In my past few blogs, I discussed the various areas in a dealership that are affected by the current recall epidemic, compared the differing viewpoints about recall repairs from dealers and consumers, discussed non-compliance in recall repairs on new and pre-owned cars and how that could open liability concerns for dealers. I also covered how vehicles in your service drive need your attention and that ensuring customers leave in safe cars can lead to increased loyalty and service revenue.
Hopefully, these policies and suggestions have been of some help as no vehicle should leave your lot with an open recall. All repairs should either be completed or scheduled, regardless of if those vehicles come through sales or service.
Currently, hundreds of millions of drivers are affected by recalls and vehicle safety is of prime concern to your customers. It’s rare for a day to pass without news of a new or expanded recall as manufacturers rush to identify any potential issues and seek to fix them.
It makes sense, is a smart public service and sound marketing strategy to ensure that no sales or service customer leaves with a vehicle that has an open recall.
There’s no doubt in my mind that if your dealership has gone through the extra effort to ensure that customer’s leave with safe vehicles and peace of mind, you will be rewarded in a number of ways. Chances are good that your efforts will prove fruitful in terms of additional traffic and sales, as well as new customers pulling into your service drive.
But only if you tell them!
Use this initiative as your unique selling proposition. It’s much more powerful than free car washes or oil changes. And now is the time to get ahead of the competition – I’ll bet that, as of right now, not too many of your competitors are making these efforts.
If you’ve already proven to your customers that you care about their safety, your customers will trust you more and that is the first step towards earning their loyalty. Trust is a huge factor with today’s customers in both sales and service – it certainly leads to increased acceptance of recommended services through your service drive.
So, climb up on top of that mountaintop and shout your efforts to everyone. Include messaging on every marketing piece, every television ad, every radio ad, your website, store signage and your website. Tag the cars on your lot with this message so that shoppers see that you take extra effort to ensure all your cars are safe. And be sure to inform your service customers during the consultation part of the service drive experience that you do this for them.
Don’t be shy. You’re doing your customers a service and also doing your part to make the roads safer for everyone. This naturally leads to increased business. And that’s a win-win for everyone.
Author: Chris Miller
Chris Miller is President of Recall Masters, a leading provider of automotive recall news, data, training, and communications. Privately held and based in the San Francisco Bay area, the company is dedicated to helping automakers and their dealers expedite the repair of recalled vehicles and make the roadways safer for everyone. Christopher has more than 17 years of experience building software to automate marketing communications. He has worked with marquee brands including HSBC/Household Automotive, Washington Mutual, Residential Pacific Mortgage, ServiceMagic, Monumental Life Insurance, Mercedes Benz USA, BMW/Mini North America, Volvo North America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Moxy Solutions, and Costco Automotive Group.