Maintaining profitability in your service department is one of the best ways to ensure that your dealership turns a profit, even when new vehicle sales are off the boil. It’s true, the service department often gets overlooked and lost in the shuffle of daily operations, however, by doing a few easy things, you can ensure your service department gets the attention it needs to stay profitable and keep your customers coming back for more.
Get More Involved
Managers often have the tendency to only visit the service centre when something goes wrong. While understandable due to the service division being highly technical and service technicians can usually solve service problems on their own, the independent nature of the service department doesn’t mean that owners and managers should completely remove themselves from their day-to-day operations.
By talking to your service technicians, understanding the way their department works, and forming a rapport with the techs, you can create a better work environment while identifying areas of the service department that could use support or improvement.
Develop Your Digital Presence
The internet and social media play a huge role in our day to day personal and business lives. The easiest and cheapest way to be found online is to have a strong social media presence. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, can be set up easily and can be run internally, or by an external agency, quite cost effectively. Dealerships that post to their social media pages each day with interesting and uplifting stories, have a much better chance of being discovered online, which helps your business reach a larger pool of potential customers.
Never Stop Improving
Complacency can be a dangerous thing when it comes to the automotive industry. Just because something has been done the same way for the last 20+ years doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right way to do it now. Taking an unbiased look at how your dealership is running and consulting other people within the company, can help to create newer and better ways of doing things and deliver or strengthen income streams.
Switch Up Your Suppliers
While loyalty is an admirable quality, if it’s costing you money, you could be doing yourself a disservice. It is important to regularly look at all the prices of your parts and materials. Making a spreadsheet that includes the supplies you need and their prices at each supplier may reveal that prices vary substantially between vendors and you may be paying much more than you should. If that’s the case, you can either switch suppliers, or ask them if they can match competitor price points. Everything from shop towels and engine parts, to hoists and jacks, should be looked at for potential savings.
Invest in Innovation
New, innovative products can potentially do more for a dealership’s service centre than you realise. Updating old technology or replacing antiquated servicing equipment can turn a small investment into a huge time and money saver.
Implementing one, some, or all of these tips, can do more than just increase service department profitability. They can help to bring you more business, make your employees happier, save time, money and so much more.