Starting a Service drive

Kevin Sanderson

So I recently just took the role of taking a 200 car a month dealership with about 1200 service customers a month  and putting together there service equity drive.  I have worked in the area for a couple years at different dealerships with great success.  I feel as if I know what it takes to run the department but for some reason with no prior system in place I'm lost of where to start.  Our equity mining tool isn't the greatest which is a downfall but I've yet to gain our service advisors to work with us.  The business is there but someone please help in getting this up and running! 

Not my area of expertise but congrats on the great opportunity! I am sure with all the knowledge roaming the halls here someone is gonna drop a bomb on you and get the creative juices flowing! 

Amanda Gordon

Congrats! I agree with Scott, what an EXCELLENT opportunity in front of you. I wish I had a ton of answers for you however the only token I have to offer is this...when I was on the sales floor I worked the service bays like a hawk and 75% of business came from them. Knowing all of the new features of the current models made up selling a breeze and our manufacturer always had CRAZY specials that allowed the customer to either keep their payment the same or sometimes lower it. I would always approach them like a fresh opportunity that pulled in with a well maintained trade. Hope that helps...

Brendan Dolan

What tools do you have? Which CRM/equity tool, and are you a vAuto store? 

Here's what we did at my last group. Our goal was converting 5% of our RO count into sales, and while we didn't consistently do it, it was a good stretch goal. 

-Identify which cars that were showing up tomorrow that were of interest to us (used Auto Alert for awhile, the Target in VinSolutions, and cross referenced those over to the service tab in vAuto to check the market on the cars)
-Call the customers to confirm the appointment, and plant the seed for the pitch:
"Hi Bob, confirming your appointment tomorrow at 10:30 for the 30k on your Passat. By the way, our Pre Owned Manager is interested in building inventory, and he likes cars like yours. If you have a minute to chat tomorrow, he'll walk you through the key exchange program."
-In the service drive on a white board (we were low tech), we'd write out the cars we were interested in, and had called on the day prior. 
-Advisors would reinforce the soft pitch: "Yeah, it's pretty cool. With the rebates and lease deals on the new cars, a lot of our customers can upgrade to a new car and keep their payment the same. If you're interested chat with So and So."

We kept it low key, informational, and let the customer decide. We would target:

-Customers with equity
-Last service visit before end of lease
-Recently out of warranty, or warranty about to expire
-High APR customers

If you go in for a sales pitch, people shut down. Just lay out the facts when you get them interested. "It's a perfect storm right now. Used car values are high, and new cars are low. A lot of our customers are taking advantage of this, and upgrading to a new car and they're keeping their payments about the same. If that combination of factors applies to you, would you be interested in learning some more?"

Get them to take a demo, and then get the desk to have all of the numbers ready when they return. 

Dayn Riegel

Jumping a bit late... We set up an entire "division" near our Service Drive to work the lane. We have a great opportunity and each month we learn something new. Employing non-sales reps to chat it up with our customers in the lane without introducing them to "pushy" sales reps has helped us move the needle. It really takes a village - both of people and tools - to perform and handle this task. Would be willing to chat with anyone that is looking for advice and is willing to share ideas.

Mark Rask

This could be a gold mine for you!

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