The best thing to do to gain retention in your Service Center and Car Dealership is to FIND A HOOK!
Do at least one thing to stand out from your competitors and make customers remember you!
Most memorably, I have gone to service centers that offered:
A free shuttle service up to 20 miles where a driver drops you off and picks you up later. This allows your customers to get to work or shop at a shopping center while they wait for their cars to be ready.
A quiet room and laptop station (with a few laptops and phone chargers). This allowed customers to work remotely while they waited or to charge their phones and play games. (A nice touch would have been to have classical music or nature sounds playing softly in the background.)
Free or inexpensive manicures.
Free services like fuel top-off, general inspection, tire rotation, and air in the tires. (You can advertise these services to your customers through your own “Branded” Consumer App that will allow you to send customizable discounts as well.)
Some of these services can get pretty costly. For cheaper alternatives, you could also consider:
A calm, quiet space with classical music (and free cucumber water).
A spinning prize wheel where customers can win small discounts and prizes
A clean area with nice furniture and phone chargers.
Incredibly nice staff! People value good service and will often remember the places they felt most welcome.
Seasonal gifts/items. Offer hot chocolate, pumpkin-spiced donuts, hot fudge sundaes, frozen treats and other goodies throughout the year. (Advertise your promotional products/offer with the “Branded” App mentioned above to stay connected to your customers and ensure that you are the first place they think of when they are needing services.)
For many dealerships, the service center isn’t the only place customers get antsy. Often customers become unhappy when waiting on finance or their children become unsettled once they make it to finance.
Because of this, many dealerships have a kid’s station where children can play while their parents sign papers with finance. (As a salesperson, it can be a good idea to watch your customers’ kids so the deal doesn’t unwind at the last minute. Parents are usually very grateful for the break and show their gratitude with high marks and returned sales.)
Of course, having a good sales process and asking qualified questions to customers to ensure a positive interaction is critical, as is having the right finance options for all of your customers.
For customers who are a bit beyond credit challenged and Santander can’t help, there are other auto lenders who can. For a list of these lenders, contact PAM and we will provide you with an updated list to ensure none of your customers are turned away.
If your dealership offers BHPH options, but aren’t able to accept EVERY loan since an average of 20-30% of devices fail resulting in many unrecovered cars, find a GPS provider with a high tracking success rate and a Non-Reporting Dashboard. (Okay, that’s a bit of a trick because PAM is the only tracking service to provide complete transparency to device issues and we even alert customers to tamper alerts & disconnects routinely with our “White Glove Service.”)