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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Exclusive Blog Posts

Is the Service Department Keeping Customer Data Secure?

Is the Service Department Keeping Customer Data Secure?

A quick visit to the dealership for an oil change isn’t exactly the riskiest behavior someone can engage in. The routine procedure should do noth…

Evolution of a Dealership's Fixed Operations with Dave Foy | KPI Cafe Season 6 Episode 1

Evolution of a Dealership's Fixed Operations with Dave Foy | KPI Cafe Season 6 Episode 1

To kick off our newest season that's all about your dealership's fixed operations, Host Dane Saville is joined by the Fixed Ops Mastermind Dave Foy…

WEBINAR RECORDING - Five Ways to Grow Your Profits in the Second Half of 2020

WEBINAR RECORDING - Five Ways to Grow Your Profits in the Second Half of 2020

Discover strategies to identify and capture additional profit on every car deal. After months of uncertainty, we are seeing dealerships open their do…

Rock’s Rants: Purchase Orders

Rock’s Rants: Purchase Orders

Does your dealership have a purchase order (PO) system? Often when I ask this question in dealerships the answer is, “Sort of.” When I dig deep…

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Even Loyal Dealership Service Customers Buy Tires Elsewhere

It’s widely known that dealerships still have a lot of ground to make up when it comes to selling tires. According to Modern Tire Dealer, auto dealer…

Consumer Purchase Drivers Have Changed

The following is a post from Mark Rikess of Rikess Consulting.

It is important for dealers to understand that the primary consumer purchasing drivers have changed. Historically customers sought out the “best deal” and dealers promoted that they “would not be undersold” and had “the lowest prices in the market.” For service, coupons and specials were the traditional drivers. Eventually consumers moved on from seeking the best deal to looking for, and sometimes demanding, a great dealership experience. Economically it was better for dealers to compete on experience but still a very challenging model to adapt (one price selling; extended service hours; guaranteed oil change times; etc.) Now the majority of consumers are primarily looking for convenience and ease of purchase; call it the Amazon effect.

This means dealers will have to create different offerings to satisfy today’s consumer.

Where to start: Create internal committees to review key customer facing processes. Review those processes through the lens of: ease of purchase and convenience. Start with what the majority of customers want and work back-words from there.

Processes that clearly most of your customer’s want:

Home or office service pick-up and delivery. Dealers lose over 70% of their owner base to independent repair shops. It is not because they are much less expensive; have better technicians or parts. It is totally about convenience, which leads to significant owner retention and therefore more dollars per R.O.

  • Instant “remote pay” check out
  • A time efficient sales process.
  • Single point of contact.
  • Money back guarantees
  • Proof of transacting in a safe environment

 

Some things we learned once the pandemic hit:

Dealers were forced to do more with less people. The lower performers, those employees not fully engaged or highly skilled were most often furloughed or terminated, leaving only the A+ employees. They had better skills and knew their performance was critical, especially early on, to keeping the dealership operating. Although as business improved dealers needed to “staff up” most did not bring back those who couldn’t stretch to do an “A-Job.”

Technology systems were also more fully engaged…”My staff was finally optimizing the technology systems we’ve been preaching about for years.” An excellent technology system creates higher levels of productivity typically at a lower cost. With less margin for error due to lack of customers, in-place technology systems become part of the “life support systems.” As one Service Director said, “We left a lot of boxes ‘un-checked’ because we didn’t think we could implement the full capabilities of the technology…Now we’ve gone back and checked those boxes.”

A final thought a dealer left me with: “One of our biggest hurdles going forward is not reverting to our previous bad or at best mediocre habits. As business is beginning to return to normal, how do we ensure we don’t fall backwards into our comfort zones.”

Allan Chell

When it comes to technology systems dealers really need to be in-the-know, not just assume the conversion numbers they're seeing are correct. A recent example is a dealer group that assumed their appraisal win ratio was converting at 24 to 27 percent. After actually including and tracking "EACH & EVERY Appraisal" their win ration was found to be only 16 to 18 percent. Then by using the appraisal systems analytics and reporting tools they were able to tighten up their online and in-store appraisal processes and move the win ratio up to an actual 24 to 27 percent. Simple adjustment but a big impact on the bottom line.

 

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