SERVICE AFTER THE SALE is your Service Department’s BIGGEST & BEST profit opportunity. All the sales pieces are in place: you already have a relationship with buyers; you have the brand name; the parts; the tools and diagnostic equipment; and factory-trained expertise. And you’ve spent big bucks on advertising, too.

But if you don’t have a PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE SALES PLAN, it’s all a waste of time and money.

Here’s why Service Department sales are slipping:
• Customer-paid repair work was always a profit center for Service Departments. But with today’s better engineered, higher quality cars, this work is decreasing.
• Manufacturer warranties are longer and stronger, especially on high-end autos. And engine and power train warranties are stronger on almost all makes and models these days. Warranties pay for more repairs, and warranty work pays you less than customer-paid work.
• Independent shops, with lower operating costs and lower rates, are getting a larger share of service work than ever before.
These are the problems; here’s what you can do about them:

FIRST: Create a Preventative Maintenance Sales Program
Create a SALES program for Service, with a Multi-Point Vehicle Inspection Plan as its centerpiece. Create a 27-Point Vehicle Inspection Plan. Or 23 points. Or 35. You get the idea.

Call it your “COURTESY 27-Point Vehicle Inspection Plan.” Perform it on EVERY vehicle you service. Just do it. Tell customers there’s no charge, no cost, no catch. (Don’t call it “Free” – today’s savvy consumers know NOTHING’S free.) You DON’T need to say it’s a way to discover profitable service opportunities!

SECOND: Promote your Preventative Maintenance Program
• Advertise services with large signs by the Service Drive. For example, advertise Brake Inspections, Timing Belt replacements, etc.) People buy what they see advertised — they really do!
• Create and advertise Weekly Service Specials on Preventative Maintenance operations. Promote a bargain and customers will buy.
• Do your sales homework. When your customer has a service appointment, your Service Advisor should preview a vehicle’s service records BEFORE they arrive. When they’re in for an oil change appointment, it’s EASY to upsell. “I see you’re due for a transmission service. Shall we do that now? There’s a special this week….”
Drop-ins for service? Your Service Advisor should check mileage and service history, then offer factory recommended Preventative Maintenance operations.

These days, every dealership must watch its bottom line carefully. Don’t miss out on easy sales and profit opportunities. Take Great American’s simple suggestions and turn your Service Department into a high efficiency profit maker with SERVICE INSPECTIONS & PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE!