Taking Dealership Experience Into Fixed Ops Marketing
As someone who worked in a dealership and saw that side of the business for several years, Brad says he likes to think back to what it was like in the dealership when trying to market as a vendor now. As the eCommerce director for two stores, he had an inside look at marketing tactics for the fixed ops department and was able to see both strengths and challenges in that area.
For one, Brad says that “it’s better to be resourceful than to use all your resources” when it comes to fixed ops marketing, meaning that you have to be innovative and find ways to market that go further for you. For Brad now, this means keeping an ear to the ground with service techs to ask them what best practices for marketing service & parts departments are. These people know just how crucial getting that customer loyalty is and the best ways to go about keeping it.
Challenges Dealerships Face
As for challenges that dealership fixed ops departments face today, Brad outlines the top 3:
Losing Business to Independent Stores
Brad says that after customers get those initial and free services out of the way, they steer away from the dealership and tend to go to local chains or independent stores instead. The way to overcome this? By focusing on late ownership services such as transmission fluid exchanges, brake pad replacements, and more. When your dealership presents on their website not only that they offer these services but also the recommended service intervals and how much they cost, that transparency will help send you above the competition.
There aren’t many technicians out there today, and techs looking for work are often quickly scooped up by independent stores. Without the proper technician staffing, your dealership can lose a lot of business. Fixed Ops Digital offers an optimized Tech Hiring page to help you hire the technicians you need, and you can download our whitepaper for even more tech hiring tips.
Service Schedulers that Aren’t Optimized for Customer Use
Brad notes that many service schedulers were originally shop tools to organize scheduling and not customer-facing platforms. Now that they are customer-facing, many customers don’t understand the services offered nor how to navigate the scheduler, causing them to take their business elsewhere. Schedulers have to be clear and intuitive to funnel customers into scheduling service with you.
Setting Service Advisors Up for Success
Finally, Brad discusses how the best way to increase your fixed ops revenue is to set your service advisors up for success just like your salespeople, because “9 times out of 10, your top service advisor out-grosses your top salesperson”. One way to do this is to educate your customers on your website by providing a service menu page (so that customers know all the services you have available) and a service detail page (for customers to find out everything they need to know about it).
You can watch the podcast video interview and read a transcript here.