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Grow Your Service Business to Grow Your Sales for a ¼ of the Advertising $$$. PRESENTED BY : Darren VanCleave. Challenges. What is the current environment? Too many vendors provide only a piece of what you need to grow service .

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grow your service business to grow your sales for a of the advertising
Grow Your Service Business to Grow Your Sales for a ¼ of the Advertising $$$


Darren VanCleave


What is the current environment?

  • Too many vendors provide only a piece of what you need to grow service.
  • OEM programs offer no competitive advantage. Same message, same offer, same look to everyone at the same time.
  • Most programs require high level of maintenance by the Service Manager
  • No scientific approach to acquiring new customers.
  • No integrated Service-to-Sales programs.

90% percent of dealerships’ advertising budget is spent attempting to acquire a NEW or Pre-Owned vehicle customers. The remaining 10 percent of the budget is spent in the Service and Parts Departments. Considering that the average dealership spends over $350,000.00 per year on advertising  This means that the average dealership only spends about $35,000/year on retaining its customers.

did you know
Did You Know?
  • Active service customers are 7x more likely to purchase their next vehicle.
  • Why not communicate and incentivize current customers to remain active?
did you know1
Did You Know?
  • Customers typically receive different messages and offers.
  • Why send different messages to confuse customers and employees?
did you know2
Did You Know?
  • OEM programs recruit in your prefect market area for your competitors.
  • Why not market to all brand owners in your perfect market area?
don t forget your used car customer
Don’t Forget your Used Car Customer
  • Dealers with high owner retention rates have programs in place to entice their pre-owned vehicle purchasers back, regardless of the make. Most had some type of dealer captive maintenance package either purchased at the time of vehicle sale or included with the purchase of the vehicle.  For example, a dealership that sells 75 pre-owned units per month could generate an additional 1,170 service visits (annually) if they engaged and attracted back 65% of the pre-owned vehicle buyers. And when compared to a new vehicle sale, the pre-owned vehicle will be ready much sooner for the high gross service items like brakes, tires and transmission services.
messages that mirror oe brand
Messages that Mirror OE Brand
  • Build your campaigns using cross-media solutions all with the same feel
consistent message with coupons design your mail offers around the most popular service offers
Consistent Message with Coupons- Design your mail offers around the most popular service offers
consistent message with coupons design your mail offers around the most popular service offers1
Consistent Message with Coupons- Design your mail offers around the most popular service offers
don t just rely on email and mail
Don’t Just Rely on email and Mail

Have your BDC or Outsource someone to make these calls

  • Thank you for your purchase
  • Defector Prevention (exclusive)
  • Service Reminder
  • Overdue / Lost Customer
  • Service Thank You and CSI
  • Pre-service Appointment Trade Up (exclusive)

Manage Your Online Reputation, Measure and Improve Customer Satisfaction at the point of Sale and point of Service, improve your organic search results, and build your email database

sales in service grow your service business to grow your sales for 1 4 the cost of advertising
Sales In Service-Grow Your Service Business to Grow Your Sales for 1/4 the Cost of Advertising
get a loyalty management tool
Get a Loyalty Management Tool
  • Get a Loyalty Management/Customer Retention Tool. CRM can best be described as a dealer centric marketing tool while retention programs are completely customer centric, employ different messaging and provide more tangible results. In short, owner retention programs have the ability to affect a customer’s buying cycle and psyche. There are a lot of great tools on the market like Driving Loyalty and eLead.
sales in service the math
Sales in Service – The Math
  • Sell 2% of 1000 RO’s = 20 cars @ $1800 = $36000
  • Buy and Sell 15 Trades at below auction prices and save the fees = 15 Cars @ $2300 = $34500
  • That’s a total of $70500 in PLUS Sales Growth!
  • Cut it in half! = $35250 in PLUS Business
launching the sales in service department
Launching the Sales in Service Department


  • Dedicated Sales in Service Program Manager.
  • Dedicated Sales in Service Sales Specialists (Rule of thumb- 1 specialist per 750 RO’s)
  • Dedicated Telephone Specialists, BDC, or outsourced call center
launching the sales in service department1
Launching the Sales in Service Department


