Customer Service Can Help Increase Sales
Operating an effective auto dealership is no easy task. We’ve connected with dealerships all over North America and recognized a few simple, and easy to implement methods to help drive more sales, and increase profit margins.
It’s so much more than just service with a smile nowadays. Sure, you treat your customers well but are you really doing all you can to make their experience with you as efficient and comfortable as possible?
Buckle in. This short blog is going to show you some proven ways a dealership like your’s can increase sales. Whether your a manager who wants to really WOW the owners, or a service advisor looking to show your boss you can come up with ideas that can really help out your workplace.
You won’t want to miss this 5-minute read.
1) Who is there to greet your customers?
As simple as this seems, we notice a lot of dealerships neglecting this very crucial role. Walk into any fast food chain in town and you’re bound to be greeted with a smile, and a “hello there, how can I help you?” as soon as you walk in the door.
This greeting shouldn’t be bound to the service industry. It’s simple manners and good customer service. Simply greet your customers with a smile, and a “hello” when they walk in. This is ESPECIALLY important if they have never been to your dealership before.
As a little test, we recently visited a local dealership and to our surprise, NOBODY greeted our team member at the door. No “hello”, no “good morning how may we help you?”
Don’t be this dealership. Assign a greeter to your front door. Get a trained salesperson with fantastic people skills to really introduce your dealership to this person. Ask them questions like “what brought you here today?”
If they have children with them say “we can show you to our SUV section. XYZ car is the ultimate Summer road tripping vehicle with enough space for you, your kids, your dog and enough camping equipment for the perfect getaway.”
2) Have A Powerful Website
Ensure your dealership has a quality, MODERN website. Not only will it provide your customers with useful information they’re looking for regarding vehicles, but it can also help you sell more cars.
Most people now do research on what they are looking to buy online nowadays. For example when you’re researching or trying to find where to buy a new TV where do you turn? The internet of course.
That’s why you NEED a high-quality website that’s optimized for desktop AND mobile devices. Internet traffic coming from mobile devices is on the rise so it’s extremely important you have a site that works well for mobile users.
If your dealership’s website hasn’t been updated since 2000, it’s time you give it a boost. You wouldn’t expect the car you bought in 2000 to run as well as it did when you bought it (ok well maybe a 2000 Toyota Corolla!).
Wanna learn more about the Toyota Corolla? Check out the video below by veteran mechanic Scotty:
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To go with your modern website, we recommend embedding contact forms on each page so it’s really easy for your customers to get the help they need. You can even install chatbots on your website for off hours help. These chatbots can help the customer with answers to FAQ. Should they ask for something else, you can give the customer the option for a real person to get in touch through email.
We would also recommend dealerships implement online, test drive booking systems! Wanna go above and beyond for your customer? We’ve even seen dealerships offer test drives that come to YOU when booking online! This leaves the customer with essentially no risk, as you save them time by coming to them.
3) Embrace Technology In Your Dealership
Offer customers who come in free, high-speed internet. This may seem basic, as almost every McDonalds in the world has free wifi but it does wonders for customer success.
It lets customers relax a little when they take their vehicle in for servicing. If they have an appointment in the middle of the day, it lets them work remotely so they don’t have to put in hours at home.
If the customer has kids, it keeps them entertained so they aren’t begging to “go home.” Parents often bring their kids to a lot of these appointments and when you ease the stress of a bored crying child it puts the customer at ease. When the customer is at ease you can expect a calmer, more peaceful time for everybody (the kid, your team and the customer!)
Having wifi also lets your customers research the vehicles they are interested in. As everyone has a smartphone today, but not everyone has data, this is an easy way to connect them with the information they require online.
This also lets the customer lookup trade-in values, check their bank for to ensure their finances are in order and pull up the information they may have bookmarked at home to show the sales team (to clarify any questions.)
4) Modernize Your Service Department
Customers feel like they’re being taken advantage of when they take their car in for service. It’s for this reason that trust and transparency in the automotive industry is absolutely crucial.
Before, with paper inspections, the service department was fraught with dishonesty accusations. People would complain and say “I don’t need that! Stop pushing unnecessary repairs on me!”
With digital vehicle inspections, this is a thing of the past. You have the power to educate your customers on what’s going on with their vehicles. When a technician is doing a vehicle inspection, they are able to take photos and video and put it right into the inspection report for the customer.
You know it’s true when they say “a picture is worth a thousand words.” When a customer sees with their own eyes as to what’s happening with their vehicle, they become much more responsive and open to approving service jobs. So much so, that when we conducted a case study, we found that on average shops that use digital vehicle inspections see their average repair order go up 25%.
2-Way Texting With Customers
Digital inspections also let your service department send the report right to customers smartphones through AutoServe1’s 2-way texting feature. This means you won’t have to deal with as many voicemails, and waiting so long for customers to phone back. Customers get the inspections complete with pictures/video explaining service recommendations. They can then approve work with a simple tap on their smartphone screen.
With our inspection customizer-Builder1, your service department can make your inspection process: 1) Faster and 2) Easier for technicians.
This new tool lets your service department build custom inspections for all of your specialized services. This brings flexibility and simplicity to your inspections, saving time. For example, if you want to have any specialized inspection process for your fluids/oils you can do that.
Digital vehicle inspections also give your service department a better means of communication. Tools like Workflow1 let the whole service department be on the same page with an at-a-glance progress report of the auto repair process. Workflow1 even alerts the team when parts are ready when work is approved by customers.
When everyone is on the same page, your service department will spend less time searching for answers. Now the answers your team is a simple click away.