I spent the better part of 15 years cutting my teeth in the Fixed Ops (service & parts) side of things at the dealership. There are times where I wish I was back in that game, especially now that we have consumer technology at our fingertips.
If you were to rewind the clock 8 years ago, you would hear a customer say “I have to bring my car to the dealership for repair, it’s too complicated to fix on my own and I can’t trust my local mechanic because he doesn’t have the tools to fix it properly.” These same words are hardly spoken today from the same consumers. Things have changed. Local mechanics no longer exist, and large chains such as Firestone and Pep Boys have made a major comeback to gain consumer confidence once again. Dealerships today are losing more service business to independents than ever before and it’s happening because independents utilize technology in marketing and in service better than the dealer does.
Now that I am on the vendor side of things, I can’t tell you how frustrated it has been to listen to the excuses from dealerships to not embrace technology for their service departments. The majority of dealership owners and general managers will spend countless hours figuring out their next “internet sales strategy” while spending minutes at best to address their next vehicle service strategy.
I’m going to introduce you to a “no brainer” that ALL DEALERSHIPS should have as part of their daily business strategy for the service department. This is also something the large chains are currently not utilizing.
Before I tell you what it is, let’s identify the main reasons why customers don’t like bringing their vehicles to the car dealership.
- Dealer prices are too high
- Dealer sells me things I really don’t need.
- Dealer does a poor job keeping me informed of status on my vehicle.
- Dissatisfaction with the difficult warranty claim.
There are two things that will help this problem.
- Quality of Service
There is one way to accomplish it.
- Live Repair orders
Live Repair Orders in its simplest format is a mobile app used by the dealership mechanic to visually explain care repairs to consumers. The entire process happens in four steps.
- Capture photos with camera
- Wireless image or video transfer
- Images posted dealerships website
- Images text messaged & emailed to consumers for review
Watch This Technology In Action Below
Here’s The Tip: If you want to keep servicing customers after the warranty period ends, try making quality of service and transparency your focal point!