  • Office Space/Cubicles in close proximity to service department
  • Workstation in service advisor work area
  • Desk, chairs, phones, computers, headsets, iPads
launching the sales in service department2
Launching the Sales in Service Department

Pay Plan for Sales in Service Specialist

  • Commission on sales generated- same as sales pay plan and bonuses
  • Flat Fee for presenting concept vehicle analysis and referring protected customers to existing salesperson. Recommend $25 for presentation/referral and an additional $100 for vehicles delivered from referral
launching the sales in service department3
Launching the Sales in Service Department

Pay Plan for Service Advisors

  • Commission on RO written when we trade for the vehicle, regardless if the repairs are done customer pay, internally, or not done at all.
  • Flat Fee/Stair Step Bonus for bringing up the program and introducing/referring a customer to a sales in service specialist- $100 flat if the customers take delivery of a new vehicle on the first five referrals. For six to ten deliveries, increase flat to $150 retroactive. For eleven or more, increase flat to $200 retroactive.
launching the sales in service department4
Launching the Sales in Service Department


  • Protection for existing customers for existing salespeople must be put in place based on follow-up rules established by dealership.
  • Recommend a minimum of one successful contact per year documented in dealership CRM. Recommend establishing contact rules for end of lease and end of finance
  • If salesperson has followed dealership follow-up rules, his customer is protected. Sales in Service Specialist will present concept and establish interest. If customer is interested, they will be turned over to their original salesperson.
  • If salesperson has not followed dealership follow-up rules, they lose the customer. 100% of the deal will go to the Sales in Service specialist and the Sales in Service specialist will have protection on that customer going forward provided dealership follow-up rules are followed.
get ready
Get Ready:
  • Display Point of Sale materials in Service Drive, Service Waiting Area, Parts Department, Body Shop and Showroom, Vehicle TradeUp Banners, Vehicle TradeUp Posters, Vehicle TradeUp Brochure, Vehicle TradeUp Hang Tag, Vehicle TradeUp Table Toppers
  • Create list of eligible customers in the database and customers scheduled for service
  • Pre-produce vehicle analysis worksheets so they are ready before the customer arrives
  • Record on-hold messaging that explains the Vehicle TradeUp Program to incoming callers and lists the vehicles that are needed (top 5 sellers)
  • Staple Vehicle Upgrade Program RO Jacket to all Repair Order Receipts
  • Customers with Service Appointments: Call the customers that have the highest probability of buying on the day before their scheduled service appointment, discuss their eligibility for the Vehicle Upgrade Program, and recommend they set an appointment for a vehicle analysis.
  • Customers with vehicle in Service who dropped and left: Vehicle Upgrade Specialists calls and notifies the customer of their eligibility for the program and offers them a free vehicle analysis/sets appointment.
  • Customers in database that are in an equity position: Telephone Specialist, BDC, or outsourced call center should call customers in an equity position using the Upgrade Prospect Call to In-Equity Customers.
  • Customers waiting in the Service Lounge: Vehicle Upgrade Specialists introduce themselves to the customers waiting in the customer lounge. “Hi, my name is James, I’m a Vehicle Upgrade Specialist for our dealership. I just wanted to introduce myself and give you this coupon good for 10% off of your next service visit- as a thank you for visiting us this time. I also wanted to let you know about our Upgrade program Due to market conditions there is a high demand for quality pre-owned vehicles. Because of that demand, many of our customers qualify to Upgrade to a new car for pretty close to what they are paying to drive their old car. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, I will be happy to do a free vehicle analysis to see if you qualify.”
what you know in advance do in advance
What You Know in Advance, Do in Advance
  • When an appointment is set for an Upgrade presentation, select a new vehicle with similar equipment and color to the car they are currently driving. Have the car made ready for delivery and parked in the delivery area or near the entrance to the dealership (easy to get to and take for a demo drive). Prepare the vehicle analysis and have the customers trade appraised in advance. Go to your Coach/Sales Manager and fill out the numbers on the Vehicle Analysis Worksheet Completely and ask the sales manager to have the trade evaluated. When calculating payments, use the same percentage (%) down as they paid on their old vehicle; this includes down payment and trade equity. Use a lease or finance term that will get them a similar or lower payment on the new vehicle (preferably 24, 30 or 36 month lease).
presenting to the customer
Presenting to the Customer

