We’re all feeling the stress and anxiety of the moment. We’re worried about the health of our family, friends and employees, and concerned about what this means for our industry and our businesses.
One thing is certain – change is hard.
And we’re in for a lot of change in the coming weeks and months.
However, times of change illuminate new opportunities, and the simple act of embracing change prepares you to take advantage of those opportunities.
Right now, dealerships all across the nation are shutting down their sales operations, and relying on service to sustain them. We will get through this, and sales will come back, but the earth has moved under our feet, and our industry has changed… maybe for forever.
Keep in mind, a recent NADA study confirmed that in each dealership’s primary market area, there are 18 non-dealer companies that are your biggest competition (such as Oil Can Henry’s and Take 5).
It was fixed ops that kept dealerships viable during the 2008 economic crisis. With the current global health crisis, service departments are more important than ever to dealership profitability. They are, and will continue to be, the backbone of your business.
It is now time to change your thinking and start preparing your staff to think Service First! as their new mantra.
When we get to the other side of this, economic anxiety will continue for quite a while.
This anxiety will suppress sales, but that will open up an opportunity for dealerships: showing customers how to extend the life of their vehicle and maximize trade-in value will be the message they want to hear.
So, start preparing now.
Your management team and staff must look at service as not only a place where warranty work and oil changes are done, but as a way to find new customers, build sustainable relationships, and truly serve your customer’s needs. You can no longer be content to just accept the business you have, you MUST grow your service department if you want success.
Putting service first will be how you can embrace change, and position yourself and your dealership for success.
Next week, I’ll share some ideas of small things you can do to improve the service experience for your customers.
For now, bless you and your families, and please stay in touch.
Russell B. Hill
Russell Hill is a Managing Partner at FixedOPS Marketing. He began his career working as a Salesman at Tyson Buick in 1985. He worked his way up to General Manager at Competition Chrysler Jeep.
Russell left retail for the vendor space in 2000, when he became a Managing Partner in CAR Research, a CRM company. Russell became a Managing Partner at RnD Interactive in 2011, a company which specialized in new and used parts and service specials in the automotive space. In late 2019, Russell joined forces with Rick Eckert to launch FixedOPS Marketing, a new technology company specializing in increasing service visits while increasing revenue per RO through videos.
To change an industry, you need BIG IDEAS. Our ideas are HUGE, and our goal is nothing less than completely shattering people’s ideas of what is possible with Service Marketing, and showing them products and solutions that will exceed all expectations while driving your revenue and profit through the roof. Come take a ride with us – this is going to be a fun journey!