Consistent Processes Now Reward You Later
For a process to be successful, you’ll need to make commitments and consistently meet them. This is true throughout the dealership.
Getting your service department process to that point takes a lot of coaching, teaching and a very simple view of psychology. It is also a very rewarding position to be in when you get there. And it’s a comforting thing for a customer to know that - when you’re being told something will happen - you can count on it.
Complimentary Multi-Point Service Inspections
Jenna Smith brings in her vehicle to your dealership for its first service. During the write-up process, it is explained to Ms. Smith, that while performing the service, your technical team will be inspecting the vehicle, using the MPI form.
Ms. Smith, and possibly your technical staff, may not feel that an inspection is necessarily beneficial on a vehicle with such low mileage. This is your opportunity to explain, that while you certainly wouldn’t expect to find items in disrepair so early in the vehicle’s life, it is always a good idea to inspect the vehicle, for road hazards, and any other unexpected issues. You will also be advising the customer, that you will call with an update to the vehicle’s condition.
This process must be repeated, on every service visit.
Fast forward two years in the vehicle’s lifespan. You’ve performed an inspection and said the same thing each and every time the customer came to the dealership. At each low mileage visit, you made a commitment of inspecting her vehicle and updating the owner as you promised.
This builds equity in the customer’s mind as to what kind of organization you are. You keep commitments, and have their best interest in mind, even though it isn’t necessarily profitable for you to do so at the time.
At this point (2 years of ownership) in the vehicle’s history, and based on a vehicle inspection your team finds that it’s time to perform a brake service and replace the transmission fluid due to wear. As promised, you phone the customer with an update and provide her the opportunity to purchase the needed repairs.
During this phone call, the customer will recall your trustworthiness, past performance with her during service events, and will (at least partially) base her decision to proceed on your “equity” with her. The phone call isn’t a surprise because you’ve called her with updates on every prior visit. During those calls, you were not calling in order to gain authorization for additional repairs, but rather to update Ms. Smith on the condition of her vehicle. So the phone call is not foreign, and is the key to a smooth sale because you aren’t overcoming the customer’s shock that you called.
This and many other key service processes can improve your overall business performance.