Chris Miller's Blog (81)

The Sales-to-Service Handoff Can Translate to Serious Revenue & Loyal Customers

Hidden profit opportunities exist throughout most dealerships. Whether those opportunities present themselves through service customers migrating to sales or sales customers that become service customers, all can lead to increased revenue and building relationships with your customers. Many dealers, however, don't incentivize those handoffs, so these episodes…

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Added by Chris Miller on April 1, 2019 at 10:28am — No Comments

Takata Strikes Back with a Vengeance

I realize that we’re all probably sick of hearing about the Takata airbag recalls. Take a deep breath because it’s not over yet! As faulty Takata airbags have caused one of the largest recalls in history, endangering millions of lives, most of us assumed that all the makes and models affected by the Takata recall had been identified and that their owners were…

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Added by Chris Miller on March 21, 2019 at 10:23am — No Comments

When it Comes to Technicians, Dealerships May Need a Bigger Boat

In my last blog, Technicians are the Key to Dealerships’ Future, I discussed how the race to acquire technicians may just be outweighed by the difficult task of retaining the ones dealerships already employ.

 

Of course, as consumers keep…

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Added by Chris Miller on March 7, 2019 at 10:31am — No Comments

Technicians are the Key to Dealerships’ Future

Service departments account for and absorb most of a dealership’s losses in sales and fixed expenses. That is not going away anytime soon. With new car front-end grosses declining, most dealerships will increasingly rely on service business to, well, stay in business.

 

The problem isn’t a lack of service business, but a shortage of qualified…

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Added by Chris Miller on February 12, 2019 at 10:36am — No Comments

Turning Recalls from Trash to Treasure

In a twist of irony, I’ve come to realize what consumers and dealerships have in common when it comes to vehicles recalls – assessing how important they are. Every day I work with dealerships throughout the nation, trying to get them to understand that recalls are not only about vehicle safety but also about an opportunity to engage consumers at their moment…

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Added by Chris Miller on January 21, 2019 at 10:08am — No Comments

The Growing Used Vehicle Market May Be Great for Consumers

According to a recent article in Automotive News, investors and car dealers have shifted their focus to the used-car space because dealers have more pricing and profit controls; something the digital retailing space is forced to focus on.…

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Added by Chris Miller on December 26, 2018 at 9:58am — 1 Comment

Customer Experience Upgrades in 3 Simple Steps

Customers don’t necessarily arrive at your dealership expecting a great experience. When it comes to service, many dread a higher-than-normal repair bill. They expect to hear additional maintenance is needed, but don’t want to spend a lot of time at the dealership and can get annoyed if made to wait longer than anticipated.

 

Whether this…

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Added by Chris Miller on December 12, 2018 at 10:00am — No Comments

Why Technicians will Soon Rule the Automotive Industry

I think it’s fair to say that automotive technicians are getting harder to find. These days, less people are choosing a career in automotive repair, even though technicians make great money and many need little or no formal college education or previous experience. Look at independent repair facility employment ads and you’ll no doubt find plenty of messages stating, “no…

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Added by Chris Miller on October 29, 2018 at 10:10am — No Comments

When Digital Starts Winning, Fight Back

In the last few years, a war between dealerships and independent service centers over consumers has fueled a competitive fire.  At stake is millions spent by consumers on retail service and, perhaps, the survival of many dealerships.  The marketing weapon of choice used to be retail signage or print advertising, but now it’s all about digital marketing. And, in the digital…

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Added by Chris Miller on October 19, 2018 at 10:31am — No Comments

The Pitfalls of Discounting Service

When it comes to sales and service transactions in the retail automotive industry, a main strategy in acquiring new customers or repeat business has always…

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Added by Chris Miller on September 27, 2018 at 10:30am — No Comments

Hello, is It Me You’re Looking For?

