Today you need every customer you can get. Maintenance intervals are stretched, cars are built better and the competition for service continues to get stronger every day. If you really expect to grow your parts and service business you have to start thinking like a customer. Here's 3 Things that Piss Off Customers - fix these and you will quickly take your store to the next level.
1. You Aren't Open Enough. Today's customers live busy 24/7 double income lives- you have to be open evenings and weekends like the competition to have a chance at fitting in their schedule. Get serious, staff up, be open more and advertise your new convenient hours- stop pissing them off!
2. You Don't Answer The Phone. Shoppers say they say they hate to call dealership parts and service departments. They get bounced around, put on hold forever and they usually just hang up - and if they do happen to get through, they say they feel rushed and they feel like you don't care. Answer the phone fast, be polite, listen closely, offer reasons to choose you, not just blurt out a price - and always try to schedule a time for them to come in. Take the phone away from your service advisors and give it to a well trained and staffed BDC whose only job is to fill every available appointment slot. You will instantly increase your traffic if you just answer the phone.
3. You Take Too Long. Back to the convenience issue- they won't wait forever. Servicing their vehicle is not one of those events in life that people really savor - they want to get in, get it done and get out. You can fix 90% of your problems if you add 2 more techs, one advisor, deliver parts to your techs to keep them working in their bays and fire your cashier (cashiers are evil and customers hate to stand in line to pay). Advisor cashiering speeds up the visit, eliminates confusion and builds customer satisfaction and retention!
4. You charge too much. Even though it usually isn't true, service customers think dealership service departments are more expensive - and unfortunately perception is reality. You need to change their minds and consistent, aggressive advertising is the best way to do that. Advertise well-known maintenance services at prices people can relate to. Dare to compare your offers to the other guys and show value, warranties and reasons why choosing your store makes sense.
5. You don't do what you say you'll do. Customers consistently complain that nobody stays in touch with them about the status of their vehicle and that often times they come in for one thing and dealerships end up selling them other services without even fixing their main concern. Stress to advisors and parts people that staying in touch prevents 5-o'clock fires and that in the customers eyes, it is better for techs to suggest additional services after the car is in the shop than for advisors to hammer the customer as soon as he arrives. Stop pissing them off!