Three Ways to bring more Customers to your Service Drive
By Owen Moon
For most dealership Service Departments, the last five years have been great! Gross revenue has risen year over year. Service bays are typically full and profits from Fixed Operations have ushered in good times. The adage is that numbers don’t lie. Unfortunately, in this case, the numbers do lie. One Word: Opportunity Opportunity is the only word a General Manager or Dealer Principal should consider. After warranty work, most dealerships get 20 percent or less of every dollar spent anywhere on repair work. That can encompass routine services, parts, collision work and detail/reconditioning.
What if out of five buyers who purchased a new car of your particular OEM you only sold one? The first thing in your mind would be opportunity. It wouldn’t matter if you already were number one in your zone in sales. You would have your agency and digital partners lined up to conquest. So why wouldn’t we want to build on the momentum over the last five years, knowing that you’re still only getting one-fifth of the opportunities in your dealership? What areas of opportunity are there that you can capitalize on in order to create even more revenue for your dealership?
Let’s look at 3 opportunities:
The Recall Opportunity
Additional Recall business is the largest, untapped area of opportunity for your dealership in Service today.
Keep in mind that you’re already eliminating most of the competing entities on recall business. If you’re an OEM dealership with “X” number of recalls in your portfolio. You’re really only competing against other OEM stores. What type of digital efforts can you create to gain that business? The first step is to create website content pages that are predominant on your website.
Please, no generic pages! Instead, create well-written content that can be indexed based on the year/make/model of the recall. Now you’ve created a great landing page — one that will provide a clean user experience when running conquest marketing.
Your conquest marketing plan should include email campaigns to consumers from your OEM-provided list, email blasts to customers that match the year/make/model within your DMS, Google paid search and Facebook marketing.
These proven conquest marketing techniques, combined with your newly created content pages on your website, should start seeing immediate results.
The Service Menu Page Opportunity
How often do you walk into a local McDonald’s or Panera Bread and a menu board doesn’t include pricing? Dealerships have done a great job in the past few years of offering TVs in the lounge with pricing and materials in the Service Advisor offices and in the Service lane. But how many dealerships have their most commonly performed Services displayed on their website? Based on experience, I would say less than one percent.
We hurry to put up specials just to get it done. Then often what appears are two to three specials for Services such as window tinting and other obscure items. Here’s a revelation: your Service Department specials don’t have to be
special at all.
Take your 15 most commonly performed services and create or transform your existing “Service Specials” website page into a clean, transparent Service menu page.
Now your dealership has created a seamless user experience both online and within your store.
The Mobile Wallet Marketing Opportunity
The rise of dealership wallet marketing is coming. The last time you flew on Southwest Airlines, nearly two-thirds of the passengers used boarding passes on their mobile phones. Here’s the great well-kept secret about Apple Pay and Google Pay: location services are automatically turned on and can’t be turned off. As an advertiser, we can track and push ads based on a consumer’s location.
So how can a dealership use this technology? Across all Service marketing channels, of course. If you’re offering a consumer a $29.95 conventional oil change on your website or sending an email blast for a $149.00 brake replacement, you can use a conversion button that allows a consumer to save that special in their mobile wallet.
Considering that the average dealership completes more than 1,500 repair orders per month, the number of consumers who are actively looking for pricing or coupons should give your dealership a sufficient number of people to market to.
Remember: opportunity in today’s automotive Service game is either gained or lost.