In the Service Drive

  • Once you’ve completed your initial consultation or RO, approach eligible customers in the service aisle and ask them if they have received information about the Vehicle TradeUp Program in the mail or email.  Ask the customer if they would like more information about the TradeUp Program and offer them a free vehicle analysis. If the customer expresses interest, introduce them to a TradeUp Specialist.
  • Service Advisor:  “Your vehicle may be eligible for the TradeUp Program, which entitles you to additional trade-in value towards a new vehicle and special discounts that make it easy for you to upgrade into a newer vehicle for a similar or lower payment. Would you like to know what your options are under the program and receive a free vehicle analysis on your old car?
presenting to the customer1
Presenting to the Customer

In the Service Lounge

  • Approach eligible customers in the lounge, introduce yourself, present an Upgrade Discount Coupon, and explain how the program works. If the customer expresses interest, continue with the Get to Know the Customer step in the sales process.
  • Specialist:  “Hi, I’m (Your Name). I’m the TradeUpProgram specialists for our dealership. I noticed your vehicle was in for service and wanted to come over to meet you and give you a coupon good for a 10% discount on your next service visit. This is just a little thank you for being our customer. Also, I thought you may want to know that your vehicle is eligible for our TradeUpprogram. Are you familiar with the program?”
  • “Let me give you a quick overview. Due to current market conditions there is a real high demand for quality pre owned vehicles like yours. With the TradeUpprogram you may be able to upgrade into a newer vehicle for the same or less than what is cost you to drive your current car. Would you like to know what your options are under the program and receive a vehicle analysis with a side-by-side comparison on your older car and the newer car?”
presenting to the customer2
Presenting to the Customer

Customers with TradeUpProgram appointments

  • The customer arrives at the dealership.  Greeter or Receptionist greets customer and calls Upgrade Specialist to meet customer.
  • Greeting
  • The Upgrade Specialist greets the client.
  • Specialist:  “Good (Morning, Afternoon, Evening), Welcome to ABC Motors (welcome every family member).”
  • Specialist:  “My name is ________, and you are (if you don’t already know)?” “Mr./Mrs.___________, this way please (start walking to your office/desk).” 
  • Get to know the Customer
  • Take a few minutes to get to know the customer and let them get to know you and your dealership. Lead the customer to your desk/table. If they have kids, invite the kids to your playground, play area, or television area (have kid videos). If your dealership does not have a playground area, have coloring books, crayons, kids books, etc. available in your office. Make sure you ask the parents’ permission before inviting the kids to the play area or offering coloring books, etc.
  •  When you get to your desk, invite the customer to sit down.  The customer should take a seat first.
presenting to the customer3
Presenting to the Customer
  • Get a beverage for the customer
  • Specialist: “Let me get you something to drink?” “What would you like? Coffee, soda, water (ask for the exact information on what they like: “How would you like your coffee, what flavor (soda), diet, etc.)?”  Get the customer a drink with napkins. 
  • Once you sit at your desk, call the receptionist and ask the receptionist to hold all calls.  
  • Specialist:  “Mrs. (receptionist name), please do me a favor, I’m with Mr. and Mrs. Jones, will you please hold all of my calls and take messages, thanks. 
  • Turn off your cell phone.
  • Specialist:  (while holding your cell phone) “Let me turn this off real quick so we are not disturbed.”
  • Give the customer your business card
  • Specialist:  “Thanks for giving me this opportunity to serve you.” “Congratulations on being eligible for the TradeUp Program.” “I want to take a few minutes to explain how the Upgrade Program works so that you can make an informed decision.” “I have an example of a vehicle analysis we did for a customer recently which I want to review with you. This is just an example, and not your numbers, but it’s an easy way to let you see how the program works, and if you like it, we will do an analysis on your vehicle while you are selecting a new vehicle.”
presenting to the customer5
Presenting to the Customer
  • Continue to Selection / Presentation / Demonstration
  • If the customer says getting the new car makes more sense. Say “Great, let’s go ahead and get an analysis on your vehicle.” Fill out the information on the appraisal sheet, get the customers keys. “Give me a couple of minutes to get the vehicle analysis started and I’ll be right back.” Take the appraisal sheet to the sales manager, review the information regarding the customers interest, select the vehicle that you will present to the customer, pull the vehicle near the showroom entrance, leave the engine running with a/c or heat on, and the passenger side door open. Walk back to the customer and say “while they are preparing the vehicle analysis, I would like to show you the new vehicle we will be comparing, I’ve got it waiting just outside, let’s have a look.”
presenting to the customer6
Presenting to the Customer
  • Demo Drive
  • When you get to the car, ask the customer to have a seat (in the passenger side).
  • Specialist:  “I want to show you the interior features.”  You should close the passenger door once the customer is in and then walk to the driver’s side and get in.  “Let’s take it for a quick drive while I go over some of the features.”
  • While you are driving the car, explain all of the features. You should be selling.  When it is the customer’s turn to drive, try to remain quiet and just make a few easy comments to build value. 
  • You should have a planned demo route.  Get to a nice place, where you and the customer can safely get out of the car and you can make the presentation.
presenting to the customer7
Presenting to the Customer

