After an economic shutdown like the United States is just emerging from, no one really knows what to expect. In the modern era, it’s foreign territory for everyone. It’s largely assumed that for dealerships, the road to recovery will be a steady uphill climb, and the fixed operations departments will be the foundation for profitability in the meantime.
But who actually knows what the service and parts departments will be like during the recovery period? What we know is that customers are fickle. If they aren’t consistently engaged, they soon forget the reasons why they had been loyal. That’s when they start looking for somewhere to service their car that’s closer, safer, more convenient, more upscale, or any other factor.
The coronavirus pandemic recovery is going to claim some of your clients. It’s a sure thing. The question isn’t IF, but HOW MANY. Luckily, the same rings true for every other dealership, so you have an opportunity to impress select new first-time service customers defecting from other stores.
How do you keep them coming back for service? That, in large part, is accomplished at the service desk.
Like it or not, service advisors, you are the face of the service department. You’re the mouthpiece, the liaison between the technician and the customer, the conduit between sales and service. You’re a brand ambassador.
Like any diplomat, expectations are high that you’ll keep yourself composed in stressful situations. No matter how many fires are burning behind you, you always smile, greet the customer warmly, and listen intently to what they need.
As a service ambassador, the relationship you build with every client is positively-charged, trustworthy, and personal. This personal touch is what customers will remember and keep them coming back.
In normal times, the basics are important. In critical times, the basics are absolutely essential. Do not give clients a reason to think about defecting to another store. In the basics, you must:
Anything less than an excellent job in the basics could increase the customer’s likelihood of looking for another shop.
Customer retention isn’t only about doing the basics right. All dealerships strive for that same achievement. But each dealership has unique little things they do – as do service advisors – that connect better with the customers.
For a few examples:
Retaining customers is arguably the complete purpose for a service advisor. That’s what generates revenue, receives five-star surveys, and has them coming back for their next vehicle purchase to start the lifecycle all over.