Today’s dealerships spend tens of thousands of dollars every month to reach new customers and get them inside the dealership doors. A large amount of these funds are spent on newspapers that end up as a floor mat the next day for a birdcage. I’ve seen thousands of dollars spent on service ads, that promote super low price oil changes to drive traffic that will spend nothing on suggested needs and buy only the below cost oil change.
It amazes me that dealerships spend very little money to enhance the customer experience that will retain them is customers for life. They might have vending machines in the service lounge that attempt to extract another $.50 for a cup of coffee, or snack from a customer. It’s well past time for a change in the way dealerships do business. Just because this is an illustration of the past doesn’t mean progressive dealerships would do this forever. It is far more difficult to attract customers when the dealership is slow then to progressively exceed their expectations on an ongoing basis.
Today’s dealerships must invest money into their customers experience with the firm understanding of the return. Customer retention is been a buzzword tossed around forever and must be much more than that. We can no longer set service hours from 8 to 5 and be closed every weekend. We can’t understaff advisors and technicians viewing it only as a cost to the dealership. The restrooms have to be clean and supplied with soap, toilet paper, and hand towels. We have to offer concierge service including picking up cars at their place of work and dropping them back off washed and even vacuumed. We have to have loaner cars available when necessary to provide our customers courtesy transportation.
We have to start viewing the cost of things like this as an investment that will develop customers for life. These are the reasons Fixed Performance has begun to develop a program for dealerships that no one has ever attempted. It is exciting for us to think out of the box and ask the question “what can we do to improve customer care?” Being innovative is always invigorating and carries risk. The greater risk however, is to always do things the same way.
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
1 (888) 205-8718
Fixed Performance Inc.
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Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.