Service Appointments?

Derrick Woolfson

What percentage of your new car sales come in for their first service appointment? Do you have specific people follow-up with the customer (for those with BDC)? Or do you have the sales consultant follow-up? That is one thing we are working on in 2019 - increasing service retention. In addition to upselling vs. being an order taker. 


Joe Tareen



Based on my experience I do believe the industry figures hover around 40 to 50 percent. There are many factors which play into this. The internet based leads now allow dealers to sell plenty of vehicles outside their primary area of marketing, hence becoming too far out for customers to go back and service their vehicle with the selling dealer. 

As far as upselling is concerned: I am going to take a complete opposite view of many here and say it should not be the main focus. The name of the game for 2019 is going to be efficiency and productivity of the drive, shops and the entire Fixed operations. Also, we need to completely re-invent communication methods and tools between customers and dealers. The next CRM is not going to be a CRM but an AI driven messaging app which will facilitate highly contextualized conversations between customers and dealer personnel. Agility and convenience will be the hallmarks.

In my opinion, our industry should now step back and really ask hard questions about why the Service experience for many customers is less than satisfactory at franchised based new car dealers versus aftermarket. The devil is in the details, but many choose to overlook.



Mark Grabowski

We sell luxury cars. We introduce clients to a service advisor the day of acquisition or shortly thereafter as a process to retain clients. Both a new or used car sale gets their first service complimentary. Clients want to feel like they know their service team plus be confident they always know who to contact. Finally, we make a big deal out of installing license plates. When clients return for their license plates, we re deliver the car to them and make sure they know the service process and person to call. 

R. J. James

Four clients use an Equity Analysis Strategy to identify Service Customers who could trade out of their current vehicle and keep the same monthly payment.  They average selling 12-20 vehicles a month and pick up some really good Used Car Inventory.

Derrick Woolfson

@Joe, you bring up a great point; one that I agree with. Dealers thought that simply having 'communication' tools would fix the issues. However, the issues are not just with the external communication, and to your point with the overall inefficiencies on the dealer level. It starts with a proper sales to service hand-off. As for the statistics, that makes sense; what is the actual percentage, though, of out of PMA (primary marketing area) sales, though? I also believe that now that many OEM's have pricing compliancy's in place that the out of PMA sales might shrink? And we know, of course, that pre-owned sales (non-OEM especially) do not have a high retention rate. That said, it will be interesting to see what CRM's rise above the occasion when it comes to the globalization of the dealer's data, which is - as you said - going to offer the customer a more meaningful, relevant experience.    

Derrick Woolfson

@Mark, that is awesome! And I am sure it helps build a strong relationship from the beginning - as in, they know who to speak with when coming in for their service appt. As I have found, that in many cases the customer (when they come in for service) will still ask for their sales consultant! 

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