How To Attract & Sell The Millennial Car Buyer (PART 15)
TRANSCRIPT: Let’s talk about service in the dealership with today’s connected customer. Remember that today is about the connected customer a whole lot more than just talking about millennials. Let’s be clear that the service opportunity is huge for dealers.
DMEautomotive says that 77% of consumers aren’t loyal to one service provider. What does that tell us? That tells us that 77% of the people who do not service with you, they’re ripe for the pickings. If we can do the right thing. If we can create the right experience. If we can do the things I’m going to talk about today. You can take 77% of the people away from their current service provider, bring them to you. This also tells us that 77% of the people who currently service with you aren’t loyal to you either, so we need to create an environment where they will become loyal.
CNR research says that 67% of people don’t service with dealers because they think your maintenance prices are too high. When I talk about maintenance you know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about mufflers. I’m talking about brakes. I’m talking about oil changes. I’m talking about tires. They think your prices are too high. We know they’re not and we’ll talk about that.
53% by the way don’t do their repairs with you, because again of these same perceived high prices. We need to work out all of these things. We talked about a lot of these in the earlier parts, but we’re going to talk about it in the dealership as well.
We have to change our service paradigms. We’ve got to start creating experience. It’s called service, but it’s really sales, isn’t it? You pay a commission to an advisor who may or may not have any customer service training. He then tries to take off everybody’s head that he deals with or he schedules only what’s convenient for him.
I think we’ve all had that service advisor who’s off on Wednesdays, gets a call on Tuesday from someone who wants to come in tomorrow and service with us and what does he say? He says, “My first open appointment is on Thursday.” Even though the dealership might have a lot of open service appointments on Wednesday, he wants the appointment on his day so he can make the commission.
Let’s look at what’s happened in your service department. I see this all the time. Every example I’m going to give you is something that I’ve actually seen. How about this? You’ve got advisors who won’t acknowledge customers, right? Customers walk up to the advisor desk, they stand there, they look at them for five minutes. The advisor looks down the entire time. You’ve got advisors who won’t answer their phones. You’ve got advisors who won’t keep customers informed or who won’t return calls or emails to your customers. When you have these issues, what did you do? You put in a service BDC.
The question I have for you is did you cut advisor commissions to pay for this BDC or is this BDC just a big cost center? More than that, are you wowing any of your service customers? See right now there are too many choices that customers already perceive as less costly than you, okay?
67% perceive your maintenance too high. 53% say your repairs are too high. You already have the perception of higher prices and you’re not creating a great experience, but remember this from the earlier parts. American Express tells us that 67% of consumers would pay 14% more for a great experience. Ask yourself, can someone have a great experience servicing with me? I want you to wow them. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Wow them? Steve, you’re crazy.”
Let me a tell you a true story that happened to me in 2015 with a company called Tire-Rama. Tire-Rama is an average tire store chain here in the Northwest. They happen to have the closest auto service to my house. In February of 2015 I had never been there before, but I had a slow leak in a tire in one of my vehicles that I got tired of constantly filling up.
Even though I had never been there before, they are the closest tire store. I had never spent a dime with them. I drove my vehicle to Tire-Rama. I expected to pay, I don’t know, 50 to 60 bucks for the repair. They took the vehicle in the back. I sat in the waiting room. I drank their coffee. I watched their TV. I used their WIFI. About, I don’t know, 35, 45 minutes later whatever, the manager came said, “Hey Mr. Stauning, your car’s ready.” I went to the counter took out my credit card.
He explained what the issue was. They didn’t have to put a plug in it, but they did have to repair the bead on the tire because that had a slow leak in it. I started to hand him my credit card and he said, “No charge.” I said, “Actually, I didn’t buy the tires here.” He said, “No, no. There’s no charge for tire repairs like that.” I said, “Yeah, but I’ve never done any business with you guys.” He said, “There’s no charge.”
See they have a long term focus and because of that one event, and make no mistake I’ve had a great experience since then at Tire-Rama, because of that one event 24 months ago I had spent $0 with them before that event. In the next 24 months I’ve spent over $4,000 with this tire store. We’ve got five vehicles at my house. I have three sons who drive. Tires, brakes, anything they can do they get first crack at and I love being in dealerships. I love dealing with dealerships, but I can’t get, “Wow”. Everybody always wants to take my head off every time I do business with a dealership service drive. They have never tried to do that at Tire-Rama. I don’t shop the prices. I don’t do anything. I just pay for the better experience.
We can wow them, but we need to wow them from beginning to end. It’s not just when they arrive at the dealership. When we talk about wowing them from beginning to end this begins with scheduling a service appointment. There are five areas that we can talk about with service appointments before we ever do any work to the customer’s car that we need to start working on to create a wow experience. These five areas, if we can focus on these we can change everything about the way our service department is perceived.
First, we’ll talk about scheduling online. Then we’re going to talk about using BDCs versus advisors. We’ll talk about pricing transparency. We’ll talk about greeting guests when they do arrive for their appointment. We’ll talk really importantly about number five, building confidence.