How a Multipronged Approach in Your Service Center Can Drive Profits
Sep 9, 2022 Jade Terreberry and Mike Boyd
Whether times in the auto industry are complicated like the last few years, or humming along smoothly, successful dealers and service centers know that they must take a multipronged approach. What’s a multipronged approach? It’s a plan and strategy that ties both your marketing department and your fixed ops initiatives together in order to maximize lifetime customer value and drive profits.
With recent studies showing that your service center is most likely responsible for 50% of your dealership’s profits, it’s time to take a closer look at some examples of a multiprong approach in action that can help turn your service center into an even bigger profit center.
Connecting the dots for your service customer
When thinking of a multiprong approach, it’s important to look at your customers that are regularly coming into your dealership or center for service. The majority of these customers are considered high value lifetime clients, and drive profits well after their initial purchase or service appointment. Additionally, you will likely have many chances to interact with this customer, in many different ways, among several team members.
It’s important to make sure your dealership is connected from the top down on how to approach potential needs that might arise for your service customer, in order to match that to some of the key initiatives at your dealerships.
Example of an Expensive Repair:
When service customers have an expensive repair, what are they thinking, considering and asking their service advisor or tech for advice on? They’re typically thinking about should they, or should they not, hold onto the vehicle longer.
They’re also probably communicating with not only the service department, but also the new or used sales department, on several items such as:
Are there new cars available and what do they cost?
If there are limited new cars available, can a new one be pre-ordered for them?
What does the new car pre-order process look like?
What is their car’s current value new and are their incentives?
What would their trade-in be valued at?
Keeping the car and getting it serviced– or purchasing a new car -those are essentially the two different ways the customer conducts business at your dealership. Not only do dealerships have a big interest in keeping this customer for service, but also for their next trade-in and vehicle purchase! And it calls for a multiprong approach across every department and staff member in your dealership to make sure this happens.
Take a closer look at the importance of efficiencies
Because many of those conversations with lifetime value customers, especially service customers, both start and end in the service drive, another multiprong approach should be to focus on efficiencies. What type of efficiencies? Ones that can and should positively impact employee satisfaction which then leads to increased customer satisfaction!
Having seen almost twice the usual traffic on Kelley Blue Book over the last year or so, it’s no secret that customers are looking at that vehicle sitting in their garage. And they’re wondering if it’s the right time to trade in.
They know there’s a demand for vehicles with chip and inventory shortages and they know their car is probably worth more because of these micro-economic circumstances. Tools like Instant Cash Offer have been very successful in engaging with your customers, giving you the ability to connect with transaction-ready customers, to improve efficiencies by having the ability to acquire the inventory you need, while also lowering acquisition costs.
That same customer on Kelley Blue Book is probably also wondering if it’s the right time to start looking for a new car.
Other tools like iRecon and xTime are all about making jobs that have to be done at the dealership to service and sell cars more seamless, efficient, and manageable. Keeping you stocked with the inventory you need, when you need it, driving efficiencies. When you lift your service, you have the ability to raise your revenues.
The bigger picture
Customers’ preferences and priorities have shifted over the last few years, and instead of viewing these as challenges, with the top tips we shared, as well as multiprong approach, there is a wide-open road for opportunity and further innovation.
When you incorporate new ways to maximize your efficiency, increase loyalty, and drive revenue through your service drive, then connect them to the other departments and priorities within your dealership, you’ll not only have a bigger picture of how to increase profits, but you’ll also gain lifetime value clients along the way.
Times have changed, and so must some of the ways as an industry we conduct business. A multiprong approach in your fixed ops departments is where the strategy and focus should shift within your dealership and service center.