Stop These Service Revenue Leaks - AutoSuccessOnline

Stop These Service Revenue Leaks

In many dealerships, service revenue is leaking away in the form of lost opportunities. Learn how to identify and stop these common leakage points and keep your dealership competitive with increasingly aggressive independent repair facilities.

In many dealerships, service revenue is leaking away in the form of lost opportunities from customers that bring their vehicles in for service. In fact, the average dealership only captures half of the service potential from vehicles in their service lane.

Learning how to identify and stop these common leakage points will result in more opportunities and ultimately, more revenue.

Customer Approvals

A primary reason why customers fail to approve additional repairs is because of a failure to communicate. Too often when a customer drops off their vehicle to be serviced, a game of phone tag ensues.

Leaving a voice mail and hoping that the customer calls back isn’t the best way to convince and convert. Consumer Reports recently found that thanks to the rise in robocalls, 70% of consumers no longer answer phone calls they don’t recognize. Yet, 90% of text messages are read within three minutes.

To increase customer approval rates, incorporate the use of texting. Service advisors should ask customers for cell phone numbers and text them immediately, before they leave the service lane. Ask the customer to be added as a known contact. Text videos as visual proof that repairs are needed, and provide loaner cars or pick-up and drop-off service if the additional repairs will leave customers stranded.

Customer Trust

Customer trust starts with an effective sales-to-service transition. At the time of purchase, few dealers inform the customer when they’re due for their first oil change, tire rotations and other routine maintenance.

Create a service plan for every new customer so they’ll be prepared for maintenance and repair items. When a customer comes in for an $80 oil change and gets hit with a $1,000 estimate, that person is not mentally or emotionally prepared to spend that much, so it’s easy to delay the decision.

Additionally, customer trust is often undermined with aggressive over-selling of questionable “dealer recommended items.” A more effective technique for gaining customer trust is “vehicle like mine,” recommendations. These inform customers about services that may be needed based on make/model and miles driven. This information can be instantly pulled up on a mobile tablet so the customer can be informed about potential repairs before they leave the service lane.

Antiquated Selling Techniques

One of the biggest problems with variable pay plans is that service advisors are still incented to present the customer with all-or-nothing repair options, instead of breaking them out into red/yellow/green recommendations.

When you present “all-or-nothing” items, too often you end up with nothing. Red/yellow/green recommendations mentally prepare your customers for upcoming repairs and expenditures.

Unfortunately, the red/yellow/green model may be seen as a failure to sell in some stores, and service advisors fear they won’t get credit for a recommendation when the customer returns in two months.

It’s time to overhaul pay plans so employees are rewarded when customers return to your store, and not for trying to make a killing every time a customer comes in.

Dealership Convenience

Too many dealers still expect consumers to conform to their convenience, rather than the other way around.

Earlier this year, my son had his vehicle serviced while we were on vacation. We returned on a Sunday and went to pick up his car, only to discover the service department had closed early for Father’s Day. While I appreciate that they honored Father’s Day, I couldn’t believe there was no way for us to retrieve the vehicle. The sales department was open, but the salespeople weren’t the slightest bit interested in helping us. In an ideal world, we would have used mobile pay to pay the invoice, the car would have been parked outside and the key left with the receptionist or sales department.

Too few dealers have Sunday service hours or evening hours and think that two weeks is an acceptable backlog. In an increasingly instant-gratification culture, these practices are no longer acceptable, or even commercially viable.

When a service department is closed on a Sunday, it’s like going to a CVS Pharmacy on the weekend and the pharmacy is closed, or going to a mall and the Macy’s is closed. Customers rightfully interpret that your business doesn’t really care about what’s convenient for them. So, naturally they look elsewhere for a business that caters to their needs.

Stopping these common service leakage points may require some changes in policy and best practices, but the ability to capture lost opportunities from current customers will have a net positive impact on your bottom line. Perhaps even more important, it will keep your dealership competitive with increasingly aggressive independent repair facilities.

By Scot Eisenfelder, Affinitiv

You May Also Like

How to Boost Appointment Conversions with Positive First Impressions

It’s crucial to equip your staff with effective phone handling strategies that can make a lasting impression and persuade callers to choose your dealership.

Your dealership only has seven seconds to make a positive first impression with potential buyers. Oftentimes, a first impression is made before your leads walk through your doors. Prospective buyers typically invest a significant amount of time conducting research and reaching out to different stores to determine where they’d like to purchase their vehicle. Therefore, it becomes crucial to equip your staff with effective phone handling strategies that can make a lasting impression and persuade callers to choose your dealership. By implementing these proven strategies, you can help your dealership stand out against the competition and greatly enhance customer experience.

Why Data Security Must Be a Priority in Today’s Automotive Retail Market

Dealers who gain a better understanding of data security and how data relates to industry trends will ultimately find themselves in a better position to achieve long-term goals.

The Digital Dilemma: How to Rethink Sales and Delivery to Drive a Successful Car Buying Future

By taking the right steps, traditional car dealers can still compete, win and flourish, even as digital sales become more prolific.

Revolutionizing Auto Service: How Digital Tools Are Transforming the Auto Dealership Landscape

Remote diagnostics, over-the-air updates, faster service appointments and less vehicle downtime all represent the emerging reality of remote automotive services.

147,348 Reasons Why Customer Experience & Dealership Loyalty Matter – The Power of a Point

That’s the annual average revenue increase a dealership can expect to realize by raising its customer satisfaction score by a single point.

Other Posts

Resignation Letter

When the service and sales departments don’t have fixed ops net profit at heart, you can expect to receive unwelcome news.

resignation letter
Drive Service Lane Sales by Not Driving Sales

With the proper equipment and techniques, alignments and tire sales are low-hanging fruit that you can turn into profitable work and lasting customer relationships.

Letter of Resignation, Effective Immediately

Are you letting your fixed operations gross profits walk out the door and down the street to your competitor?

In a Fickle Market, How Do We Continue Winning Customers for Life?

It is imperative to ask the right questions to find out what motivates your customers. Getting to know the customer means getting to know their needs and that benefits everyone.