As traffic in Service Departments continues to grow, the importance of customer retention only increases. While a customer may come in for a quick and inexpensive Service appointment, you still want to give them a great customer experience. That way, when they have higher ROs, they remember their experience and come back. However, if they are frustrated with the communication they receive and have to constantly call for status updates, or are left in the dark about the condition of their vehicle, why would they return?
To keep your customer retention rate high, you need to give every customer a quality experience with frequent status updates, follow-up calls, and even test your Service drive with your own vehicle to see where improvements could be made.
Over 9% of inbound calls to Service Departments are for vehicle status updates. Not only does that indicate poor customer service, but also floods your phone lines with non-Service opportunity calls. Service drives are undeniably busy, and you may not feel you have the time for a status update call just to let the customer know you are still on track to finish in an hour. To alleviate this concern, many dealers have turned to texting. Try implementing automated status update texts powered by artificial intelligence (AI). This will allow for frequent updates so the customer is kept in the loop, but also allows you to focus on high-priority tasks such as answering new Service opportunity calls. You can send AI-powered texts letting the customer know “their vehicle is in good hands and still scheduled to be completed at 3:30 PM.” You can also use texting to send videos and photos of their car following the MPI.
While many status updates can be sent via text, it’s important to follow up more extensive updates with a phone call. As soon as the photos and videos have been sent to the customer and the MPI is complete, give them a call. In doing so, you’re able to walk them through the items suggested for repair, so they are familiar with and clearly understand what you are suggesting. Otherwise, they will likely decline those requests due to limited knowledge.
When the customer shows up and drops off their car, they are spending time and a good amount of money for an issue to be solved. It is your job to make sure they feel valued. After any significant text update is sent, a phone call needs to be made immediately. Pick up the phone and be personable with your customer so they want to come back to your dealership and ask for you with their upcoming high-valued ROs.
Mastering status updates isn't the only effective strategy to enhance customer retention and follow-up. Test your Service processes with your friends, family, and your own car. This will put you in your customers' shoes, so you have a clear understanding of what technology and appointment steps need improvement. While your agents may be on their best behavior knowing it is your car, you may still find errors in the process. For example, your AI status updates may be delayed, agents could be missing important follow-up calls, you may not be informed when your vehicle is ready, and more. If your agents aren't providing you with high-quality service, you can be confident they are not consistently giving customers that top-tier service either. Create a consistent process so customers know what to expect and test it so you can pinpoint areas of improvement.
Ensure your customers are returning to your Service Department every time by mastering AI-powered status update texts, picking up the phone with a personable conversation, and testing your Service drive to find any flaws affecting the customer experience.
To learn more about how Car Wars is helping top Service Departments Own the Phone and strengthen their staff's phone handling skills, schedule a call today!