We hope that you’re starting to see signs of rebounding vehicle sales revenue.  However, are you aware that parts and service revenue is what enabled most dealers to weather the vehicle sales spiral from 2008?  Nationally, parts and service revenue creates 53% of dealers’ gross profit![1] With recent new car sales forecasts questionable, NOW is the best time to put the pedal to the metal on retaining new and used car sales customers in your service department.

Maximize Dealership Profits

If you are simply handing off they keys when you sell a car, you are losing over half of your profit opportunity per customer.

Lost Revenue Opportunity
Manufacturer reports indicate that average dealerships NEVER see half of new and used car customers in their service department.  Furthermore, most dealers lose 10% of their service customers per year. This equates to dramatic lost revenue opportunity for the side of your business that represents over half of your profit.  If you want to maximize your gross profit opportunity, perfecting your sales-to-service hand-off is imperative.

Cost-Effective Revenue Opportunity
Acquiring new customers is five times more expensive than satisfying your current ones.  “Lost Soul” and “Recapture” advertising campaigns that create a 2-4% response rate are an example of this high cost with minimal return.  Retaining your existing customers is a more cost-effective solution to increasing revenue and profits. Your customers are the most focused and attentive during the vehicle purchasing process, meaning that there’s no better time to attract and maintain service customers.  If you do not effectively execute the sales-to-service hand-off at time of vehicle purchase, be prepared to spend five times more to re-acquire your customers into service down the line.

The Introduction
Before your salesperson hands over the keys of a new car, your customers should receive a tour of your facility and be introduced to key members of your service team. Establishing a relationship early on leads to customer confidence and the desire to have a new vehicle serviced where customers feel most comfortable: in your dealership’s expert hands.

A Well-Informed Customer
Be certain your customer knows exactly where he or she will come for the first service visit. Outline the recommended maintenance schedule for the new vehicle, and place a maintenance reminder sticker in the customer’s window so it is clear when the customer should return for the first visit.  If your dealership requires service appointments, make the first appointment for the customer, jotting down the date and time on a business card.  This process builds trust and confidence with the customer.  Confidence leads to customer retention.

Promote Your Dealership’s Value-Add
Brand new vehicle owners are inclined to take the best care of their cars, so don’t be shy about promoting why your dealership is the best place to keep a new car in tiptop shape.  Take this opportunity to promote that you have factory-trained technicians that know the car inside and out, your convenient service hours, express lane services, Wi-Fi internet access, clean and safe child play areas, complimentary car washes, and whatever else you provide.  In other words, categorically drive home the extreme value that your dealership provides.

New Car Care Clinics
Let’s face it, very few customers actually read the owners manual.  In addition, even if your sales representatives perform a fantastic vehicle delivery, customers cannot remember it all.  That’s why we also recommend New Car Care Clinics.  This gives your customers an opportunity to get all the answers to questions about their new car after they have begun driving it.  In addition, it provides a second opportunity to introduce your service department. Monthly New Car Care Clinics are a great way to build customer confidence in your service staff and let them know that they’re in very capable hands.

Long-Term Results
Setting up your service team for success with the sales-to-service hand-off has a cyclical effect as well.  Customers that visit your dealership for regular service and maintenance are 10 times more likely to buy their next new vehicle from your sales team.  Establishing long-term customer relationships begins with the sales-to-service hand-off, and if done right, will increase both future service and future sales revenue.

Want to learn about Drive-Sure’s proven process for streamlining the sales–to-service hand-off and raising sales-to-service retention rates by 10% or more?  Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation: Online or 1.800.323.5739.

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[1] NADA 2011 Dealership Financial Profile