Vehicle Presentation

The presentation should be a six-step walk around presentation.  The steps are as follows:

  • Step 1:  Front of the car with the hood open.
  • Step 2:  Front of the car with the hood closed.
  • Step 3:  The passenger side of the car, outside of the car.
  • Step 4:  Rear of the car with the trunk open.
  • Step 5:  Rear of the car with the trunk closed.
  • Step 6:  Inside the driver’s side of the car.

The last position of the walk around (step six) has the customer sitting in the driver’s seat.  You should review how to adjust the seats, tilt steering, mirrors, and other controls.  Once you’ve explained the controls, tell the customer, “I am going to go over to the other side so that I can show you some of the other interior features.”  At this point, close the driver’s side door, walk around and get in the passenger’s seat and close the door.  Finish explaining interior features, such as radio controls, and then say, “Go ahead a put your seat belt on and drive the car back to the dealership.”

presenting to the customer8
Presenting to the Customer
  • Get a Commitment
  • On the way back to the dealership, use a combination of commitment closes when you are about 2 or 3 minutes from returning to the dealership. 
  • Present Service Department
  • If this is a conquest customer, before going back to your desk, take the customer to the service department, and introduce him to the manager, he should have a script to greet the customer and give a short tour of the service department.
presenting to the customer9
Presenting to the Customer

 Get Agreement

  • Go back to your desk, invite the customer to sit, and offer them another beverage. Review the benefits that the customer is interested in based on the presentation and demonstration drive.

Check Availability

  • Specialist:  “Mike, I am going to check to make sure that the car we are looking at is still available. I want to make sure that no one sold it while we were looking at it. These cars are so popular, sometimes someone will call in and buy one while we are looking at it with someone else. It will only take a few minutes. While I’m checking, please take a look at this (Social Proof).”
presenting to the customer10
Presenting to the Customer

Present Social Proof

  • Present your dealership’s Why Buy Here video presentation, a Social Proof/Evidence Manual, a Why Buy Here Brochure, or positive customer testimonials. Let the customer watch or look through while you are checking availability.

Go to Your Coach

  • Go to your Coach at the Sales Managers Desk to check availability and review the deal. The Vehicle Analysis Worksheet and Trade Appraisal should have been done in advance. If they have not been done in advance, the Sales Manager will generate the numbers and have the trade evaluated. When you go back to your desk with the customer, present the Vehicle Analysis Worksheet to the customer and follow the sales managers instructions. The objective will be to close the sale. Once we have the sale closed with a deposit from the customer, we will turn the customer to F&I so that the F&I department can sell F&I Products and services. Again, we want to agree on numbers with the customer and get a deposit before we take the customer to F&I.
presenting to the customer11
Presenting to the Customer

