The automotive industry touts the importance of developing and nurturing the relationship with the service department, but how many dealerships are taking action on it? With discussions of inventory levels, supply chain issues, and trouble acquiring pre-owned units, Service is the one reliable constant at the store.
With 44% of a dealership’s gross profit coming from Service, this is an area that cannot be ignored.
Why are service leads important?
At Better Car People, we understand the importance of strong service engagement and have discussed in regards to the Service BDC, Outbound Service Calls, Effective Follow-Up, and the Importance of Customer Service. It is imperative that dealerships focus on service leads and service customers. And engaging the right customers at the right time with the right communication channel is key.
Repeat service customers become repeat sales customers.
What service leads should you focus on?
If you are like the dealerships we work with, you have a plethora of service leads that you have no time to reach out to. From sold not serviced, equity, warranty, and dormant customers, your DMS is housing hundreds, if not thousands of potential customers.
But who should you focus on re-engaging?
That depends on your motivation and goals. Are you looking to re-engage dormant customers? Are you trying to increase service loyalty? Whatever your focus, there is a list that either lives in your DMN, your OEM, or both that you could be calling to increase activity and appointments.
- Sold not serviced
- Not serviced in 18+months
- Lease maturity
- Loan maturity
Knowing you have this goldmine of customers at your fingertips is one thing. Calling and engaging with those customers is another.
Commit to Connecting with Customers
Customers on these Service-Based Lists may have not been contacted for quite some time, or the contacts have been passive scheduled emails that don’t provide much value to the customer.
If you are committing to connecting with dormant or orphaned service customers, the best method is either phone calls or texts. These more personalized forms of communication help re-establish dormant relationships that have gone ignored for months. And while email is still a very effective means of communication, when trying to reignite interest, nothing is more powerful than the phone.
At Better Car People, we have found that quick bursts of calls to re-engage with the customers have been most successful IF there is a strong offering that the customer will be interested in.
- $$$ off Oil Change
- Complimentary Maintenance Program
- Free Car Wash
- Service Clinic
- Free diagnostic
Review all of your offerings and package them together so that when you have reached your dormant customer, they will want to listen to what you are sharing.
A 2010 Forrester Research study found companies that excel at lead nurturing can generate 50% more leads at a 33% lower cost per lead than other companies. It is time to nurture these leads that have been living in your DMS and bring them back into your service drive.
How to measure success
It is not enough to call customers and be done with the exercise. You want to be able to measure success. This measurement will drive future activities and help you adjust and maximize your approach to connecting with dormant customers and creating loyal service and sales relationships.
Here are some KPIs to keep in mind as you monitor activity during and after your customer engagement:
- How many service drive plans were sold?
- How many customers set appointments?
- What was the overall CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)?
- How many additional ROs were written and attributed to these calls?
- How many customers were you able to clear our of your database?
Service has been and will remain a consistent driver of growth, gross, and customer gain. Continue to build a solid base of service leads that will become loyal customers and ensure their experience in your service department is above average and beyond. That does not start with their advisor, but with the first touchpoint or engagement.
If you do not have a Service BDC in place, or the capacity to hire trained automotive agents to call your critically important service lists, Better Car People is here to help!