Recall campaigns can easily be one of the most lucrative service opportunities. Sadly, however, most dealers only reach about a third of the potential recall customers in their area. This is because they simply comb through their DMS and any information received from the factory for owners in their PMA. Personally, I feel this is a very shortsighted approach that leaves some pretty big holes in their market.
To start with, waiting for a factory-backed and publicized recall is exactly what your competitors do – so how do you get a jump on that competition? Consider becoming a little more proactive in your marketing efforts. Simply utilizing the data you already have is not enough nowadays.
Imagine your recall work tripling. I am sure you would welcome that fixed ops revenue.
So what potential work are you missing and what can you do to capture it?
- Secondary Vehicle Owners - Think about all of the used vehicles that your competition has sold. I’m not just talking about the nearest franchised dealer, but also off-brand dealers, independent used car lots, buy here-pay here… basically every place that sells used cars. These are all potential customers. And, if these cars were purchased from anyplace other than a franchised dealer, the customers may not ever get notified that their vehicle has a recall.
- Vehicle Owners Outside your PMA - All is fair in love and car sales, right? You don’t know what recall marketing your competition is doing. Perhaps they aren’t doing any at all. What about customers outside your PMA that don’t use a franchise dealer, but take their service work to an independent facility? All of these consumers are possible customers. By making the effort to obtain this information, you can potentially reach an enormous pool of consumers.
- All Open Recalls for Each Vehicle - Make a commitment to investigate all open recalls for each vehicle. Frequently consumers come into the service drive and know about a recall of which the service advisor is not yet aware. That should never happen. Why not get a head start by identifying open recalls and pouncing on them before the factory or your competition does?
- Rank Recalls by Safety Risk and Profitability - Consumers are much more inclined to quickly respond to a recall when a safety issue is involved. These campaigns have a high percentage of success. Take advantage by proactively identifying them and initiating campaigns. In addition, by prioritizing your marketing efforts towards the most profitable recalls, you can maximize the service revenue gained from your marketing efforts.
- Use a Multi-Channel Outreach Approach – Todays consumers have many choices as to how they receive information. Ensure that your marketing includes all potential communication outlets - first class direct mail, email, phone, digital marketing and more. In so doing, you can increase the odds that the consumer receives your message AND that they actually pay attention and take action.
Service work is hyper-competitive. With recalls, rather than competing against every dealership and independent repair facility, you’re only competing with your closest brand franchises. Target consumers in your area that aren’t being aggressively marketed to. You stand to gain additional service work through recalls AND future service business.