don't leave money on the table!

You got ‘em! A shiny new customer just drove off your lot with a shiny new car. You spent a lot of money to get them to come into your showroom and really pushed your sales team to capitalize on that opportunity. Your website helped, too. Lot’s of great pictures of vehicles, great specials, and an up-to-date inventory all worked together to really highlight your dealership. Your retail game is on point and it just paid off.

But, are you satisfied with only 3.8% margins on that new vehicle sale? You shouldn’t be. You know your dealership truly sees its revenue flow in from that customer coming back, year over year, to your service department. In fact, according to NADA, service accounts for almost 60% of the profits for the average dealership.

Knowing that, why is your website only dedicating less than 3% of its real estate to service and fixed ops? OK, some of you out there are closer to 5%, but this is where your money comes from, you can’t afford to let that part of your website languish.

Most customers will need some sort of service at least twice a year and they will look for the best deal. If your site doesn’t deliver, you’d better believe that customer is going to go down the road to your competition.

Times have changed

It’s no longer a forgone conclusion that just because someone buys a car from a dealer, that they will also get it serviced there. There are lots of other options out there, especially when price is such an important aspect to a consumer’s decision.

You’re better than the cheap option, prove it

A quick example: Most dealers sell tires and most dealers are highly competitive in their pricing. However, I guarantee that if you asked your customers, they wouldn’t have any idea. When they need new tire(s), they are going to hit up the local Costco. Why? Because it’s cheap.

What they don’t realize is that the jack-wagons working at the discount place don’t have the level of expertise or equipment that your dealership does. What if there’s something else wrong with their car? A busted strut, loose shocks, or something far worse that could affect the drivers safety? No way the Costco guy will know how to look for that stuff. Emphasize that on your website.

A little goes a long way

Let your website build on the trust you’ve already established on the retail side and really hype your service department.

  • Make price secondary. Talk about your years of expertise, knowledgeable staff and showcase why getting service from you is by far the best investment they can make.
  • Include testimonials from satisfied customers.
  • Include a page that talks about your tire deals and/or specials. Do you offer a “buy 3 get the 4th for free” promotion? Tell them about.
  • Specials are great, but not when they are 3 months expired. Keep them fresh and updated.
  • How easy can you make it for a customer to service with you? Allow for online booking and real-time updates on their service visit.

You can’t afford to just hope your retail customer comes back for service. You need to make them want to come back. You want your customers to do their research and see that you’re the best. Don’t leave any doubt. Put half of the effort you put into the retail side into highlighting your service and fixed ops offerings and watch those profits roll in.