staffs of professionals should ultimately complement and assist each other for the good of the dealership overall and, more importantly, be seen as a valuable tool to the customer.
Below are effective processes any dealership can start using right away for both service and sales departments working together for the good of the customer to make your dealership’s overall sales, customer satisfaction and customer loyalty sail toward growth for the entire dealership.
Proper communication between service advisors, managers and directors with salespeople and sales managers is an important tool for creating a customer experience that in turn creates more loyal customers.
When a customer is in your service department for three hours or more for basic maintenance and then they are hit unexpectedly with an enormous service list and costs of what’s wrong with their vehicle, there is a good chance they are going to be angered and feel they are being taken advantage of.
On the other hand, if a sales advisor had communicated with the customer properly, explaining they are going to need to look at the vehicle more thoroughly, and a salesperson introduces him/herself to the customer during their longer wait time, it would open up more doors and opportunities for the dealership. Implementing these practices will make the process more engaging for the waiting customer.
Selling the Customer the Future
When the customer comes in for what they presumed was basic maintenance — maybe $100 and one to two hours of their time — they may become angered and/or annoyed when it turns into three or four hours of their time and $2,000 to $3,000.
If a service advisor had known the customer’s expectations, this could be approached more effectively. The service advisor could have contacted a salesperson and briefed them on the customer, helping to make it a more engaging customer experience with the customer feeling empowered.
Then, the customer could see the departments working together to offer service and sales options, while keeping the customer from shopping the service bill on their device while waiting unattended.
The opportunity for a car sale will likely create the customer coming back to the service department for factory maintenance and warranty work. Then service will recondition the trade in and make as much, if not more, on the service ticket. All of this leading to higher survey scores, as well as better online reviews.
Your customer’s service experience doesn’t have to stink, discouraging them from ever coming back. When approached properly with service staff and sales staff working together, it can actually be enjoyable for the customer — as well as profitable for both the service and sales departments. Now and in the future.
When service and sales departments work together, they can create a smooth and enjoyable experience for the customer, leading to better surveys, more reviews, referrals and repeat business.
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