Service Advisor Training: How to Deal with Declined Services
It’s a scenario that happens many times a day in every service department.
The service advisor completes a walkaround with the customer, explains the maintenance requirements, asks for the sale…and it’s declined. The service advisor uses all the tools in the chest to overcome the objections but the answer is clear: it’s not happening today.
Declined services are incredibly common in the service drive. It could be for budgetary reasons – the customer can’t afford it right now – or it could be a lack of time. Or, in some cases, it could be because the customer has failed to see the value in the required maintenance. Whatever the reason, though, declined services should be viewed as a second opportunity to earn the customer’s business.
How are Declined Services an ‘Opportunity’?
Very seldom is the answer ‘NO’ final. It’s nearly always situational. So, use another situation to earn the customer’s business. Remember, you aren’t selling – you’re helping the customer take care of their vehicle, and that’s an advisory role.
When the vehicle is in the shop, in a technician’s care, you can reach out to the customer again. “Are you sure you don’t want to go ahead with the service? It’s in the shop already and it won’t take much longer. Plus, you won’t have to make a special visit for it later on.” You’d be surprised how many customers will concede at this point!
When the vehicle is complete, attempt to set an appointment as the customer is checking out. Suggest making an appointment to have the declined services completed. Some customers will object, others will make the appointment.
There’s always the follow-up call. No matter who does the follow-up, declined services should be structured into the call, setting a future appointment to have them completed.
The next service visit is another opportunity to close the customer on declined services. Review previous ROs and encourage the customer to catch up on required maintenance and repairs.
You have at least four opportunities to turn the ‘NO’ into a ‘YES’. But it all hinges on tracking declined services. Make sure you know how to track declined services in your DMS and make sure your service advisors use it!