Service Needs to Adapt and Adopt
Our automotive worlds have been stopped, shaken, adjusted, and readjusted in 2020. We have had to navigate situations that we never imagined, and our Service Centers have had to manage through it all.
While some closed down, some furloughed many employees, and some reconfigured process, one thing stayed consistent--Service was Essential.
With the slowdown in appointments and scramble to keep customers safe, dealerships had to get creative and agile to remain successful. In doing this, there were key elements that rose to the top: Customer Engagement, Optimized Digital Presence, and the need for a full Service BDC.
The customer experience is not a luxury or an afterthought, but a necessary aspect of your service department. Customers now expect touchless experiences and pick up and drop off services. In addition, 59% of customers stated if they were delighted with their service, they would return to the dealership. How you reach out to and then treat your customers will determine whether they come back to your dealership or not. You need to give them a reason to view your service department as their best option for great service.
With fewer employees and less BDC staff, it is harder than ever to continuously engage with customers. The first customers we forget? Our manifest lists. These lists are the key to reengaging customers, gaining back customers who have never serviced with you, or customers in an equity position.
Service needs a BDC to engage with all of these customers, because--let’s face it--BDCs that serve both sales and service focus on sales. If you need a service BDC and do not have the staff to create one, BCP can help you out!
Optimize Your Digital Presence
How much real estate does service have on your website? For such a revenue generator, I am willing to bet that less than 10% of your website is dedicated to service. There may be one tab that leads to parts and service, and that is it.
It is time to give more recognition to service on your website. And a number listed on the upper right hand side and upper tab don’t count.
Think about videos that highlight common service options. Possibly have Advisors complete a walk through of all the amenities of the lounge. Create a video that highlights the sanitization in the service lane.
All of these options will optimize your service presence on digital, and hopefully bring new customers into the lane.
Shifts in Spending
If you are not spending money on Paid Social and Paid Search service ads, you are putting yourself in a position where the local oil change place will rank before you on the Google SRP. You may or may not have a solid organic ranking, but you also need to make sure that you are not dark on social and search. Make sure you are getting your message in front of the right customers with the medium they are on. And those places are online and social media.
Google My Business
Think about your Google My Business page. You can now create separate departments for Sales, Service, and Parts. This separation allows customers a direct path to your service scheduler, phone number, and specials. If you have not separated your GMB account into separate departments, that is next on your “To-Do” list.
The majority of customers use mobile to search service departments. Are you prepared for this? If your site is not responsive or mobile designed, then customers will bounce off of it quicker than they found it.
Do you know what responsive means? If not, that is where to start.
Training is an investment with multiple layers. Whether you decide to move forward with online training, face to face training, or a blended approach, your training needs to highlight the processes that will make your dealership successful. Process beats talent every day. But process with talent equals incredible success.
If you are all about the “This is the way we have ALWAYS done it” mentality, then this is where you will live. The Last Time way of thinking states that customers come in, get their service done, and leave. There is no special treatment, no reaching customers where they are and meeting their expectations.
This can get very expensive, because with no expectations comes no retention. And then you will be marketing to, calling, and emailing these customers to come back to the dealership.
It would cost a whole lot less to give them a great customer experience in the first place and keep them as customers.
Let’s Talk About It
- Do you currently have a service specific BDC set up at your dealership?
- How are you focusing more on long term and less on Last Time?
- If you need a Virtual BDC, or help with your current BDC, reach out to us at BCP