Whether you’re a dealership or an auto maintenance shop, you know that excellent automotive service is key for retaining customers and building your business. This is especially true during the auto chip shortage, as fewer customers can purchase new vehicles and must rely on older models that may need more maintenance. Additionally, dealerships may need to supplement their income during the chip shortage by focusing on automotive service drives. If you want to become known for automotive service excellence, you must use key strategies to improve your marketing efforts, sales process, and customer satisfaction.
In this article, we will go over 10 tips for strategic automotive servicing. These tips include methods for marketing your service drive, optimizing efficient service, and communicating with customers throughout the whole process. By following the advice below, you will ensure that your customers remain happy with your service and loyal to your business.
1. Be proactive in contacting customers
Don’t wait for customers to come knocking on your door. You can be proactive in contacting customers by sending personalized reminders about routine maintenance. Keep track of their vehicle make and model as well as previous service so you know when the vehicle will likely need maintenance. Consider sending a video reminder about maintenance so you can personalize the message and introduce a specific employee as their point of contact.
2. Keep marketing efforts within a 10-mile radius
Of course, you will want to focus marketing efforts on new customers as well. When creating a list of top leads, don’t include anyone beyond a 10-20 mile radius from your business. According to AutomotiveMastermind, customers are highly unlikely to travel more than 20 miles for automotive service. As such, you should focus your efforts on nearby prospects who are likely to convert.
You can further optimize your list of prospects by implementing account-based marketing. Under this strategy, you will create customer personas and seek out customers that fit the persona. You will also personalize your marketing efforts to each persona and identify their use case and pain points. By using this approach, you can save time by focusing on only your best leads and achieve a higher ROI.
3. Offer video consultations
You can improve your automotive service drive by offering custom services for customers who are still on the fence about coming into your business. For example, you can offer video consultations where you can get to know your customer’s vehicle and diagnose any problems while the customer stays at home. This will help you build trust by demonstrating your expertise and discussing the terms of service before the customer comes in. Better yet, by diagnosing the problem ahead of time, you can get right to work once the vehicle is in your shop and get it back to your customer sooner.
4. Provide incentives for loyal customers
Consider providing incentives for return customers to retain their loyalty. These incentives can include coupons, special offers, or discounts on future service. For dealerships, you can align these incentives with the car sales process to promote both the sales and service sides of your dealership. Remember, building a loyal customer base is the best way to ensure the growth of your business.
5. Use video to send updates
You can also use video to send updates during service. If a new issue has come up, send a video update to your customer so you can show them the problem and discuss additional service opportunities. If service is taking longer than you initially thought, then send a video to update your customer and apologize for any inconvenience. You can even send a video when service is finished to show your customer the repairs before pick-up. Video updates are essential for assuaging any customer concerns during service and continuing to build the trust between your automotive service center and the customer.
6. Offer at-home services or pickup/delivery
Your customer likely has a busy schedule. To further respect their time, you can offer additional services like at-home auto service and complimentary vehicle pick-up and delivery. By providing these services, you demonstrate to your customer that you are willing to put in extra time and effort on your side to ensure that the auto service process is as painless as possible for them. Furthermore, these services will keep your business thriving even when customers are reluctant to come into the store, such as during a pandemic or a serious weather event.
7. Service vehicles quickly & efficiently
Nobody likes to be without their car. One of the primary reasons customers don’t bring their vehicle in for maintenance is that they just can’t be without it for too long. To alleviate these concerns, you can build a reputation for servicing vehicles quickly and efficiently. Customers are more likely to return – and recommend your service to their friend – when you effectively service their vehicle in a short period of time. Being known for speedy service will also get you a huge leg up against the competition!
8. Follow-up after service
You can maintain the relationship between your customer and your automotive service center by following up after service. We recommend that you send a follow-up email (or video email) to check in that the vehicle is operating smoothly. This will give your customer the chance to comment on your service and discuss any additional issues. By sending a follow-up message, you demonstrate to your customer that you care about the state of their vehicle and want to ensure that you provided the best service possible.
9. Own up to mistakes
Even the most competent automotive service technicians sometimes make mistakes. If you misdiagnosed an issue or didn’t fix it properly, then own up to your mistake and apologize. Then, offer the customer a reservicing free of charge or another incentive to make up for the additional time they must spend. If your customer makes a complaint, then make sure you respond to it in a timely manner so that you can begin to rebuild trust as soon as possible.
10. Send a thank you video
Once service is complete, you can send a video to thank the customer for choosing your business. You can also use the video as an opportunity to remind your customer to fill out a CSI survey. Dealers that use Covideo report that when they remind customers about the survey in a thank you video, completion of the survey goes up by 35-40%. Even if your customer does not complete the survey, sending a thank you video will demonstrate your commitment to the relationship and ensure further business.
Use Covideo For Your Automotive Service Drive
At every step of the automotive service drive sales process, you can use Covideo to develop a personal relationship with your customers. Covideo is perfect for sending videos before, during, and after auto service. To recap, you can send videos to:
- Reach out to new prospects
- Remind customers when routine maintenance is recommended
- Offer deals to returning customers
- Offer consultations before service
- Update customers during service
- Follow-up after service
- Thank customers for choosing your business
With Covideo, you can record videos on any device and send them over any platform. You can even embed videos directly into your emails and text messages! Better yet, customers can reply with a video of their own, even if they don’t have a Covideo account. You will always know when a customer sees, clicks on, or replies to a video.
If you would like to know more, contact our automotive experts and learn why Covideo is the #1 video platform for the automotive industry.