Why should I service with you?

Denim Simkins
Today there are so many options for our customers to go elsewhere for service. What steps are you taking to educate your customers on the benefits of servicing with you? How is it working?
Taylan Yu
Kia Certified Technicians Brake Pads for Life Dedicated Tire / Lube Tech Full Time Shuttle Service Key Drop Off Loaner Vehicles Free Wifi Higher trade in value for regularly maintained / "service exchange" vehicles I'm curious to hear what other Kia / Hyundai Franchise dealers offer to stand out from the pack. I don't know too much about the Fixed Ops side, but it seems that a majority of our off make pre-owned customers as well as out of warranty customers will service elsewhere.
Denim Simkins
@Taylan those are all great advantages your store has over the competition. Training, loaners, Shuttle, Wifi (typically) are not services the guy on the corner has and gives you a competitive advantage. I really like your point about the regularly maintained vehicle will help with the trade in value. These are the points that every customer needs to hear over and over so they feel these are value added items. Thanks, like you Im curious to hear more from others
Mark Miller
I hate to play devil's advocate here, but having ran both franchise dealerships and independents I can tell you in my area, most independents offer everything the franchise offers with the exception being factory trained techs (or a least current with their training). Many of the local shops can offer 3 or 4 year nationwide warranties on repairs, even if the part is a factory part with a 12/12. Night drop key service is a given, free wifi isn't much of a draw in reality, and many shops contract a great rate with a rental company to provide loaners. In my experience selling service against (and for) independent shops, the difference for me has been that relationship with the customer that is often formed at the time of the vehicle purchase. If sales takes the time to build value in the service department, takes the customer on a tour and introduces them to a service writer, and that writer does their job right (sets that first appt), there is a higher chance of retaining that customer. In the real world, we know most sales people don't even talk about service yet alone offer a tour and introduction. Many customers stop going to the dealer when warranties expire because the dealership only built a relationship in sales. Until that changes, along with better service marketing and service having a prominent place on the website, independents will keep giving franchise dealers a run for their money.
Taylan Yu
@Mark You hit the nail right on the head, what can we do as a franchise to make our service drive stand out from the crowd? Or are selling points mute and customer experience king?
Mark Miller
@Taylan, Better advertising is a must! Most dealers here only use the co-op franchise from the manufacturer which is poor at best, and never service focused. Part of the hold up, from point of view, is the warranty issue as well. Say a NAPA shop does a repair, it is warrantied for 3-4 years at ANY shop in the country, not just NAPA. You're a Kia dealer, there are areas of the country with limited Kia dealerships making a parts warranty situation for someone traveling an issue. Parts warranty aside, salespeople need to do a better job of talking up the service department, touring it, and introducing their customers to a service writer. Service needs to do a better job at that initial meeting also, set that appointment. That service relationship must be fostered just like the sales process is. Build trust, always be honest (car repair has been perceived in a negative light for years). Quit looking for a big commission on each car and focus on the NEEDS of the vehicle and customer, be consultative and educational in service sales. I had a customer that bought whatever I said was wrong, it took 2 years to get there, but it can be done, and he'd never think of going anywhere beside the dealer. When the price objection comes up, and it will if they look at an independent, the service writers MUST be trained to handle those objections without being negative about the competition. Key points are; factory parts, trained techs, factory diag equipment, etc.. Having a strong leader in service is a key, the manager has to be on the drive and training the writers, the techs, and interacting with the customers. If he hides in his office, none of this matters because it will never stick. The dealership website needs to be changed to put a light on service. Take your dealership website as the example. There is not a dedicated service page that is easily found (it is at the bottom in a link), you can schedule service, but obviously someone has to get back to confirm the date and time. There is a service specials page, but nothing listed. I am not picking on your site, it is indicative of most websites that are focused on sales, not service. A small change in these areas can yield large results, trying to fix all of it would be a monumental task, and not likely attainable. So it is selling points and experience, there is no single point of attack to cure this ailment.

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