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The Trick to Increased Service Revenue Is Keeping Your Bays Full

Many auto dealerships have technology in place that allows sales managers to monitor what’s going on in their departments. CRMs and phone call recording services are used by sales managers to ensure that Internet leads are being followed up promptly and that salespeople follow up with shoppers that visited the dealership but did not buy. Many dealerships, however, don’t take advantage of these technologies to monitor what’s going on in their service departments.


Most dealership service advisors are paid according to the amount of work they write in a given month. The more costly a repair is, the more they get paid. Sometimes that leads to missed opportunities, as service advisors can give preference to larger ROs.


How many times does a customer call your dealership in an attempt to schedule an appointment just to be told that they will have an extended wait until the next available appointment? What do you think those customers do? People have busy schedules. When they do find the motivation and time to service their vehicle, the last thing they want to hear is that the dealership cannot accommodate them. Many times, they will call other dealers and independents trying to find a dealer who can service their vehicle.


Chances are that on any given day, a dealership has a certain number of appointments cancel. What’s happening with those now open time slots? Is your dealership taking a proactive approach and calling those customers who want to service their vehicle and giving them the opportunity to take advantage of that now open appointment time? Downtime in service is one of the most costly events for service departments. Yet it can be relatively simple to remedy. In many cases, service managers have the technology available to help, but aren’t utilizing it, due to lack of time, lack of training, or other considerations.


According to a recent article in Automotive News, some dealers are implementing dedicated service BDCs that are working out very well for them, despite initial opposition from service writers. The article reported that “total service appointments grew 10 percent and revenue increased 5 percent” within the first year of implementation.


It may be time to think about proactively taking advantage of these missed opportunities in service. Failing to do so can cost revenue that could be rather simple to acquire. Perhaps you can use the technology installed in your dealership to monitor what service receptionists and/or advisors are telling customers. Or implement processes designed to keep your bays full by proactively calling customers when another customer cancels an appointment. Such simple practices as these could make a difference and help you maximize all of the opportunities presented to your dealership, keep your service bays full and increase your service revenue.

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Tags: appointments, automotive, customers, dealerships, efficiency, fixed, follow, news, ops, service, More…up


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Comment by Mike Maggs on September 26, 2014 at 8:32am

Our company, Dealer Mobile Marketing, provides an excellent solution to the problems stated in this article.  One of the components of our LeadGen platform is the Dealer Text Reminder System.

This system gives the Service Advisors the ability to engage their customers via text messages (SMS).  Imagine being able to text a customer regarding an appointment reminder, when their vehicle to pick up, oil change specials, tire specials, etc.  They can also remind the customer of the transmission follow up that was discussed on their last visit.  Our software does all this automatically.

For more info

Comment by Wanda Wegman on September 25, 2014 at 6:31am

A good Service CRM tool can also help you control the flow of work and the type of work in your shop.  Many dealers are facing large recalls - they need a way to manage the recalls and still get the maintenance work performed.  Since parts may be limited on some recall items, dealers need to be able to prioritize who gets their recalls done first - many want to have the customer who they sold the vehicle to get the priority.  A good Service CRM will help you do all that and more.

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