Many dealerships have friction between the used car department and service and parts. I admit being a fixed operations consultant there is a bias however let's look at what is best for the dealership. The customer that test drives a well inspected vehicle with all needed items repaired and current on maintenance will generally notice. I recommend when dealership provide this kind of used car they should place a copy of the inspection in the vehicle for the customer to see. The comeback I often hear is if the vehicle is taken to the auction this money will be lost. The interesting thing is the reputation of the dealership falls along with used car sales in the future. Used car managers decline a lot of work in service stating that when the vehicle is sold they will perform the needed work. The problem with this is they go so service saying I need this right now it is a sold unit while service is jammed with customer work already promised. It just makes good since for all to have a used car that stands tall to the customer and the sales staff is proud to represent. Now I do suggest on the parts side some flexibility in a good better best pricing. If a used car manager needs to have a reduction in parts pricing to complete the needed items and use aftermarket parts there is a time and place for it. However best practice will always be to NEVER send cares to other shops for work to reduce cost to the used car department. Never forget our purpose is always the customer and how to best care for them. After all without them everyone is unemployed.
This month I want to share a few processes dealerships some do that removes the chance to gain new car sales through the service department. Don't worry it's never too late to change and grow!!
Did You Buy It Here?
Recently I took my vehicle to a local dealership for some warranty work. This was not where I purchased the vehicle because my purchases are always from clients. It is a dealership that was close to my home so off I went. The advisor did no walk around on the vehicle and made no recommendation for maintenance. The truck was due for an oil change and a tire rotation so I asked if they could perform these services while they did the warranty work. He said sure however did not add them when he asked for me to sign the repair order. "Thanks for reminding me." Then the ugly came out as I asked if they had rental cars. First thing out of his mouth was a question "Did you buy it her?" When I said no he said no as well. "We only provide cars for our customers that buy from us" I must say he made me feel like a second class person. They provided me a ride home yet in my simple brain I wonder how many people would say "Wow I will be sure to buy my next vehicle here so they will take care of me." I was even considering if they should gain any of my money performing maintenance for me yet I let it stand. The point here is that this dealership has a policy that makes customers feel second class. Really the customer that did not purchase the car yet was is the dealership for service holds the largest chance to get their next new car sale by earning their business. I don't believe many folks would purchase a car at a dealership treating them anything but super. I understand we all have limits but never allow your dealership to limit customer service excellence. Money spent in customer care will always be the best form of advertisement.
Starting in June we will be providing conference calls on hot fixed operation topics on a weekly basis. These calls will include a discussion about the topic and then an open format to answer questions for the next 20 minutes. Phone numbers and topics will be provided in advance and everyone is welcome. More information will be provided soon. Oh ya forgot to say this program has no cost or sales pitch. It's our way to help dealerships make this the best fixed operations year in the history of the dealership!