The benefits of having a mobile check-in and MPI process in the service department have been widely confirmed. You’ve probably heard all about the three “T’s;” specifically transparency, timing and trust.
However, one of the biggest unsung benefits is the considerable increase in the usage of the “declined service” op codes. Customers declining service is nothing new. But, a mobile service process makes it easy for you to reach out to recent customers so you can recover that lost revenue. Dealerships that are effective at this process see anywhere from 10 percent of declined services brought back within seven days and up to 25 percent of declined services brought back within a month.
What would that mean to your bottom line? In a larger-than-average dealership, you could discover that you have $400,000 in declined service work every month, and be able to bring back $100,000 of that revenue.
Four best practices to incorporate into your declined service follow-up process include:
1) Eliminate manual logging
Do you know the top five declined service op codes in your store? Many service managers either don’t know the answer or would be guessing if they did answer. If you don’t know what to go after, you can’t create a strategy to go after it. This is the first and most critical step to recovering lost revenue.
With a mobile check-in and MPI process, when the service advisor makes recommendations, and the customer declines, the advisor must check either yes or no.
This simple automated prompt results in a massive increase in the logging of declined services. A store with manual logging sees an average of seven to eight percent of ROs logged with declined services. Stores with a mobile process see an average of 30 percent of ROs logged with declined services.
In addition to knowing where the lost revenue is, automated logging of op codes reveals which repairs your advisors are having trouble selling. This provides training opportunities so you can quickly improve performance and reduce the number of overall declined services.
2) Provide visual proof
Most mobile service department applications provide technicians and advisors with the ability to take photos or videos of worn parts. Make it a habit to text or email your photos and/or videos to your customers for their review. Seeing is believing, and people are far more likely to approve a recommended service when provided with visual proof. If they don’t approve the repair right away, send visual proof again a week later.
To accompany the videos and photos, provide additional information on why it’s so important to get the repair performed sooner rather than later—whether it’s a safety issue or another reason.
3) Address declined service and recalls at check-in
More and more tablet check-in tools integrated with a CRM list previously declined service recommendations at the beginning of the process. It’s a great time to revisit what the recommendation was and explain why it is needed.
As for recall information, lane applications with strong real-time recall data integration provide the opportunity to alert customers of safety issues, even before the lane and multi-point inspection occur. An estimated 25 percent of vehicles on the road today have an open recall. Dealers utilizing their recall data are seeing a 50 percent increase in customer pay overall.
4) Multi-channel follow up
Don’t place the burden of follow-up entirely on your service advisors’ shoulders. Today much of the declined service follow-up process can be automated. Service advisors can record a friendly service reminder that can be automatically dropped into the customer’s voice mail at pre-determined time intervals after the customer’s visit.
Meanwhile, have BDC agents reach out to connect in-person. One highly effective approach is to create a report with the top five safety op codes and prioritize those first. Incorporate a sense of urgency into your follow-up scripts.
In addition to phone calls, follow-up with personalized emails and texts. Send visual proof again. Send a coupon as an incentive. Eventually that customer will get the repair done, the only question is, will they bring their vehicle to your shop or take it somewhere else? Be persistent to keep your dealership top of mind when it’s time for service.
Every declined service is a missed opportunity for both revenue and relationship-building. Fortunately, mobile tablet technology has made it easy to log op codes, win customer trust and be persistent with follow-up. Perfecting this process will recover thousands of dollars in lost fixed ops revenue every month.
Author: Bill Wittenmyer
Bill Wittenmeyer has over more than 20 years of experience in the automotive space and currently manages multiple divisions within his organization including sales, marketing, OEM relationships and large-client accounts. He speaks at several prominent automotive forums each year. Before joining ELEAD1ONE, he spent several years in dealership operations management.