As we get into the winter months, many dealers are seeing an uptick in demand in their service departments. The big question is: are you maximizing this demand, to keep revenue flowing?
With more people buying vehicles and equipment during the Pandemic, a lot of dealers are now focusing their attention on improving service departments.
The problem ahead:
Dealers are getting vehicles and equipment through the doors of their service departments, but many are complaining about time being wasted trying to get in touch with customers.
Communication and transparency are key, and dealers want to find better ways to keep things flowing in and out of service bays to make sure money coming in doesn’t slow down.
Keys to saving time:
1. Be direct, no need for voicemails. New data shows that 89% of customers prefer to have businesses send a text rather than call. This is a trend that has been growing through the pandemic. Customers want simple and direct responses to get what they want.
2. Text customer with updates. If you need approval to fix something, send the customer a text. You will get a response within minutes, rather than waiting for the customer to call you back or return a voicemail. The Kenect texting platform offers dealers a quick and easy alternative to voice calls and missed connections using your existing business phone line.
3. Deliver bad news. This may seem like a bad idea, but it will go a long way with the customer. They will appreciate the transparency, and it will help establish a good relationship with the customer. They will keep coming back because they know you are honest.
4. Get permission. Texting is the fastest way to get permission to fix something. 95% percent of all text messages are responded to within 3 minutes. No waiting around. You can get approval, get to work, and get the customer out the door.
5. Be transparent. Don’t hide anything from the customer. Text with updates, and even send pictures if necessary to show them exactly what you are working on, and how long it will take.
Keys to keep your service department moving:
a) Get ahead of the rush. Send out automated reminders from the texting platform to get customers in the door and keep revenue flowing.
a) Text with updates to give customers the most accurate information. Even send pictures through the texting platform to make sure the customer knows everything you are working on, and how much it will cost.
b) This may also help you upsell. If you can show the customer what things look like in real-time, you may be able to upsell a better fix or a better product.
Specific ideas to increase revenue:
1. Text everyone who has bought from you in the last three years. You can set up automated reminders through the texting platform. You can also space out these reminders to keep things flowing at a good pace in your service department.
2. Don’t wait for them to reach out to you. Send customers a text with updates even if they aren’t asking for it. Tell them what you are working on, and maybe tell them what they can do to improve their equipment.
3. Make the customer feel like they are part of the team. You can send reminders, pictures, and videos showing what you are working on to let the customer experience what you are seeing first-hand. They don’t even need to be in the service bay in-person. You can walk them around the vehicle or equipment virtually and show them how things are going at any time.
These are just some examples of things you can do to speed up your service department. Make sure they don’t get overwhelmed during the peak months, but also make sure revenue is still flowing.
Customers want to be texted. Phone calls just won’t cut it anymore. Make sure you are meeting the customers in the platforms they are getting used to by adopting a texting system.