How To Attract & Sell The Millennial Car Buyer (PART 18)
TRANSCRIPT: You know what? Think about it. Bad experiences and service, they hurt the entire store. A negative customer experience in our service department leads to distrust in our entire dealership and it reduces profits in our sales department. You know what? You can reverse the departments, reverse their names and the saying still works. A negative customer experience in our sales department leads to distrust in the entire dealership and reduces profits in our service department. Plus as we learned, one negative review could be a loss of 22% of business.
We want to improve the service experience. I’m going to tell you what improves it. Written processes. Written processes improve the service experience. You need to write out all of your processes in the service department. Find convenience in each step. I’m talking about how do I schedule online? What happens to that online order once it’s placed? What happens when I arrive as a customer to your dealership? What are those processes?
Add expectations from the customer’s viewpoint. For example, how long should I wait in my car before I’m greeted? I’m assuming now you’re going to come out and greet me right? Instead of making me get out of my car. How long should I wait before I’m greeted? One minute, three minutes, how long? 30 seconds, 10 seconds? Add the expectations in your written processes from my viewpoint. How long should it take to schedule an oil change with you online? I would say that you should let me check out as a guest, let me enter my information, let it auto fill from my computer. I should say the whole experience from the time I find the form until the time I hit submit should be about 25 seconds, tops. You need to make it seem painless.
Can we make it seem painless? I don’t want to offend you, but service with you as a dealership, it’s painful. It really is. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I’m in the business and I hate servicing with dealers. I would love to service with dealers. I really would. There are competitors out there who have figured this out.
CARite for example, we’ll talk about them and others. They’re using customer focused processes to make it painless. They’re offering things like reliable service with straight talking mechanics. For CARite it’s not just a motto, okay. They’ve done research. They know that people don’t trust your service necessarily, so they say ours is reliable and they say with straight talking mechanics. See they think they’re getting double talked. Consumers think they’re getting double talk from you.
Interestingly though, much of what CARite advertises and how they operate is true with some franchise dealers today. For example, CARite claims to be ASE certified technicians. Aren’t your technicians certified? In fact, yours are Honda certified or Toyota certified. Yours are actually more certified, but we’re not telling customers that.
CARite claims that the customer approves all the work. It says, “You approve all work.” Isn’t that true at your dealership? Why do people feel like that’s not true. Let’s make it true. Let’s make sure that this is not just a motto, but that it’s plastered our website, it’s plastered in our service department. You approve all work.
CARite claims that they have qualified and honest mechanics. Let me tell you what I know about dealerships. All the dealerships that I work with. I don’t know any of them that don’t have qualified, honest mechanics, but it’s about perception isn’t it? See CARite is claiming they have these things because the consumer perceives that maybe you do not. CARite’s claiming that we’re open on Saturdays. Frankly, I don’t know a dealership that’s not open on Saturdays today.
CARite claims it’s easy to schedule service visits online and for a lot of you it really is. These should all sound familiar to you. CARite’s claiming these things. You should be claiming them and making a bigger deal about them. Here’s the deal, CARite also claims we won’t upsell or confuse. Ooh. They’re not going to upsell consumers or confuse them.
Make no mistake, when they do the MPI and they find something that needs repair they’re going to tell the customer it needs repair, but because they’ve said they won’t upsell and they won’t confuse the customer they’re already setting the customer up to buy whatever. By creating that confidence they’re getting the customer set up to buy whatever it is they’re going to present them after the MPI.
CARite claims that they’re able to service most makes and models. Most of you are willing to do that, but your service advisors don’t want to deal with that, do they, and so you’re not marketing that enough. CARite claims fast turnaround, friendly service, and they post their prices for common services online. These are all attacks on you. This all appeals by the way to the connected customer.
Service needs a better customer experience. Not just today, but tomorrow. Now we could do a whole show just on the customer experience. Oh we did. Hey, look at this. You can find it here on SteveStauning.com. We’ve got 11 short and sweet parts on SteveStauning.com. Just go to SteveStauning.com, scroll down along the right side, look for full service videos, full series videos rather, and look for the customer experience.
Finally, let’s add one more process in service. Then we’ll jump into sales. Let’s add a re-booking process, okay. You should be attempting to rebook 100% of your service customers 100% of the time. See right now we book the first service appointment, don’t we? We book the first service appointment after they buy a car. Why can’t we book the second service appointment after they come in for the first one? This can be completed by the advisor or the cashier.
It really is about using reminders like this, so you use a cling that actually shows the date and time of their next service, or you can use a card just like my dentist’s office does that says, “Hey, for your Mustang.” Check off Tuesday, put the date, and put the time.
You want to, if someone says, “No, no. I’m not sure.” Like they do at the dentist’s office sometimes. Ask if they’ll allow a follow up call in three days or so for those that are unsure today. Make sure if you have a loyalty program that you reinforce it during the booking. Now my dentist does this, okay.
People will rebook with us if the experience with us was a good one. If I had a good experience today and then you attempt to rebook with me, I’m going to go ahead and rebook. They’ll also rebook with us if we provide transparent pricing. They already understand what that next oil change is going to cost. They’ll rebook with us if we have solid appointment confirmation and reminder processes in place. This is your CRM or your service scheduling module that needs to be able to do that.
They’ll also rebook with us, for example, if we provide an incentive for keeping a re-booked appointment like 20% off. They’ll rebook with us if we use direct language. Today’s Friday. It’s 10:30. Somebody just got done with their oil change that they came in at 9:45 for and I pick a date, let’s say, 120 days from now. That’s a Friday though, right? Four months from now on a Friday and say, “Hey, how does Friday … what March, April, May. How does Friday, June whatever work, 9:45?” Right. I’m going to use that direct language. I’m going to go ahead and select that time for them, that same time that same day.
Now when we talk about the confirmation and reminders, great CRMs can handle this, okay. As soon as we set an appointment for the customer they should get a link, an email with a link, that they can add that appointment to their calendar. A couple of days before their appointment they should get a text, right. That’s something like, this is what my dentist’s office does, please reply C to confirm or P to get a phone call from us two days before their appointment.
If they don’t respond to that we’re going to trigger a call in our CRM, maybe our BDC makes it, right? The day before the service we’re just going to say, “Hey, you didn’t reply to our text yesterday and we just want to make sure we’re going to see you tomorrow at 9:45 for your scheduled oil change.” Then one hour before the appointment, a text or email. Just a friendly reminder that goes out and tells the customer, “Hey, you’ve got this appointment in an hour. We’ll see you then.” They will rebook with us we just need to make it happen.