Jon Lintvet, chief marketing officer and vice president of product at ARI, shares five tips dealers can use to increase their service department’s revenue.
1. Market your service. When we look at dealer websites, very few dealers invest the time to tell consumers why “their” service is special and different from anywhere else, i.e. their competitors. Talk about promotions or unique services, parts … be specific and avoid generic. Search engines love content. Investing the time to create that story, the “why,” gets picked up and improves search rankings, which helps consumers find your business. Many successful dealer websites include rotating banners with service promotions and self-advertising graphics on the homepage. Make your website and dealership stand out from the others!
2. Automate, integrate, sell more stuff. There are a lot of opportunities to do this that can save dealers time and money, increase sales and ultimately, profits. For example, using a parts lookup solution … that allows dealers to view inventory levels, bin locations, etc. and even pass pick lists directly to the Business Management System, right at the parts counter while they are talking to
customers, not only saves time and increases sales, but improves customer satisfaction.
3. Get serious about engaging the folks you already know. You have a list of names of existing customers somewhere, in your business management system, a lead management system, QuickBooks, service records … use them. You would be shocked at how many dealers we talk to who don’t use this information in any meaningful way to drive service revenue. Send them newsletters, special offers; tell them your story.
4. Set expectations. For most folks, their machine is a big part of their lives. Put their minds at ease and show them what to expect from your service department. Online consumers want to know how long you’ll have their machine and how much the service will set them back — tell them. List the services you provide and walk customers through the process step by step on your website. How long it takes. How much it costs. Tell customers why your service department is better than doing the work at home — expertise, warranty, less hassle, saves time, no cleanup, etc.
5. Give online consumers what they want. Customers who visit a powersports dealership’s website don’t want to play games or check the weather. They either want to trick out their bike, repair their machine, or look for a new one. Make your website easy for them to find that information. If your customer is looking for an upgrade or a replacement part, they need to get something fixed — put those items in an easy-to-find place that’s easy to use. To drive repairs to your service department, make it simple to learn about and schedule service. Give customers a place to schedule services online, and they will.
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