• January 28, 2018 at 8:57 am #65396

    One more book to add to your reading list:

    Perfect Dealership

    While it is aimed at dealers, much of it is very applicable to an indie shop. Here is one excerpt:

    Service Advisor Walk Around

    For most drivers, going to a car dealership’s service drive is the equivalent of going to a dental appointment—with one major difference. During both, the customer sits in the waiting room, flips through magazines, and hopes for the
    best when his or her name is called. But what makes these two scenarios different is that when it comes to their dental work, most people go to the same dentist for several years, maybe even decades. For dealership visits, that’s not always the case. Customers will often take their cars to many different locations over time to maintain their cars.

    That’s why it is critical to make a positive first impression and build a long-lasting relationship with every customer. One specific way to do so is to conduct a walk-around when the customer comes in for schedule maintenance or repairs. During an active walk-around, a service writer inspects the car with the owner, which can dramatically increase the chances of up-selling additional maintenance or repair work. Together, the customer and the service advisor will inspect the most common areas—body of the car, tire pressure, mileage, and service history—to get to know the car better. Inspecting the body of the car and asking questions such as, “Hey, I noticed these scratches; do you want me to get you an estimate?” help generate additional body work.

    An active walk-around is essential when you consider that parts and service is extremely profitable business for dealerships. In fact, car dealerships yield much higher margins selling labor and parts than they do selling cars. No matter where you are in the United States, the profit margin on labor is about 75 percent and on parts it is between 40 and 50 percent. A Perfect Dealership trains its service advisors to perform an active walkaround at all times, so it becomes a natural part of their daily routine. This will (pardon the pun) “drive” customer satisfaction and retention, repurchase rates, and overall revenue.

    Just like seeing the same dentist can help a patient cultivate a relationship that inspires confidence and trust—let
    alone deal more easily with the pain of any procedure— dealers should make every effort to inspire their customers to visit their service department whenever a need arises. This approach will build the relationship between the dealer, the customer and the car.

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