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Shawn Ryder

Shawn Ryder Director, Automotive Web Solutions

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Service Marketing - Red Yellow Green

d6b224ca468bbe4fa30963b4662cd8e0.jpg?t=1We all know that the Service Department is key to continuous growth for the dealership, customer purchases, comes in for first visit and is wowed by the experience, returns every three months. Then they purchase next vehicle at dealership and the cycle continues – this happens at all dealerships right?

Okay that is a perfect world when the process is followed to a “T” and no steps are missed, with the customer in agreement the entire time.

When a customer has an inspection done on their vehicle – even on the first visit to get them understanding the benefit – it is important to track the inspection for both records and marketing opportunities.

As we know a customer won't purchase yellow or red items at the dealership immediately at that time.

Do dealers have a process in place to target those customers who declined services? What if using the data they can automate a process to email specific information to them automatically based on the service declined. 

For example if somebody decided that the tires marked in the red weren't in the budget today – how do we automate an email to follow up in a couple of days with a friendly reminder.

After all the data knows the details, so using that have a daily batch of emails go out in the morning to customers that were in two days prior with features and benefits of new tires. Then after another day if they don't open the email send them a savings for tires that may incite them to for visiting.

Of course it could also include text messages or even voice mails to provide them with a coupon code via text or a message from the service manager thanking them for business and offering a special savings in the message as well.

Service is important to everyday business at the dealership, do you ensure that a consistent service marketing plan is in place for the dealership?

Mark Begley
Shawn, this is a perfect example of the old way vs. the new way. In the old days, our stalls were filled up with warranty work and we chased away customer pay. Now that cars are built better, warranty as a percentage of total labor sales has fallen from a high over 60% to under 20%! The target is to get this number to 11% of total labor sales. With that being said, we need to replace that business with customer pay maintenance and repairs. It's only with a strong CRM follow up process that we will be able to track our opportunities and convert them into dollars. The fringe benefit is the more we convert to doing business with us in service, the more vehicle sales we will make. Most don't realize that typically only around 40% of the vehicles going through the shop ever bought that vehicle from the dealership. The rest are opportunities!!!
Shawn Ryder
Great feedback Mark! Dealers need to do a great process for introducing the inspection to customers as a complimentary service and build value in the experience - with a key being prepared for the customer when they arrive, using their name and build rapport between the advisor (we will call them Sam) and the customer at the vehicle with the hood open and walking around during the process. Now imagine if after there is a declined yellow or red item and the next day the customer gets a friendly email from the advisor Sam personalized with information about the repair options. If they don't open an email the next day or a coupon a couple days later. But the key to this process is that it is done automatically on behalf of the advisor, with no required daily interaction with email (or preferred mode communication) for Sam. It does it quickly and automatically to ensure the customer remains engaged. Something as simple as engaging customers on wiper blades can build future business. Like you say - there are lots of opportunities and being even a little bit different from the other dealers in your market can lead to a lot more customers in service and ultimately the sales department.

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