In last week’s fusionZONE blog post, we covered several ways to increase service profitability. This week, we’re diving deeper with even more tips to enhance your dealership’s fixed operations revenue.
If the challenges of 2020 and what’s followed have taught us all anything, it’s that nothing is certain. The auto industry faces unprecedented changes, including a shift to electrified and autonomous vehicles, as well as the digital-first age.
But few in the industry were expecting such challenges as supply shortages.
For many dealerships, fixed operations like their service department have become even more vital than ever. Most service centers produce roughly 50% of a dealership’s gross profit, and with recent shortages in new and used cars for sale, fixed ops have undoubtedly saved the day for some.
So, how can you ensure that you’re maximizing your service center’s profitability in 2021 and beyond? Here are 10 tips for doing just that!
- Increase upselling and lines per RO. It’s great to boost your total ROs or Repair Orders, but are you also trying to maximize the services per RO? Whether through upselling or creating bundles that customers can’t afford to pass up, there are many ways to improve in this area.
- Motivate your Service Advisors. Are you incentivizing your client-facing service staff to upsell or increase lines per RO? Consider weekly or monthly gift cards or bonuses to the Service Advisor that knocks it out of the park!
- Make your services visible online to local motorists. Depending on your market, you may be missing out on potential service center customers outside of your city or immediate area. By implementing effective SEO and targeting key serving cities around your dealership, you could attract drivers who are looking for a new service department for everything from routine maintenance to high-ticket repair work.
- Allow access to all of your services via your website. Are you promoting all of your top services online? Whether your auto service center is known for certain procedures or you’re looking to bring in more business for certain services like multi-point inspections or tire installation, you should make it clear what you offer through your website.
- Inform customers about your services through text and video content. You can educate drivers about your services and why it’s important to keep up on routine maintenance through online video and text content on your website. A customer may already know that it’s time for an oil change, but you could potentially upsell online by providing more details about other complementary maintenance you offer.
- Reach out to customers regularly. Utilize your customer email list, social media channels and text or SMS-based marketing to keep your customers in the loop of current promotions. Sometimes a simple reminder and a deal or coupon are all that it takes to get someone to make that overdue service appointment.
- Don’t forget about free marketing options. Have you updated your Google My Business and social media profiles and pages lately? There are plenty of free ways to keep your dealership’s service department top-of-mind for customers when it’s about time for a tune-up.
- Invest more of your marketing budget on fixed operations. It’s true that completely free marketing will only take you so far. If your dealership’s marketing budget is heavily focused on new and used car sales, consider simply shifting some of your marketing spend to the department that generates the most revenue. Or, you could increase your total budget to accommodate a greater focus on service center marketing.
- Promote customer loyalty through rewards. Since acquiring a new customer is five times more expensive than retaining an existing one, you’d better have a plan to keep your sales and service department customers around when it’s time for car repair or maintenance. A VIP loyalty program with rewards toward parts and service could help keep your current customers from ever looking elsewhere for oil changes or inspections.
- Encourage new and returning customers to convert. Lastly, your website’s service-related pages should be designed to encourage service appointment scheduling. Make it easy for customers to book a service visit, find your current offers and coupons and contact your service team with questions.
For more tips on how to increase the profitability of your service department and other fixed operations, turn to the team at fusionZONE. Reach out if you’d like assistance with enhancing your SEO, website or digital marketing initiatives.