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Developing New Revenue Streams For Service In A Down Economy

With everything that is happening in the economy these days, the last thing on most Service managers’ minds is adding new products or spending additional money. But, that may be exactly what you should be doing. We’re not talking thousands of dollars, I’m talking reevaluating what you’re doing now and looking for niches you can turn into additional revenue streams to increase your absorption rate. Pay especially close attention to Price vs. Cost. By spending a little time and very little money, you may be the grace that saves not only your hide, but also your dealership’s.

Add advertisements to your dealership’s website. This is one of the most common places that you can add new income streams for literally no money out of pocket most of the time. Over 90% of the dealer websites on the net today are completely focused on vehicle sales. Well, what about service? Are you making too much money to compete with Midas or Brake Team or even Firestone down the street? They have service specials on their sites, WHY DON”T YOU? Many dealer websites are already set up for adding coupons and keywords that can compete with the small service centers that are taking your customers. A few dealerships have even developed full sites for their service departments, like this one.

Add a business listing for Service and Parts to Google. This is really a no-brainer. Your sales department has a listing for the dealership in google local, why don’t you. You are a different entity right? This is an easy way to add specials, coupons and develop a new revenue stream for just the time it takes to fill out the forms. It provides you a free page so why not take advantage of it? They even have new reporting so you can see how customers found your listing.

In-vehicle advertising. Most larger dealers already use some type of dispatch system, usually in the form of Generic, ugly, hang tags with numbers on them that end up in the trash. Why not replace that with in-vehicle advertisements? Turn a process that is costing you money, into a money making revenue stream. This is an excellent exit strategy with your customers. Advertise tires, details, dent repair or even accessories. Or team up with another department and have them pay for your tags. I’m sure sales would love to have customers see the advantages the new 2010 model has over the customer’s 2001. Plus this gives them a high probability of getting a same make trade. Or, have the body shop, coffee shop and/or restaurant down the street pay for advertising space (chances are service waiters would redeem coupons for coffee, etc. while, you guessed it, waiting).

Inspect What You Expect. Let’s get real for a moment here. If you’re not inspecting what your employees are doing, then it’s not their fault if they fail, it’s yours. This is just good ole common sense, but I’m amazed how many service advisors get away with not doing their job. They are not order takers, they are salespeople and until you get that through to them, they will remain order takers. Inspect what your advisors are doing daily. Who’s upselling, who’s not. Who’s making the customer in front of him or her a priority over the person on the phone who “may” show up? How much more could you make per month if each advisor increased their hours per RO by just .10 on average?

One last thing.......

If you're ready to throw in the towel, do it, get it over with and give someone else a shot at keeping your coworkers working. Sorry if there is some love missing in my words. But, I'm tired of hearing people whine about how bad it is. If you've got your health and your love ones are alive and kicking you're one of the lucky ones. Nothing's over until the doors are closed, so get off your duff and GET TO WORK!

Views: 40

Tags: fixed-ops, revenue, service-department


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