While recalls have in the past caused great adversity, they can in fact be turned into a great opportunity -- if your dealership gears up and correctly handles the traffic.
According to CARFAX’s new annual research, more than 46 million cars nationwide have at least one safety recall that’s never been fixed. That’s a tremendous amount of opportunity – and not just for service revenue, but for vehicle sales as well.
In effect, the OEM is delivering sales and service prospects to your door. In many cases, these are customers that have not been in for quite some time, or new customers you have never seen before. It provides your dealership with an opportunity to inspect the customer’s car at no cost to the customer. This frequently leads to more repair business, and, in more cases than you may think -- a vehicle sale. In fact, GM stated last year that it sold 6,600 cars to customers who traded in vehicles with defective ignition switches.
The danger comes if you fail to give good service, or if parts are not obtained in a timely manner. So, it is key to be prepared to do a really good job of servicing these customers. Here’s a great opportunity to wow a customer with the level of your service. If the customer is very concerned about a recall, put them in a loaner that very moment until their car is repaired. In some cases the cost of the loaner is even covered by your OEM.
A point to consider however, is that while 46 million cars with an open recall represents a lot of opportunity – the sheer volume also means that many of these consumers could be suffering from “recall fatigue.” They may have seen so many recall notices that they no longer pay attention to any of these OEM messages.
So, it is time to get creative in your marketing to capture the attention of the many consumers with open recalls in your marketplace. Develop a marketing strategy to reach out and contact these customers -- there is certainly a lot of gold out there to be mined.
Approach a recall as an opportunity and plan accordingly … they can be a great opportunity to establish new customer relationships and increase revenue.