Imagine feeling ill enough to visit the local hospital. Most of us identify the hospital as the one place that has the combination of diagnostic technology, patient history, the knowledge and the skilled clinicians in one location. In order for physicians to accurately diagnose your ailment, they take blood samples and conduct a multitude of tests. As a patient, it would be reasonable to expect to be diagnosed and receive the prescribed treatment. In fact, many would believe that, if this barrage of tests yielded abnormalities in addition to the ailment, the physician would bring them to your attention so that a corrective action could be taken.
I would think the above scenario wouldn’t seem to be unreasonable to most of you. However, think about the reasonable expectation a customer has when they bring their vehicle into your dealership to get serviced, regardless of whether they know something is wrong with the health of their vehicle or not. They expect that it will be efficiently diagnosed and fixed. Yet, every day vehicles with open recalls pass through service drives without being checked, repaired or notifying the customer.
Many consumers visit dealerships because of their expertise, knowledge and the thorough inspections conducted on their vehicles. They have a reasonable expectation that necessary repairs will be made and, at the very minimum, be reported to them. And, in most cases, they are. However, there is one glaring area where a huge gap exists – recalls. Some of these recalls can pose a threat to safety or can cause great damage to the vehicle if not attended to. Failure to alert the vehicle owner of an open recall can be almost negligent in the eyes of the consumer.
Checking a vehicle for recalls can occur in a number of dealership departments – prior to the purchase, at trade in, during vehicle service, or by combing through customer data in your CRM. These customers have a reasonable expectation that your dealership will have some recall solutions in place to notify, schedule and repair the problem.
Without some sort of recall platform in use and enforced as part of a diligent process, it is impossible to effectively manage the volume of open recalls at your dealership. As a result, customer expectations go unattended to, eroding trust and the customer’s belief that you are the right “doctor” for their vehicle.
You would be wise to have an integrated recall strategy in place across your entire dealership – all departments communicating with each other to identify any open recalls. This has nothing to do with adding another process just to be difficult, it’s a matter of meeting your customer’s reasonable expectations that the vehicle they purchase, or service at your dealership, is safe. They expect that your dealership has done its due diligence to identify any known and unknown issues – and fixed them.
No matter what recall solution your dealership chooses to use, it should be efficient, thorough and timely in delivering the information that customers and your staff require. Is that an unreasonable expectation to ask?
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.