I frequently write about how, in my opinion, dealerships would be wise to expand their thinking and change attitudes towards recall customers … and not just recall customers, but all customers

 

The customer experience is key to building customer loyalty, increasing referrals and securing repeat business. It is also one of a dealership’s most important…

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Added by Chris Miller on September 21, 2018 at 10:30am — No Comments

Take a Good Look at Your Recall Customers

It wasn’t too long ago that most dealers shunned recalled vehicle owners, describing the additional traffic as a nuisance, or they viewed them as consumers who occupied service bays that could be more profitable with other types of business. 

 

However, changes in OEM recall reimbursement policies, along with revenue data that indicates more than 50% of recall…

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Added by Chris Miller on September 5, 2018 at 9:58am — No Comments

Advancing Technology and the Public Threat

If you’re a movie fan, at some point, you will almost certainly have witnessed a scene where a villain sabotages a vehicle. The unsuspecting character gets into their car, fires up the engine and it explodes, dramatically. Or, perhaps the villain messes with the brakes, causing the main character to have a horrible crash. While these are familiar scenes out of a movie, the…

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Added by Chris Miller on August 27, 2018 at 9:44am — No Comments

Are We Playing Whack-A-Mole with Recalls?

Most of us in the automotive community are painfully aware that our nation is in the middle of a recall epidemic -- and will be for decades to come.  A low percentage of recall repair compliance pushes the numbers of vehicles on the road with open recalls ever higher, with no relief in sight.

 

The reality is that recalls are like the black plague for vehicles…

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Added by Chris Miller on July 31, 2018 at 10:15am — No Comments

One Small Step Is a Good Start to a Long Journey

It’s a sad fact that current recall repair compliance rates are so abysmal. Most dealers know it., the Feds know it, state governments know it, and the manufacturers know it. Resolving this recall crisis starts with a notification.  But, people simply don’t read recall notices, they discard them as junk mail.

 

For those that do read them, a second problem…

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Added by Chris Miller on June 22, 2018 at 9:56am — No Comments

When Batman Decides a Recall Isn’t Enough

In 2014, due to safety concerns, Toyota issued a recall notice for a power inverter on its popular Toyota Prius. Nothing abnormal. But for the fact that, even after the recall was fixed, customers continued coming in with issues – hundreds of them – and that’s when Roger Hogan’s dealership decided enough was enough. According to…

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Added by Chris Miller on June 18, 2018 at 9:57am — No Comments

Outsourcing Customer Communications - Should the Service Department Worry?

There are few things sales managers find more painful than looking into their CRM and finding unanswered sales leads -- whether those leads sat for hours or sometimes, days, each is a missed opportunity. That’s why there are so many outsourced BDC services that provide lead follow-up for dealers, ensuring customers receive a speedy, accurate response. And now, it seems that…

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Added by Chris Miller on May 18, 2018 at 9:29am — No Comments

What Do Car Subscription Services Mean for Dealers, OEMs and Consumers?

There’s a huge push going on across the nation for subscription-based vehicle services.

First introduced by manufacturers, more than a few dealerships have rolled out similar services for their customers. The general concept is that a consumer can pay a flat-rate monthly fee to drive a vehicle of their choice. The payment includes everything from insurance to service,…

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Added by Chris Miller on May 8, 2018 at 9:23am — No Comments

Plugging In: How Electric Vehicles Could Impact Your Service Department

Love him or hate him, Tesla’s Elon Musk is brilliant. As both a businessman and a marketer, he has created a loyal following of brand advocates – some of whom don’t even own the products he sells. There are consumers literally willing to wait years just to purchase a Tesla vehicle. He recently launched a car into orbit, which is now on its way to Mars -- the man continues to…

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Added by Chris Miller on April 23, 2018 at 9:40am — No Comments

The Future of your Service Department

There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than being told a repair will take X amount of time - only to be informed later that it will take longer. To those who work in busy dealership service departments, this happens frequently. Customers come in for one thing and, during the multi-point inspection, additional issues are found. Or, as can sometimes be the case, a…

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Added by Chris Miller on March 30, 2018 at 9:21am — No Comments

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