It’s Monday morning. You just arrived at the dealership and are walking into the building from the parking lot. Your bag is slung over your shoulder. You are carrying an empty coffee mug because you polished off your first cup on the drive to work. You think about the day ahead. You have customer appointments, phone calls to make, documents to prepare, email to answer and countless ideas swimming through your head. You can practically taste your second cup of coffee, and you are in a hurry to refill your mug.
If you enter the dealership each morning and head straight to the coffee pot without stopping in the service department and the customer waiting room you are missing out on a major league opportunity.
The service department is overflowing with opportunities that salespeople often overlook. There are three valuable resources in the service lane ready and waiting for you to tap into every single day. I like to call these three resources the, “Service Lane Triple Play.” By spending an hour in the service department a few days a week, you will grow your customer base.
HERE IS THE “SERVICE LANE TRIPLE PLAY,” GAME PLAN:
Start by getting to know your service advisors. Follow that by chatting with customers who are checking in or waiting for their service to be completed. Finally, curate content from the conversations you are having. It is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
PLAY 1 – BUILD SERVICE ADVISOR RELATIONSHIPS
1. Building relationships with your service advisors or other service team members, opens the lines of communication between the sales and service department. It also gives you an opportunity to discuss who prime trade-in candidates are. By building relationships, you create advocates and a referral system straight out of the service lane. When it is time for service to turn over (T.O.) a customer to sales, they will trust that you will take care of their customer, rather than the salesperson who walks past them every day with their head down and earbuds in.
PLAY 2 – CUSTOMER PROSPECTS AND REFERRALS
2. Guess who hangs out in the service department? Customers who are having maintenance done or those having vehicle trouble. These customers are a captive audience, sitting at the dealership waiting for news on their vehicle. Get to know service customers who are waiting in the lobby or checking in. Strike up a conversation. Share your referral program with them, add them to your opportunity list, and maybe even offer them a test drive. Make a good impression so even if they aren’t in the market for a new car now, they will know familiar face when they are ready.
PLAY 3 – CONTENT CURATION
3. If you struggle to find relevant or valuable content to share with your customers or prospective customers on social media, look no further than the service department. Tap into conversations you have with customers and service advisors. Find out what questions are being asked and answered in the service lane. If there’s a topic or trend being discussed in the service department, you can bet people are on the web searching for the answer. So, why not write about what you’re hearing and share it with your network? Become an expert on your brand and a trusted resource to your social network. Starting tomorrow morning, leave the earbuds in the car, postpone the second cup of coffee and stop off in the service department to make a “Service Lane Triple Play.”