Three Questions to Ask for Better Service
Terry O’Brien
| 12 October 2017

Three Questions to Ask for Better Service

According to a recent CDK Global Dealer Survey, dealers can lose, on average, more than 40 percent of their Service customers after their vehicle warranties expire. This means that there is a lot of room for improvement in Service. Asking yourself three simple questions can help turn your Service department around.

Am I hiring the right people?

To improve customer retention in the Service department, managers need to look at their employees first. If a customer is treated poorly by staff, the chances of them returning drops significantly. According to a study done by J.D. Power, service satisfaction improves by 44 points when a Service Advisor greets a customer within two minutes of their arrival – but 27 percent of customers said they had to wait longer for a greeting. Giving your customers attention from the minute they walk in shows that you’re glad they’re at your dealership and that you’re ready to help them. Managers need to look for personality, good attitude and trainability when hiring.

Are we following the best practices for interacting with customers?

The Service experience shouldn’t stop there. To keep your customers coming back for more, Service Advisors need to follow the best practices for retaining customers. Make sure your Service Advisors are clearly explaining the service to the customer during a walk-around. After the repair is done, Service Advisors should go over what service was completed, highlighting the improvements the Service department was able to make. Before the customer arrives to pick up their car, follow these steps:

- Ask for an arrival time so the car is ready for them

- Park the car in a convenient location

- Place keys and paperwork together

- Review work performed and associated costs

- Go over the inspection report

- Walk the customer to the vehicle, continuing to build rapport.

Are we using Service tools that enhance the customer experience?

In addition to following best practices, take advantage of technology that helps you improve the customer experience. No need to get too high-tech – the ability to schedule appointments, get text message alerts and notifications and use tablets are the three things customers say would improve their experience with the Service department. According to J.D. Power, 55 percent of customers whose service providers contact them by phone say they “definitely will” return for paid service, but among those who receive text message updates, 67 percent “definitely will” return. Text message communication is growing in popularity among the masses —especially millennials — and it’s something your Service department should consider adopting. Using these devices and applications in your Service department can increase the chance of a customer coming back, while also helping you stand out from the competition.

Customers today want a transparent and convenient service experience, and there are simple steps your Service department can take to make sure customers stay happy. This will not only increase trust in your brand name but also increase profit and continuity with your customers. By hiring the right people, following the best practices, and using the right tools, you can make a world of difference to customers in your Service department.

Terry O’Brien
Terry O’Brien

<p><strong>Terry O’Brien</strong> is a Lead Consultant for Fixed Operations at CDK Global. After nearly 20 years of retail experience, Terry began helping dealerships optimize their Fixed Operations. Now, for the past two decades, he’s become known for helping dealers maximize their processes, profitability and technology, retaining clients year after year.</p>

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