TradeUp Vehicle Analysis Worksheet Presentation: Their Numbers

  • Go back to your desk and give the customer a TradeUp Vehicle Analysis Worksheet that compares their old vehicle to a new one with the year, model, make and miles, warranty coverage, maintenance costs and the MPG savings and additional equipment value they will get in the new vehicle.  The summary of the Vehicle Analysis gives the total forecasted cost to maintain their old car in the next 2-3 years, which is an average of $1200-$2000 dollars a year according to consumer reports, plus the additional vehicle value (which on average is about $2500). This will be filled in by the your sales manager based on the vehicle and options of the selected vehicle. The goal of the Vehicle Analysis is to show the total value of participating in The Vehicle TradeUp Program by highlighting the maintenance and repairs they avoid paying for by trading in their car, the additional value of the options on the new car, and the estimated gas savings over the 3-year period.
presenting to the customer12
Presenting to the Customer
  • Close. Consumer agrees to the terms after you explain the benefit of saving money on repair and gas by upgrading to a newer vehicle that has many improvements. If customer does not immediately agree, handle any concerns, questions, objection and get agreement. 
  • Deliver. Consumer takes delivery of the vehicle and is offered a free mobile application that informs them when they can upgrade the other vehicles in their household. Add their other vehicles into the tool so they can receive alerts when they can upgrade for the same/lower payment and our team can call and mail them.
  • Follow up. Thank sold customers for buying and offer the mobile app and alerts for other vehicles in the household. 
  • For customers who decide not to buy now, present them with a TradeUp Certificate.
  • Contact customers who decided not to buy now. If they don’t buy, ask them if they want to be contacted when there are new promotions and ask them when they may consider a new vehicle. For those who said yes, they should be contacted when they requested and informed about what’s important to them.
the greatest used car story ever told
The Greatest Used Car Story Ever Told
  • 40+ million used cars sold annually in the USA
  • 1 new car for every 3 used cars
  • Many used cars are sold in the private sector (41%).
  • Why?
the greatest used car story ever told1
The Greatest Used Car Story Ever Told

The vehicles you trade for from your Sales in Service Department have the greatest used car store ever today.

Many of them are:

  • One Owner
  • Privately Driven- Never in Rental Service
  • You sold it new
  • You have all the warranty records
  • You know how it was driven and why the customer traded the vehicle
  • You can contact the previous owner (with their permission)
  • It can be certified through the OEM Program
best practices
Best Practices

You can have great marketing campaigns and competitive pricing, but if the customer doesn’t have a great experience, they won’t come back. You can have great marketing campaigns and drive traffic into service, but if you don’t maximize each opportunity, you are not going to realize your maximum ROI.

Best Practices to consider:

