Reclaiming Missed Opportunities in Service
Many dealerships are trying to do more with less — specifically fewer employees. If the labor shortage is having an impact on your bottom line, it’s time to think about getting some help.
In the Service department, the biggest negative impact on revenue comes from missed opportunities. Let’s take a look at the three biggest areas impacted:
Incoming Phone Calls
When customers call your Service department, they’re usually asking about the status of their vehicle or scheduling an appointment. Your customers want answers to their questions now — not when your Service Advisors get around to calling them back.
According to incoming call analyses, nearly one-third of customers who call into Service departments aren't connecting with anyone. This is especially common in mornings and late afternoons when the service drive is busy. To solve this problem, consider having internal or external BDC agents answer calls.
One advantage of having a BDC is that agents don’t rush through conversations. Do your Service Advisors take the time to ask every customer for updated contact information? BDC agents can deliver a 90% email capture rate for customers, which can double the response rate of your service email campaigns.
BDC agents also set appointments based on customer preferences. As a result, dealers see an average 26% increase in ROs and an increase in shop capacity.
It’s common for customers to decline a service they weren’t prepared to pay for, but it’s more uncommon for those customers to get a call from the Advisor several days later to set a new appointment. Lack of declined service follow-up is understandable — everyone gets busy — but it’s still inexcusable.
The best way to ensure declined services get booked is to set follow-up tasks for the Advisor in your service CRM. Another option is to have BDC agents follow up after every service with a customer satisfaction survey and ask if there were any services the customer had to decline. Then they’ll do the follow-up.
Follow-up should be a multichannel effort with an email, a phone call and a text sent out within a week of service. Too often follow-up efforts are one and done, but in this department, persistence pays.
Aftermarket and Parts
The Parts department is an area of the dealership that’s largely unknown to the average consumer. This is a shame because the aftermarket presents a huge untapped opportunity for most dealers.
Do you have parts and accessories on display? When I worked at a dealership, we would display vehicles with featured seasonal parts and accessories. We also made sure to always put a sticker on each part to show the cost of the part and installation.
Most dealers fall short when it comes to advertising their parts and accessories to customers. When a customer expresses interest in an item and doesn’t purchase it, mark it in your CRM and make a note to call them the next time it’s on sale.
No matter how busy your Service department is, it can be always be busier. Don’t be satisfied if you’re “busy enough.” Be aggressive about following up with lost opportunities from missed calls, declined services or the Parts department. Use CRM technology to prompt call activity and, if your staff can’t handle the call volume, get help from trained BDC agents.