The comparison between dealership servicing vs the small family-owned service center down the street has been a long-drawn-out debate. The argument here is that the small service center offers much lower rates for the same service that the big-box dealership offers. For most dealerships, it is not feasible to match the low rates of a standard service center because of the overall differing business model and the added benefits to customers.
However, dealerships do have a leg up in that they’re more able to afford the latest technology and management systems that can improve customer relationships. At the end of the day, customer service is the top priority and can make or break the success of a dealership’s service department. Here, we discuss ways a dealership can improve its relationships with customers within the service department.
1. Provide Quick Updates Through Text Messaging
In this day and age, it’s not enough to only call your customers when their vehicle is ready to be picked up. Today’s consumers want information as quickly as possible and to get this information as conveniently as possible. Most people rely on their phones every day for work and communication.
Service departments that communicate with their customers through 2-way text are one step ahead. Not only do customers like the personalized service and convenient updates, but service technicians are also able to get quicker approvals on service recommendations by providing their customers with pictures and videos of the issue. As a bonus, text communication avoids tying up the phone lines.
2. Provide Same-Day Service
While many services can be completed on the same day, some service centers need to resort to scheduling a service over a span of 2 or more days simply because of the workload. Worse yet, some service centers consistently promise a service completed within an hour or 2 only for the customer to wait for a few hours for their vehicle. This leads to frustrated clients and lost business.
The reason is not always because of a fully-stacked workload but rather an inefficiency somewhere in the process. This leads us to our next tip. Many dealerships can offer timely services if they can…
3. Improve Internal Workflow
Sometimes one of the best ways to improve customer relationships within the service department is to start with the internal process. Where are the bottlenecks happening that lead to dissatisfied customers? What constraints do technicians face that prevent them from moving vehicles quicker through the service bay?
For many dealerships, it’s the lack of integration and streamlined communication that leads to these issues. These bottlenecks and constraints trickle down and impact customers the most.
Consider taking advantage of technology to improve the service department’s workflow. For example, a Production Efficiency Platform can be a great solution that can integrate into your existing DMS. With real-time reporting and faster communication across all departments, the service department can get through jobs quicker, know what parts and supplies are in stock, and know when to follow up with a customer for service.
A simple integration like this can have a positive impact, leading to a greater customer experience which naturally improves customer relationships over time.