By: John Hardacre, Product Manager
When considering opportunities to create profitable, sustainable growth in your dealership’s service drive, there are obvious areas of focus such as: improving efficiency, fixed ops sales, and increasing customer volume. What doesn’t come to mind is the ownership experience. Many dealers believe that having the lowest price is what really drives customers to visit, not the ownership experience. These dealers are misguided. Selling to existing customers costs less than acquiring new ones. This means that making the ownership experience your new service drive provides a golden ticket to success. Experience is more important than price: 54% of car buyers say they will return to the dealership who provides the best experience not the best price.*
According to OEM data, consumers who receive an outstanding service experience are more likely to return to your dealership and repurchase a vehicle they didn’t love versus those who do love their vehicle and receive an “okay” service experience. An outstanding ownership experience increases retention by 9.6% and a $13,000 increase in incremental monthly revenue on average.* Do you still think ownership experience doesn’t matter?
So, how do you deliver the experience your consumers want? Here are some tips:
- Send targeted messaging – Personalized messaging is key. Send messages that meet the consumers’ needs. Most dealerships send bulk, generic messages, which are ignored by car shoppers. Instead, send strategically timed messages that drive retention for your dealership. For example, send a promotion a couple hundred miles before maintenance is needed.
- Online scheduling – When consumers schedule an appointment, ensure that your dealership is prepared for their service needs by using online scheduling. This tool will help customers have an easy one-stop interface to set up their appointments. Plus, in viewing all appointments, it is easy for dealers to see the available shop capacity.
- Streamline check-in – Consumers want everything to be done as quickly and transparently as possible. To streamline check-ins, use tablets to check customers in before they leave their car. This increases customer satisfaction and allows dealers to check-in more visitors. Tablets also make it easier for the service team by allowing service managers to view customer records and vehicle history on the spot. If a service is required, your team can show the consumer that notification. Tablets increase transparency and build trust with the consumer.
- Provide Updates – Dealers know it’s vital to stay in touch with customers throughout the service process. One way to accomplish this is to provide text message options between your service department and your consumer. Of course, the text messages would have to be opt-in compliant, but it would provide convenience and help prevent any unpleasant surprises.
At the end of the day, customers will go anywhere to get maintenance work done. Drive them back to your dealership by committing to provide the best possible owner experience. With consumers’ expectations of service growing across the board, it’s no different for the automotive industry. Keep your consumers happy and you will be happy too.
Dominion Dealer Solutions DealActivator can help your dealership provide first-rate ownership experiences. DealActivator™ allows your dealership to develop a leading competitive edge in the marketplace as well as deliver an entirely new stream of business opportunities. To learn what DealActivator can do for you, contact us today at 877.421.1040 or visit our website.
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