Customers will come back if you make the experience feel less like a chore and more like an event they actually want to attend.
Remember when people actually used to have to visit a dealership to buy a car?
They would come in armed with only a newspaper ad or a price quote from another dealership they had just left. Today, customers shop four to six dealerships online before they ever set foot in a physical one.
When and if they go to a showroom, they’ve got about 16 different prices in their hands. They know, or at least think they know, what others are paying for the car and what the dealer invoice says.
There used to be some mystery, a veil of anonymity, if you will, about the price of car, so even if you didn’t have the best price, you still might make the sale. The Internet has made those days a distant memory, forcing most dealers to rely on profits from the service department to stay afloat. They’ve got to figure out how to get those sales customers to become service customers too – and repeat ones, at that.
Having spent years at dealerships serving in nearly every capacity and now working as a dealer consultant, here’s what I’ve found to be the secrets to success when it comes to service retention.
Being from the South, hospitality always has been a priority in my life. When I sold cars, I knew how important it was to treat customers as if they were in my own home.
Any visitor standing within three feet of you should get a warm greeting, preferably by name. Customers will come back if you make the experience feel less like a chore and more like an event they actually want to attend. That approach also makes you a bona fide community partner, as opposed to just someone just trying to make a sale.
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