Effective Ideas to Speed up Service
These practical ideas aren’t new - they’re just effective.
Time and Money! How you ask me to spend or invest both will determine my willingness to continue shopping at your facility. So here are some ideas that will help improve your process and consideration for a customer’s time:
Acknowledging customers quickly
Think of your dealership service department and quick lane as your home; if you invite friends, family, and neighbors to sit down and have a meal with you, would you not smile, greet them, and assure that they are in good hands?
Making sure your staff pays careful attention to every customer, even those in the quick lane, by greeting and acknowledging them upon arrival is paramount. Asking permission to walk-around the vehicle with the customer, to address their needs. Checking batteries, topping off washer fluid and engaging the customer with your complimentary multi-point inspection.
This will result in a pleasant and memorable experience for the customer which can and will better prepare them to work with you and in turn, speed up the write-up process.
Setting appointments and having the proper scheduling for your advisors and technicians is crucial for streamlining your quick lane. Why? Having the ability to manage the output of labor to the amount of traffic flowing through your quick lane enables you to accurately measure results and adjust labor to the flow of business
Utilize a menu (and give it to your customer)
Menus and coupons that align common services with the quick lane can help your customers know what to expect. For example, coupons that clearly state: "Get your tires rotated in the quick lane for just $9.95", educate the customer that basic services such as these are what the quick lane is designed for. Your service department's menu options can help keep services in the quick lane basic, affordable, and well, quick!
Run a report on how many of each maintenance services you perform each week, determine the parts (i.e. oil filters, air filters, and timing belts) need for each type, and pull those parts into a package that is ready when the technician needs it. This will save your customer some time and improve relationships at the parts counter.
Visible marketing and signage in your dealership service department and/or quick lane can greatly speed up oil change services. The right signage can be a clear indicator to your customers that you are highly concerned with completing services in a timely manner. Clearly marked lanes and signage directing customers where to go can aide in eliminating confusion.
I don’t know about you but when I leave work I want to relax. The last thing I want to do is stand around in a dealership waiting in line to check out and pay for my car. So many dealers have set up a Zip Check Out page at their dealership website so customers can view their bill and pay online. Or you can use an old-fashioned device to gather the customer’s credit card information and complete the paperwork in advance: It’s called the telephone.
Text messaging and waiter beepers
When a service is going to take more than 45 minutes, many dealers provide a shuttle to nearby shopping centers or restaurants. They also ask permission to text the customer with updates - or provide a long-range pager that notifies the customer that the shuttle is on the way to pick them up. This is a feature that customers love!
To ensure that customers aren’t tempted to stop at Jiffy Lube, some larger dealer groups have a dedicated van that provides on-site maintenance at the customer’s home or work. This is rarely a huge profit center, but it maintains the connection with the dealer so loyalty is increased.