How Your Dealership Can Set —and Keep — Appointments
It’s not you – it’s us. Our beloved automotive industry does some things very well and, yet, other things have been a struggle for decades. If some of the traits in this article sound familiar to you, then you’re not alone. Let’s begin with why we sometimes fail to set an appointment.
Since the definition of an appointment includes a specific date and time, the majority of appointments aren’t actually appointments at all. When we fail to get a specific date and a specific time, we set ourselves up for failure with the client — if or when they even arrive.
If a client commits to bringing their vehicle in first thing in the morning, when can they be expected to show up? What does first thing in the morning mean? Is that when you open at 7:00 a.m.? Or does 9:00 a.m. qualify as first thing in the morning? If we don’t know when to expect clients, how can we be prepared for their visit? How are we going to give them a world-class and memorable experience? It’s the same story in sales.
Why do we do this and how do we fix it?
In general, people only do things in life when they see the value. I’ve struggled with my weight for the better part of a decade and I am only recently making progress. For years, I told myself that I’d eat better and work out more frequently. The “value” of getting healthy was less important to me than the instant gratification of extra cheese and extra bacon. The consequences of my actions led to obesity, a decline in my overall health and, eventually, a few nights in the ER.
That changed my perspective rather quickly. I’ve lost (and kept off) almost 40 pounds in 70 days and I feel great. I work out every day, eat right and have energy like I haven’t felt in years. My doctor and my lab results tell me I’m out of danger and on the road to a fit and healthy life. So, what changed? I now see the value of making better choices, and I make those choices without struggling or feeling like I’m missing out by having a salad instead of a burger.
What does value have to do with setting appointments?
I’ve closely examined our industry for 20 years, and my analysis shows that a leading cause for low appointment schedule rates on inbound and outbound Sales and Service calls is a failure to build or show enough value to the client to make them want an appointment. It isn’t enough to simply ask for an appointment; the client has to want to make and keep an appointment if we expect them to show. In short, they must see the value.
When a client sees the value in having an appointment, it becomes very easy to pin that appointment down to a specific date and a specific time. The client understands that having an appointment benefits them and that showing up on time benefits them. The benefits can range from a smoother service check-in / drop-off experience or knowing that the work will be completed the same day. An appointment reduces the client’s wait time, and time is one of their most frequent complaints in surveys.
Want to learn more about how to build value in your appointments and increase your schedule ratio? Contact us at BDConsulting.Sales@cdk.com or 800.929.8478 and see how we can help.