With inventory shortages continuing their lasting impact into 2021, car dealers needed to adapt by putting a greater emphasis on fixed operations (service departments) to stay profitable. Though the pandemic is responsible for this change, we believe it will remain a viable operating model post-pandemic.
So why is a service department so important?
There are several benefits to focusing on your service department. Primarily, service departments are lead-generating machines. Every service quote, tire rotation, oil change, and tire refill is a lead to be converted into a sale.
In this article, we will show you the five best ways to leverage your service department. These methods are most effective when used in conjunction with one another and will maximize your traffic and profitability.
1. Customer Retention
While everyone loves new customers, they are not the main target of your service department. The long-term success of your service department will be decided by returning customers. It costs you virtually nothing to market to them, and they’ll always need to come back for one reason or another. The dealership’s service department should consistently follow up with all previous customers about recalls, recurring services, specials, and other reminders.
One unique benefit to having returning customers is that there’s an increased chance that they will refer someone they know. Word of mouth referrals are free and can generate a ton of traffic to your service department.
2. Follow Up Appointments
There are dozens of reasons why your past customers would need to come back for service. You’ll need to send them a steady stream of reminders to come back to you when they need car service. Reminders should go out in the form of phone calls, emails, texts, or other CRM-based messaging methods.
3. Recall Notices
We’ve all been in the position where we waited longer than we should have to get our cars serviced. While reminders about an oil change or tire rotation seem less time-sensitive, recall notices create a sense of urgency. If you reach out to a customer about a recall, be sure to do so with a phone call. Emails will usually end up in a spam folder and never reach the customer.
4. Setting up Appointments
Part of getting your customers back into your dealership will come down to how well your dealerships handle calls. You will send a ton of follow-up messages to past customers encouraging them to come in for service, but none will show if they can’t reach you. All calls coming into your service department should be answered promptly and in a friendly manner. These practices are crucial to schedule as many appointments as possible.
5. Market Doctors Solutions
At Market Doctors, we offer custom solutions for car dealerships with unparalleled success. Our team of industry experts will manage the backend work so your team can focus on the customers in the dealership. Services like Service Rx are proprietary, industry-leading marketing strategies guaranteed to drive traffic to your dealership and service departments. Visit our website or contact us for more information.