7 Tips To Fill Your Dealership's Service Lane

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Skip Soucie

The service department is an unsung hero of the dealership. It's one of the most profitable areas and it has a huge role in delighting customers.

With that said, we want to talk about 7 tips that can fill your service lane with customers.

1. Make It Easy To Do Business

Our first tip to fill your service lane is to make it easy to do business with yourself.

One great way to test how easy it is to do business with your dealership is to get a mystery shopper! Have them focus on these 3 major areas:

  1. Calling to schedule an appointment. Aim to get every caller the first time they try to reach you.
  2. Going online to schedule an appointment. Is your site easy to navigate to schedule service on?
  3. Bringing their car into the service lane. They'll be able to tell you first hand how quick and courteous the team is.

You'll be able to find out a lot about the service you give and where there might be friction points for customers. By doing this, you'll be able to minimize the chance of buyers getting frustrated and going somewhere else.

2. Have A Service Advertising Pricing Strategy

Prices often serve as the best qualifier for leads. In fact, 81% of buyers say it's the first thing they look for, so it's wise to have a great plan in place to advertise your pricing. Often times, dealership service department prices are extremely competitive with independent service shops, but buyers don't always know this. 

So, when posting on social media or running ads online, on the radio, or in commercials, it will likely produce more qualified leads and customers if the focal point is on the price.

Here's some great ways to do this:

  • Show direct price comparisons with your competitors.
  • Feature your "price match guarantees" and similar offers.
  • Advertise everything listed on the service specials page of your website.

3. People Do Business With People

Buyers want to do business with people. When they can put a face to the places they get service from, it becomes a real, genuine experience for them. That's why we highly recommend showing them the service department and introducing them to the service team during their service visit or vehicle purchase.

Studies show buyers that are introduced to the service team are 1.5x more likely to take their car in for service in the following 12 months. This can help that dealership stay top-of-mind for car service, improve their relationship with the buyer, and allow the customers visualize getting service there.

4. Make Service Convenient

Customers often feel the car servicing process is the lengthiest, least satisfying aspect of their experience. With that said, examine your wait and common service times. If you find that you yourself wouldn't wait that long for what you need, the odds are buyers won't either.

If they seem lengthy it might be time to break the process down and find areas to streamline in order to make it more convenient for the customers.

When customers are satisfied with the wait time they'll return again and again for service.

5. Don't Leave People In The Dark

Cars don't just get people from A to B. They help them put food on the table. They are road trips, date nights, and journeys to and from baseball games. People rely on their cars every day.

When your sales and service teams make it a priority to follow up with customers on a consistent basis with service reminders and repair updates, you're giving them peace of mind. This helps them maintain a reliable, dependable vehicle while also encouraging them to come in for needed service and repairs.

You should keep track of how long the buyers have owned their car and send them reminders when oil changes are due or filters need to be replaced. In addition, implement a system to send out quarterly reminders of service specials to your contacts.

Click here for more information on how to manage your dealership's data with Edifice's intuitive DMS and marketing solutions.

6. Don't Let Customers Fall Through The Cracks

It is important to adopt a strategy to re-activate unengaged or lost customers.

One great way is to segment your contacts into engaged and unengaged contacts, and then structure a campaign aimed at the unengaged ones. Those lost customers that are at or are nearing the 12+ month service history can be won back over with a well planned and executed campaign featuring things like valuable resources and service incentives.

This method is vital to growing your service customer base and keeping your service lane full.

Interested in what a campaign like this would look like for your dealership? Edifice Automotive can help with this. Contact us to learn more.

7. Leverage Social Media

On average, shoppers spend 59% of their time looking for car service online. Dealers can meet those buyers where they are by leveraging the full potential of social media.

  • Post Often - Use social media accounts to post engaging information or articles for your audience. Things like "How To Change A Flat Tire" or "How The Seasons Affect Your Car" can go a long way in building a loyal service base.
  • Talk To Your Audience - People will often like and comment on the things dealerships share. Take the time to comment back and engage with your audience in a professional, appropriate manner.
  • Run Paid Ads - While this topic is stressed often, it's important to use social ads to target qualified users in your area, especially for those that aren't aware of your brand.

Social media presents an opportunity to create deeper relationships with your brand owners and gain service customers, and you can do this by utilizing social media to its fullest potential.

We hope these tips help in growing your service customer base and 2019 profits! If you're interested in specific ways your dealership can implement these tactics reach out and a specialist will be in touch!

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