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Richard Holland

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The Trick to Increased Service Revenue Is Keeping Your Bays Full

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Many auto dealerships have technology in place that allows sales managers to monitor what’s going on in their departments. CRMs and phone call recording services are used by sales managers to ensure that Internet leads are being followed up promptly and that salespeople follow up with shoppers that visited the dealership but did not buy. Many dealerships, however, don’t take advantage of these technologies to monitor what’s going on in their service departments.

Most dealership service advisors are paid according to the amount of work they write in a given month. The more costly a repair is, the more they get paid. Sometimes that leads to missed opportunities, as service advisors can give preference to larger ROs.

How many times does a customer call your dealership in an attempt to schedule an appointment just to be told that they will have an extended wait until the next available appointment? What do you think those customers do? People have busy schedules. When they do find the motivation and time to service their vehicle, the last thing they want to hear is that the dealership cannot accommodate them. Many times, they will call other dealers and independents trying to find a dealer who can service their vehicle.

Chances are that on any given day, a dealership has a certain number of appointments cancel. What’s happening with those now open time slots? Is your dealership taking a proactive approach and calling those customers who want to service their vehicle and giving them the opportunity to take advantage of that now open appointment time? Downtime in service is one of the most costly events for service departments. Yet it can be relatively simple to remedy. In many cases, service managers have the technology available to help, but aren’t utilizing it, due to lack of time, lack of training, or other considerations.

According to a recent article in Automotive News, some dealers are implementing dedicated service BDCs that are working out very well for them, despite initial opposition from service writers. The article reported that “total service appointments grew 10 percent and revenue increased 5 percent” within the first year of implementation.

It may be time to think about proactively taking advantage of these missed opportunities in service. Failing to do so can cost revenue that could be rather simple to acquire. Perhaps you can use the technology installed in your dealership to monitor what service receptionists and/or advisors are telling customers. Or implement processes designed to keep your bays full by proactively calling customers when another customer cancels an appointment. Such simple practices as these could make a difference and help you maximize all of the opportunities presented to your dealership, keep your service bays full and increase your service revenue.

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