Dealerships Get Crafty, Drum Up New Service Business

By Matthew Askari | May 14, 2012
General service reminders and auto tune-ups may be a thing of the past, according to a recent report. With owners hanging on to cars longer than ever, dealerships are getting creative, and that may involve mining data specific to you to find service opportunities, or create new ones. According to the report in Ward's Auto, dealerships are looking for new angles to get your service business, and it's working. Robbie Long, operations director at a couple of Illinois-area dealerships says installing faster "quick service" stations to entice owners to leave their vehicles for small jobs has worked. "Overall, our quick service first-use rate has jumped from 39.4 percent to 72.9 percent." Long requires technicians to perform various inspections to see if anything else needs replacing or repair, such as tire alignment or low tire-tread. If necessary, Long says technicians will suggest the repairs to customers, and naturally, a tire rack will be nearby. Dealers are also mining data through software to find gaps in regular service, and then look to fill them. "I can work this data hard to find many interesting things we can then convert to sales," says Brendan Hurley of Hurley Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge in Deland, Florida. Hurley says you can find the service "Achilles heel." "For Jeeps with a 4.0L engine, for instance, it's the rear main seal. For PT Cruisers, it's the steering rack and water pump." Dealerships who sold and service your car will have mileage information and will know if your car could use service beyond and outside of a regular appointment. With dealers getting more aggressive, don't be surprised if you receive a tailor-made call for your business. Source: Ward's Auto
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