Do more with less. Find efficiencies. Grow productivity. Have you heard any of these lately? Continued social distancing and an uptick in work-from-home situations have reduced demand for general maintenance and repair — 39 percent of your customers are delaying service because they aren’t driving as much now.1 That’s left many dealers looking at fresh approaches to attract and retain customers while growing dollars per RO.
Here are a few ideas to drive revenue David Foutz, Vice President of Sales at Cox Automotive, and Tully Williams, Parts and Service Director at The Niello Company, shared recently at Ted Ings’ Fixed Ops Roundtable.
Present a Quality Recommendation
When considering ASRs, Tully wants you to think about one thing first, “Are these recommendations that you would sell your family members?” He added quality recommendations start in the shop with a proper inspection.
The proper inspection Tully referenced may look a little different right now than even six months ago. For one, your client isn’t likely sitting in the waiting room on the lookout for an advisor to present the technician’s inspection to them so they can approve or decline ASRs. So, how do you get it in front of them and help them understand the report?
David suggested, “We need to create a high-touch experience that happens remotely.”
With 58 percent of customers saying the ability to review and approve service or repair estimates electronically would help them choose one dealership over another, we definitely have a starting place.1
For the digital, remote experience to work, you need to build trust, and you do that through transparency.
Thankfully tools are available today that help you show your customer what’s behind the curtain. There is no guessing game for your customer when you include pictures and video with your multipoint inspection presentation — that you send electronically.
Not only is it what your customer wants, it’s what your service department needs to drive revenue. Since March 2020, dealers using video to present additional service recommendations to customers earned more than $1.5 million in incremental fixed ops revenue.2
Open communication also promotes transparency. David espoused, “We’ve got to help consumers feel trust and inform them about the options they have and help them make great decisions about their vehicles.” Communicating via text and email is not only preferred by most customers, but it helps you to build relationships. You can develop a rapport and trust with your customer without face-to-face interaction if there an open electronic dialogue.
Make it Easy
Once you get the ASR in front of your customer, are you making it easy for them to say yes? Can they approve the recommendation with a few taps on their phone?
David suggested the presentation you send by text or email must be organized in order for your customer to give an effortless yes. A professional presentation in the right context includes video and pictures alongside of the cost. He also stated it’s critical to provide the ability to approve or reject on a line item basis because your customer does not want services bundled. “[They] really want the control of being able to choose what they’re going to have done,” David shared.
It makes a difference to your bottom line when the customer can make a decision with all the information in front of them on their phone. ASRs with photos and videos are approved by your customer 43 percent of the time within the first 15 minutes of receiving the quote versus 30 percent with no photo or video.3
There is additional opportunity to make things easy when it comes time to pay. Not only does your customer want to consider ASRs on their phone, they want to tap and pay on their phone as well. This is part of a digital, safe experience, and 49 percent of your customers are saying they would choose a particular dealership for their service or repairs if they offered online bill pay.1
For some customers, the ability to pay for the expense is the reason they can’t say yes — 76 percent of customers say they are more likely to make a purchase if given a simple, seamless payment plan option according to Business Wire. You can ease that burden by offering flexible payment options similar to FlexPay from Xtime. Look for a solution that allows you to present service financing as an option, at multiple digital touch points, to your customers. That way you can reach those unsure about out of pocket vehicle maintenance and repairs with the message they need to hear in order to approve the work.
In a time where we’re all trying to do more with less, there is real opportunity to boost dollars per RO. You just have to do it the right way with a thoughtful presentation that is transparent and easy for your customer to understand and approve ASRs.
You’ve made rapid changes to give your customers the digital experience they want today. Now you are looking to drive more with every service visit. Use this Fixed Ops Playbook to keep moving forward.