  • Do a Vehicle Inspection 100% of the time. Vehicle inspection is a lot like the “ups log” in sales departments: It’s work that’s supposed to get done, but often doesn’t. In stores where the fixed operations directors and managers track this important statistic regularly, you will see 15 to 20 percent gains in average customer pay work. The best-performers see 90 percent-plus completion rates—oversight that often translates to more technician recommendations on repair orders (ROs) and more selling opportunities for advisors.
  • Establish a Loyalty/Rewards Program. Look for loyalty-building opportunities: Beyond the loyalty that well-managed customer relationships can produce, successful fixed operations departments are also benefiting from programs that reward customers for their ongoing patronage/loyalty at their dealerships. These programs often function like the “points” that credit card customers accrue and use for flight/vacation packages, purchase discounts at partner retailers, etc. The main difference being: the benefits that customers earn are only good for products and services offered by your dealership. For fixed operations departments, they lead to higher visit frequency and greater overall customer spend rates.
best practices1
Best Practices
  • Online Appointment Scheduling. Provide an easy way for the customer to schedule online appointments. Today, there are approximately 85,000,000 households in the United States that have a computer with internet access and almost all of them have vehicles that will need service…so how do we tap into this “bank” of customers? Let’s start with what these customers are doing online—banking, shopping, making airline reservations, as well as making hotel and rental car reservations. If consumers prefer to make their hotel reservation online, don’t you think they would also like to make their service “reservations” online? Once the customer has made their reservation, however, it is process and best practices that will keep the coming back.
  • Schedule the first maintenance appointment at time of delivery. At the time of delivery, emphasize the interest the dealership has in servicing the customer’s vehicle, the competitive pricing offered, your factory-trained technicians, the dealership’s investment in the latest computerized equipment necessary to work on today’s vehicles and schedule the customer’s first service appointment. We recommend giving them their first oil change free.
  • Schedule the next maintenance appointment after each maintenance visit.
  • Be there when the customer needs you. Be open the hours your customer can come in. Are your hours the same as the customers work hours? Are you closed when the customer has time off?
best practices2
Best Practices
  • Maximize incoming calls. If the customer calls in for an appointment, have a “backstop” in place so, if your appointment coordinators and/or service advisors are busy, someone answers the call and schedules the appointment. You do not want a customer’s call going to voice mail. Many progressive dealerships have elected to implement a service BDC or use an outside call center, as they recognize that the practice of having a service advisor take the appointment calls is unproductive. These stores see an immediate increase in number of appointments and their average RO.
  • Ask for the business 100% of the time. Review customer history and present a service menu to the customer every time that reflects pricing. You may even want to have a pricing comparison in your service drive. This will increase sales on the service drive and allow the customer to make an informed decision and help keep their factory warranty in effect. Just like the most successful F&I Departments, if you present 100 percent of the products to 100 percent of the customers 100 percent of the time, your sales increase dramatically. You will experience this same result on the service drive.
  • Offer or include a Maintenance Plan. Have a strong effort to add/sell/include maintenance plans with customer’s vehicle purchases. Over 60% of customers with maintenance plans say they are likely to continue servicing their cars at a dealership after their plans expire; compared with average dealer post-warranty retention rates of 22% to 40%.
  • Let the customer know you care from the top down. Make sure company leadership open and available to customers.
ideas from the best luxury hotels in the world
Ideas from the Best Luxury Hotels in the World
  • Have a great host, hostess, concierge. At the best hotels in the world, someone is always at the ready to make sure you have whatever you need. One of my favorite hotels, the W, has a mantra- Whatever, Whenever- Whatever you need Whenever you need it. Be there for your customers. Accompany the, from the moment they step out of their car to the service door. Show them the necessary facilities and the features of the dealership that will help them. Ask if they would like wi-fi access, ask if they would like something to drink or eat. Ask them if they need to use an iPad, Computer, printer… Check on your customer every now and then while they are there. Treat them like they are a guest in your home.
  • Check on them after check-in. At every one of the top hotels I’ve stayed in, about 10 minutes after I arrive in my room I get a phone call to check if everything is to satisfaction, if I have everything I need and if there is anything they can do to help. If the customer is staying in the dealership while their vehicle I being services, check on them after 10 minutes and every so often after that If the customer is going to be elsewhere for the duration of the car services, give them a call 15 minutes afterwards asking if everything is ok and confirming the service being performed and any other instructions they may have given. They may have forgotten something during the check-in that they were too afraid or did not deem important enough to call you back about, but would have be nice to have for them.
