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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development Manager

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Top Reasons You Should Extend Your Hours

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

Late Appointments

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.

Investment Revenue

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?

R. J. James

Derrick... Good article!!!  Extending hours and justifying the additional expense is a TOUGH business decision,; and not just for dealerships.   I recall working with a dealership that was struggling with the decision to extend hours on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Surprisingly, the Dealer's biggest mental hurdle was NOT the additional expense.  He was more concerned with how his PEOPLE would respond and TERRIFIED that some would leave.

Also, two decades ago, I had a similar experience with a mall-based shoe/apparel retailer who was considering opening on holidays.  Likewise the biggest hurdle was not the expense, but how the PEOPLE would respond to the additional hours and would Top Performers quit.   

Joe Henry

Derrick, I hear you but what do you suggest about extra techs covering these hours? Most are worn out staying 40 to 45 hours a week and the dealership. 

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