There are a lot of costs associated with extending hours. However, with fixed-ops being the dealer's life line and main money maker, it seems like a no brainer to have extended summer hours two or three days of the week.
Here are a few top reasons you should extend your hours
Imagine all of the customers that would now stop in after work? If you close at 8 PM, you can set your scheduling software to have the last appointment set for 7:15 PM. This would easily generate 10-15 more appointments per week. The Advisor (or in some cases a service BDC) can use this when booking the appointment via phone or chat if the customer isn’t available during the day.
Appointment Oriented Culture
The goal with the extended hours is to promote appointments. Walk-in traffic (which is most common for dealers) can actually cause for upset customers and chaos. As there is extended wait times in addition to the shortage of staff to handle the flux of R/O’s. That said, this “extended hours” is meant to be used as a means of making appointments for that time frame. Offering as “this Thursday we have extended the hours to 7:15 - that is the last appointment I have available. Are you available at 6:45 or 7:15 PM?” The customer then feels as if you’ve helped them by ‘squeezing’ him/her in.
With the extended hours being successful it offers the dealer the chance (based on 4 advisors) to add an additional 35-40k on the books per month. With that said, the money can be used - depending on the overall absorption, which should be 70%+ - to reinvest in the service department. Whether that is newer technology in the lane (such as tablets) or even newer amenities for the service lounge.
Bottom line. The cost to remain open for 4 additional hours per week can be paid back in thousands of dollars with appointments. Run the “extended hours” for 90 Days. Use the data to review how many appointments vs. walk-ins there were for the time frame. Understanding that there will be a percentage of walk-ins. If this is making the dealer money, then it will have a huge impact on the dealer's bottom line. In addition to giving the advisors the chance to earn additional income.
Would you consider late nights for the summer? Who has extended hours now and is having success?