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Why are most Dealership Service Department behind in digital marketing

Discussion in 'Service Marketing' started by Jeff Kershner, Mar 10, 2016.

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  1. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    Who's excited to visit any department of the dealership?

    With all the analysis and obscure conclusions, we now know that people don't "want" to get their vehicle serviced and this is the reason why dealerships place little focus on service marketing and why their websites have an anverage of 2 pages dedicated to fixed-ops.
     
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  3. Jeff Kershner

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    Thanks for sharing Karen.

    Tire sale/event 2 times a year...
    A few campaigns through the CRM...
    Some Google ads...
    Throw in a little twitter & facebook...

    You're confirming, so little effort placed in service marketing.

    Why? Because there's little need to market to need buyers and since there's little to no competition...
     
  4. ChrisH

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    I know this topic is a little old, but I agree, there is a HUGE miss in service. I think it is because of a lot of what was stated already. It's not sexy, and it's hard to figure out. Some of it is, the dealership just thinks that people are going to service with them.

    Typically only 27% of a dealership's customers are loyal, purchasing and servicing with the same dealership. Why?

    Is it because the messaging is wrong? Yes. When the wrong message is sent to a customer, whether it is a brake special a week after they had their brakes done, or an oil change way before they need one, customers are alienated.

    They are also distracted easy by all of the Jiffy Lubes, and Walmart service centers (gasp!) of the world, believing that they are getting the best price for the same service, when in reality, they are probably paying more for a much lower quality service.

    It's hard, and it takes some effort, but it can be done.
     
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  5. neerajd

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    Not all, but as I see a recent boost in the Digital Marketing scenes for Car Dealership. Correct me if I'm wrong. All dealers and Vendors now are widely making their presence in Social medias. Also most dealers have a Website with Sign Up forms to get leads. eg. penskeautomotive or autonation. Also lots of Online Campaigns are also going on for Car Sales. As for Servicing not much online activities are going on but companies like autodealrz are providing custom apps for servicing and sales. Which is a serious trend going on.
     
  6. Randy Cole

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    When I was responsible for bringing technology training to the 14 service dept. managers/directors in my auto group, I found them for the most part to be extremely open. I always presented new marketing tools and technologies, backed up by very clear stats and data as well as the best practices required to use them successfully. They loved it and were very receptive.

    But, over the years, when I would visit them at the dealership, auditing their progress, I found there was a big disconnect between my training and talking with them at the corporate office, and what they experienced on a day-to-day basis, back at the dealership. The square peg of insight and training I was giving them at corporate, no matter how much more efficient and effective it might have been, just did not fit into the round hole environment at the dealership.

    The average service manager has too much going on daily (at least my guys did), so that without the support of the leadership for an environmental/cultural change there is simply not enough energy and drive to push the change through on their own.

    While that is not an excuse to stop pushing for change, it is an indicator that the change will come very slowly, if at all. I see very little difference between 2006 when I entered the automotive space and today, ten years later, where so many new technologies have appeared on the stage. So I would have to agree with Latoya - without the acceptance and the implementation of relevant sales and communication technologies, dealership-based service departments are going to continue to lose market share to independent automotive service providers in their community.

    To the last point, "making sales where THEY are", I would totally concur. Here is an interesting article we picked up, showing some stats about where one particular crowd can be found and how to market to them: http://wardsauto.com/digital-marketing/where-car-dealers-can-meet-millennials
     
  7. Alexander Lau

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    This seems to be a common question out there. Additionally, it does seem as if it's view at as "less important", however, I've seen some dealers make 50 to 60% of their profit from fixed-ops. The question begs. Should dealerships be looking at the percentage of their overall revenue in order to understand what they should invest in from a marketing standpoint?
    I suppose some of this comes down to OEM co-op monies available on the new vehicle sales side, as opposed to the lack of similar dollars available for fixed-ops.
    Sorry if someone had said something similar already...
     
  8. hondadealer

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    I think that the before you even consider digital (or any other type of) marketing as a "solution" for what ails your Service Department you need to ensure that you are already doing everything possible to retain your existing customer base. When you sell a car, you have a ready made customer for your Service Department. What are you doing to retain them?

    Once you are satisfied that you:
    1) Are calling every customer after the sale of the car, introducing them to the Service Department and pre-booking their 1st appointment.
    2) Calling/texting/e-mailing every customer prior at prescribed service intervals.
    3) Calling back customers within 30 days of service visit to re-sell declined recommendations.
    4) Reaching out to every potential "lost" customer who has not been in your department for over 9 months to bring them back.
    5) Getting into the tire business and becoming your customers source for tires.
    5) Managing all aspects of the customer service experience and surveying your customers to ensure that you are meeting their expectations.

    Based on these initiatives, service retention of 50 -60% is very attainable in any market. This all requires an effective Service BDC which is a far better investment than the pay and spray marketing method whether it be sending service flyers to prior customers or buying adwords.

    Whether it is maintenance or repairs, virtually all customers are going to have their car serviced on a somewhat regular basis. We are in the enviable position of having a relationship with the customer when we sell them the car. As long as we manage the relationship moving forward, I see little use for digital or traditional marketing.
     
  9. Chris Leslie

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    @Jeff Kershner@Jeff Kershner

    What I would say is Follow The Money...

    Many of us in this area of our businesses probably get paid from the sales department in some form or fashion. Unless you are rocking a solid salary only position. Your going to work that payplan and focus on the things that can bring in more sales revenue. Yes I know the service drive can do that too but the work vs reward is greater in that department.

    Thats just what I see anyways.

    Maybe us digital folk in the biz need to rethink our pay plans and consider pushing for %'s of gross from different departments. Or if you're feeling frisky go for % Net
     
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  10. Adam Steere

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    Some of the separation comes from how an auto sale and auto servicing appeal to the consumers. Car servicing is mainly based on trust, QOS, and convenience while car sales is more deal and product based. It takes more work to build the servicing side for most industries. With technology and some newer strategies it is easier to build trust on a big scale. Online reviews, testimonials, interactions strategy, incentive strategy....these are just a few of the parts. If a service department does those well-they typically don't need more website real-estate and don't need to spend much.
     
  11. AdamMurray

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    @Chris Leslie@Chris Leslie pretty much nailed it...you have to do what you have to do to get paid and feed your family. However, this is something that haunts me constantly as my entrepreneurial side sees so much potential here.

    I would love to put some real effort into this at my current dealership, but they are maxed out on techs and bays with little room for growth foreseeable. I think this is a rampant issue at many dealers right now. For the others, though, there is blood in the water and the real sharks should be in the middle of it.

    Do a few simple searches: oil change near me, brake repair, where can i get my front end aligned

    The usual suspects are all there...WalMart, Sears, etc. Lately, though, I am starting to see a lot of smaller, more local shops and chains show up in both paid and organic ads. They get it...and they will kill for that traffic because that's what hungry small business types do. We have evolved from ZMOT to Micro Moments and the smart guys (and gals @ChrisH@ChrisH!) are figuring out what they need to do to be there when that moment arrives.

    Fixed Ops isn't all gloom and doom, either. Parts departments offer accessories to personalize our whips, give advice and sell parts to weekend warriors and hardcore DIY'ers. As I type this, I'm looking out my window at a brand new Auto Zone going up in a tiny-ass town that already has an O'Reilly. You think they don't smell the blood in the water? 41 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth leads me to believe they know what they are doing. And my parts department is in for a rude awakening...
     

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