Without a doubt, the most frequent topic of conversation among the car dealership industry is how drastically new car sales traffic has plummeted; more specifically, how this has affected the service order department. As car sales decline, many dealers ramp up their sales training efforts, but still overlook their service department. Unfortunately, extinction is an imminent possibility if dealerships don’t modify their methods and concentrate on intensifying their Service Advisor Training.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges your Service Advisor now faces is how to combat the common misconception customers have that independent garages are always cheaper than dealerships, especially when it comes to repairing engines, transmissions, the AC, etc. You may retain their business for dash electronics and the like, but unless their vehicle is still under warranty, private shops are gaining the upper hand on most other repair issues.
You probably already realize that these private shops exploit and foster the belief that all dealership repair shops are a rip off. Aside from their established clientele, a private mechanic’s gravy comes from the random customer who happens in looking for a fair price. They take their time educating and bonding with this potential new customer, flavoring that gravy with how dealership service departments shuffle customers in and out and promote unnecessary repairs. They are courteous and diligent about follow through, knowing these actions will result in deep-rooted loyalty, client referrals and long-term profit. Moreover, today’s independent shops are privy to some of the same technical repair software programs the dealer has.
Now, more than ever, it is crucial to throw your Service Advisor Training into high gear. He must be equipped with the necessary tools to overcome these misconceptions in order to convince customers to stick with your dealership. This invaluable service training enables him to set the bar and consistently exceed it, month after month. For example, does your Service Advisor know how to counteract the damage these independent garages inflict? Does he press the advantages of taking their vehicles to the dealer, or how they’ll have a dealer’s tie-in to auto manufacturers? A beef with a repair can be taken up with the manufacturer.
It’s futile to expect things to return to the way they once were; it’s an entirely new economy. It presents difficult challenges that require different strategies. Service Advisor Training teaches how to embrace the new markets’ complexities. The faster you react, the faster you will conquer this dismal market, while the underprepared fall by the wayside.