An article last month in USA Today, revealed that General Motors plans to dramatically cut the warranty coverage on Chevrolet and GMC vehicles beginning with 2016 models. Additionally, GM is halving those brands’ maintenance-free programs. According to the article, the main reason? GM thinks nobody cared. ..
With almost everything consumers purchase, there’s an owner’s manual or set of instructions for them to use. For decades, car manufacturers have included an owner’s manual with new vehicles. Sadly, it is no secret that this tidy three hundred-page booklet is one of the least read publications produced in mass quantity. ..
We all have a myriad of contacts that we consciously (or subconsciously) place into separate categories in our relationships. These categories include family, close friends, business associates, colleagues and acquaintances. Most people tend to act differently depending on which group they are surrounded by at any particular moment. People may relax a little, be more vulnerable around family. While perhaps act with more formality when networking with people they are not as familiar with. ..
With a steadily improving economy and declining unemployment rates, the automobile industry is geared up to experience another year of expansion and progress. While this is great news, it would be wise to consider that just as customers now have more choices when it comes to buying or servicing their vehicle, employees (and prospective employees) also have more options than they did just a few years ago. In general they no longer feel quite so loyal to their position, nor do they fear obtaining jobs quite as much as they did during the recession. Whether it’s your service advisor, top technician, cashier, or office manager, the wheels might already be in motion for some of your valuable employees to leave your company. Are you prepared if they leave? What about the customers they will leave behind – or take with them? ..
Most executives believe that providing an excellent customer experience will increase customer loyalty. Many companies are known for it and stand out as examples of how to win business and loyalty – Nordstrom, Zappos and Apple come to mind. While providing an excellent customer experience is certainly more likely to increase a loyal customer base than providing a poor one, just how this is done may well be the key. ..
Imagine a customer that is in for a routine oil change at your dealership. As part of the complimentary inspection your store provides, it is discovered that the vehicle’s brake pads are severely worn and it would be unsafe to continue driving the vehicle much longer without replacement. The service advisor brings this to the customer’s attention. Rather than making the immediate decision to do the brake service that day, the customer takes the work under advisement, pays for the oil change and goes on their way. It could be that the decision was purely financial (not expecting to spend more money that day). Regardless, the consumer is now armed with the information that they need a brake service and it plants a seed in their mind. Perhaps they believe they were trying to be sold a service that wasn’t completely necessary, (or not needed yet) or perhaps they need to do their own due diligence before spending the money. That same customer may go online to research brake service. Or they may talk to a friend or use social media to invite opinions. Perhaps they will call another dealer or even another car repair company down the street to get an estimate. In the process, before the decision to actually perform the work is done, they may have touched more than a handful of resources besides your dealership’s service department. Will your dealership earn the business? Will the customer be loyal to you? At this point, you can only hope so. ..
Each year OEMs add more and more advanced technology to their vehicles. As a result, the skill set demanded of today’s technician has transitioned from one that is purely mechanical, into one that is more technology-based. Up until now, technicians have had access to master techs at their respective manufacturers to help diagnose and repair vehicles, and that was enough. However, that might be changing. ..
While most businesses analyze budgets and shift money towards digital advertising, video and branding, Volvo has taken an interesting strategy: to decrease marketing. While it isn’t planning to cease all activities, Volvo has decided that, rather than attempt to take on any rivals with bigger budgets, it will shift money towards providing a more personalized customer experience for its owners. Volvo’s plan is for a personal service technician to deliver each new Volvo in person. The technician will then be on call for the customer seven days per week, throughout the customer’s ownership. Volvo has started an extensive global training program, with the goal of making this service standard in all dealerships by 2017. ..
Despite the many tools available and the best of intentions, many dealerships struggle with providing ongoing professional development for their staff. Whether it’s because of the volume of customers that need handling; lack of time; or worry about taking a technician or salesperson out of commission – even for a short period of time – training presents many challenges to dealership management. ..