6 Tips for a More Profitable Service Center

Article provided by Everlogic: http://www.everlogic.com/6-tips-for-a-more-profitable-service-center/

Ideally, service departments are the most profitable aspects of a dealership, and that extends beyond just car dealerships to companies that sell and lease new and pre-owned recreational vehicles, marine vehicles and even heavy equipment. This ideal, however, is often not a reality, and there are a number of reasons for that. Those reasons usually start with a suboptimal dealership management system.

1. Use Custom-Tailored Dealer Software
The modern dealership is comprised of many moving parts, and a common reason that a service center fails to achieve potential is that those parts aren’t working together. If, for instance, the sales department is selling new vehicles but not driving new clientele to the service center, that lack of synergy is undermining profit. Perhaps the greatest value of a refined, personalized dealership management system is that it allows management to monitor and nurture the relationship between various departments.

2. Carefully Choose and Mold Service Staff
The most important aspect of any service center is the service that it provides. When hiring, many service center managers look for product knowledge and experience, but those things are acquirable. Instead, focus on aptitude, attitude, ethics and so forth. Mold your hires to embody the service center’s mission. It’s also crucial to provide the best employees with a rewarding career path.

3. Build a Social Media Presence
The traditional dealership is a dinosaur and will soon be extinct. The modern dealership embraces doing business and building brand awareness online. Platforms like Facebook are essentially free advertising. They’re also an opportunity to engage an audience and build relationships with new and established clients alike. Social media is also an opportunity to field questions and enter discussions, and a consistent effort in that domain will definitely yield new customers.

4. Emphasize Existing Clientele
For the average service center, the majority — often more than 75 percent — of business comes from existing clients, and a significant portion of new business arrives via word of mouth from those established clients. Acquiring new customers is necessary, and broad marketing can be very effective at times, but a service center should never lose sight of the fact that its existing clients are its lifeblood.

5. Offer Car Delivery and Other Perks
Service centers face stiff competition, so they must strive to distinguish themselves. Delivery, pick up, rides home, free rentals and the like are all excellent ways to provide special value without big costs.

6. Earn Trust and Loyalty
Dealer software helps a service center target its clients on a very individual basis. Take advantage of that. Remind clients regularly that you value their business and remember details about their vehicle and preferences. Do right by them. Thank them. Market to them with too-good-to-refuse promotions that specifically target their upcoming needs, such as oil changes and tire rotations.

Final Words
Dealership service centers are complex, and success usually starts and ends with the selection and use of effective management software. If your service center’s performance is less than ideal, contact Everlogic to discuss how its software can put you back on the right track.