CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
With new General Motors recalls rolling in every month since February, ensuring the safety of your customer’s future or current vehicle is top priority.
Recalled parts include faulty ignition switches, air bags and front seat belt cables. But just because GM is taking a hit, doesn’t mean your GM dealership will.
Driving sales during this time is crucial for your dealership’s success, and the key to success is keeping your customers informed on what’s happening.
Alleviate the pain
The typical recall time to make fixes and get new parts in can be anywhere from two to three months—yikes. Obviously, you don’t want to keep your customer from buying a car or using their current car during that time.
GM dealers have stepped up to alleviate the worries of car buyers and users by proving loner vehicles, offering employee pricing and overall using this mishap as a way to improve customer service at their dealerships.
Accommodate your current and prospective customers as much as possible. By going the extra mile during this uncomfortable time, you’ll likely build the kind of goodwill that keeps a customer with your brand.
Stay informed and be prepared
Don’t just rely on second hand information from your managers or your daily staff meeting to keep yourself up to date on the recalls. Start your day reading the latest in automotive news and social media feeds so you can be the first to keep your customers in the loop.
Make sure to follow the proper protocol your dealership will receive from GM—they’ll provide you with the most accurate guidelines.
Check out this great timeline on CNN.com that keeps track of the latest recall news.
GM has also made it easy for current owners to enter their VIN online, in order to see if their vehicle is being recalled. Think about putting this link prominently on your website: GM Warranty and Recalls Portal
Answer the phone!
Your customers will have a thousand recall questions and you can’t expect them to have done their research. You need to be their trusted source, so make sure you’re available.
The best way to get connected with the customer is to make sure they are avoiding lengthy holds on the phone. Start by using a bridge instead of being directly connected by a receptionist, and forward calls to your cell phone after-hours to avoid messages getting lost in voicemail.
Your ability to connect with your customers and give them timely information could mean the difference between a repeat customer and someone that abandons GM and your dealership all together.
Don’t give up
Despite the recent hardships, GM has been smart about keeping consumers engaged. Impressive upgrades to longtime best sellers, including the Chevy Impala, drive old and new customers to their cars.
Embrace all that GM is doing to support its dealers. With their increased marketing spend to keep attracting new customers, this is not the time to scale back on your dealership’s marketing and advertising. Many committed consumers will still be attracted to the cars they offer.
GM fixing such a large quantity of their cars shows their commitment to safety, and will provide consumers with a more satisfying product in the long run. It’s all about the steps you take now that could make or break your dealership.