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Service Marketing: 5 Great Ideas for Automotive Dealerships

Marketing for Dealership Service Departments

Correctly marketing and advertising your service department is an essential part of growing your dealership in this highly competitive market. Without proper planning and implementation of an effective marketing strategy you could lose customers to your competitors.  In this post, we'll discuss five great ideas for your automotive dealership service department.
 

  1. Customer Service
    It should go without saying that great customer service is tantamount to a successful automotive service business yet it often falls by the wayside.  With word of mouth being your best advertising, treating your customers well and building a strong rapport is one of the best ways to have them tell others about your business. 

    Take time to listen to your customers' needs and explain to them what needs to be done with their vehicle. Automotive service can be costly and keeping in mind this is a major investment for your customers and treating them accordingly will ensure they feel "taken care of" in a market that generally does not respond to their needs but rather uses hard up-selling techniques.

  2. Coupons
    Leverage the power of coupons both for offering customers something for using your service department, and for gathering information for your client database.  Coupons can give you a great return in information alone.  Make sure they are current and printer friendly, and give your clients the opportunity to share them with friends and family across social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  It is a good idea to coordinate these efforts with your social manager for your dealership as well.

  3. Referrals
    Do not underestimate the value of referrals.  Speak to your customers and if they are happy with your service ask them to refer others to your business.  Service marketing is largely people-based and encouraging your customers to refer people to you will broaden your client base quickly. 

    When working on a referral program for your service marketing, keep in mind if a customer feels they are receiving something of value they are more likely to help promote your service to others. Implement a system to help create and strengthen referrals and institute a rewards program that ensures your customers return.  Give them reasons to brag about your service department!

  4. Well-Placed Advertising
    With all of the filtering abilities available today, regular ads are no longer the way to sell your service.  With DVRs, people skip commercials, internet pop-up blockers stop ads from appearing, and call-screening capabilities stop most cold-calling service marketing techniques.  Focus your attention instead on covering information your clientele will feel is useful. 

    Focus on the gold mine within your existing client database.  Do not underestimate the power of a well-structured direct mail campaign targeting your existing clients on a monthly basis.  Maintaining your customers, and bringing back customers you have not seen for some time will give you a higher return on investment than trying to pull in new business in untested markets.  Use this chance to ensure your clients have updated coupons to keep your marketing efforts consistent across all platforms.

  5. Analyze your Service Marketing Efforts
    Are your service marketing efforts providing you a solid return on investment?  Institute a means of tracking where your clients are finding out about you, and measure the success of each advertising avenue you employ.  This may be done with coupon usage, a quick customer survey when they come in for service, or even watching influxes surrounding promotions you have instituted.


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Marketing your dealership service department is a changing environment and it is more important than ever to remember your customer is at the heart of the business.  Paying close attention to detail, making your customers feel special, and providing sound service are essential components to ensuring your service department's success.

In this fast-paced world, remembering nuances of good customer service will not only ensure your customers remain loyal; it will also gain you word of mouth and referrals upon which to grow your business. Good luck!


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