  • Have welcome Gift/Bag/Pack. Almost all of the best hotels ask questions about what I need or want during my stay, what paper I would like in the morning, transportation needs, and they have a little welcome gift waiting in my room-from a fruit and cheese plat, to popcorn and a movie, etc… If your customer is going to wait at the dealership (or not) while their car is being services, offer them a welcome gift bag. This gift is designed to keep the customer happy while the service is being performed and can be customized to the customer. Some of the things that could be included are: a personalized welcome note containing a thank you for choosing our dealership for service, a daily newspaper, a dealership newsletter, re-enforced offer of assistance if required, confirmed and agreed time of completion, who’s who at the dealership or points of contact, expected daily weather statistics, the wi-fi access information, etc… Use of an iPad or a laptop. The welcome note could be on the iPad as well as games to help the time fly. A customer loyalty discount on their next service is a good idea too. Include a menu of food and drink available in the customer longue. A “Did you know” note: Did you know we offer and pick up and drop off service? Did you know that… etc. anything that assists the customer in servicing the vehicle with you. Offer a fresh coloring book and a child safe pack of pencils or small toy for their children. Help the parents as best as you can with keeping the child occupies and happy. Coupons on any services you offer or offer into any other linked and supporting businesses around the area e.g. a 2 for one at the cinemas, pizza voucher, etc. Add more value.
ideas from the best luxury hotels in the world1
Ideas from the Best Luxury Hotels in the World
  • Make the experience great even when the customer is not at the dealership. The great hotels make the experience continue even after you leave the premises. All the good service can go to waste if they customer is going to have a terrible experience getting to their next destination. Politely ask customers if they require assistance to get to their next destination. Do they need a loan car? Do they need to be at the airport after? Is there a meeting they need to get to? Organize the transport to be there before hand Ask for the customer’s flight number, check and notify the customer of the flights status upon arrival. Does the customer car need fuel? Ask their permission to give it a full tank. Make sure you do whatever you can to ensure your fantastic customer service continues well after you have parted company.
  • Feed em’. Some of the great hotels, and even the express ones, know that some clients are time poor. They offer a pre-packed breakfast kit to take with you to your destination. Think of the customer that has been booked in for 7 am. Think of the customer that picks their car up after hours. Think of the parent that is accompanies by their children. Have they eaten? The customer who skipped breakfast to drop their car off to you and now have to get to work. Fast. The parent who waits at your dealership with an arm full of children. Why not provide them with a tailored “Happy Meal” style food box. Note: It of course must be made clear what the box contains in case of allergies. Have back up boxes if possible. The customer who has worked all day and has to pick up their car at 8 pm. Wouldn’t be nice to leave a nice wholesome snack and drink on the passenger seat for the drive home. You know how famished one can get burning the midnight oil.
  • Express Checkout. As stated above, recognize that some of your customers are time poor. Some customers also prefer not to discuss the work performed and go through every single item on the invoice. Why not have an advance payment system so the customer can simply collect their car. Why not offer a car drop off service? You should be constantly looking at ways to improve the check in and check out service.
  • Make a great impression all of the time. Impeccable presentation in all areas the customer is exposed to is essential. The top Hotels are constantly being dusted, wipes, and polished. Showing pride in the dealership will translate in a customer’s mind into confidence in you looking after their vehicle. It will also be a place that your customers won’t mind being in and returned to. Demonstration that you care and are proud in the dealership and it will show in more way than obvious.
ideas from the best luxury hotels in the world2
Ideas from the Best Luxury Hotels in the World
  • Keeping things fresh. Stale cookies, year old magazines, stained old chairs, empty drink machines, empty coffee pots- or pots with really old coffee, doesn’t exactly say “thank you for the hundreds or thousands of dollars you are about to spend with us”. Keep your customer area well stocked with the latest media. Keep the magazines fresh. Holding multiple copies of the same publication for switchover when the magazine gets tattered after a week is good planning. Leaving a single newspaper on the table will lead to them being spread everywhere. Why not buy a paper for every customer that arrives? $1.20 each? Recycle the paper afterwards. Always ensure the area is kept as tidy as possible. Keep good fresh food and drinks daily. Work with them to provide a menu that works for everyone. Some larger dealerships even have their own kitchens keeping a constant supply of fresh food moving through their large customer base. I have eve noticed some smaller dealerships now have a professional barista. Good coffee machines are not hard to find. It is surprisingly easy to buy a good coffee machine that everyone can use with a service plan to keep everything in order. Don’t skimp on the beans. AT least have a few options. Some customers only drink Starbucks. Supply Starbucks for them. Whatever the brand, supply premium tea and coffee with great quality, classic accessories to complete the experience. By doing the above you show that you also care what goes into their bodies.
  • Keep them connected. Your costumers should not have to put their lives on hold while their vehicle is being serviced. Keep them connected as best as possible. Having Wi_fi is a bare minimum. Have a separate Wi_Fi network for your costumers. There are plenty of decent inexpensive routers on the market and plenty of Internet Service Providers with 500gb to unlimited data allowance if you are concerned about usage. If you are also concerned about security, change the router password daily and separate the customers Wi_Fi network from the dealerships network. Provide a quiet area with workspaces for customers who would prefer to continue working. Customer’s device low on battery? Make sure you have the most popular chargers on hand and multiples of ones for the most popular devices.
thank you
Thank You

Darren VanCleave


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