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Are Your Customers Aware of Service Appointments?

Article Highlights:

  • 4 simple ways to get your customers to set appointments.
  • "To attain a recommended 60% reservation rate... educate your customers!"

What good is migrating from an open service system to an appointment-driven approach if you are not educating your customers that appointments are a viable option?

If you truly want your service department to attain a recommended 60% reservation rate, you must remember to educate more than just your staff – you also have to educate your customers.

Here are several simple yet effective ways you can let your customers know they can now make service appointments to help them reduce their wait time and get through service faster:

1. When customers drop off their vehicle for service, have a greeter politely say hello then ask, “Do you have an appointment with us today?”

Asking this question while extending a warm welcome can serve as a subtle reminder that appointments are available for future service needs.

2. At check-in, ask, “Did you make an appointment?”

This will raise questions from the customer about appointments. For example, the customer may ask, “Does an appointment guarantee my car will be done in the same day?” or “Do I get priority with an appointment?” When questions like these arise, it allows the advisor to provide a little education about the appointment process.

3. At checkout, inform the vehicle owner that your dealership is now taking appointments.

You could include a pamphlet with the invoice explaining the appointment process along with a web address or phone number. The advisor could also say, “When your vehicle is ready for your next service, please feel free to give us a call and schedule an appointment.”

4. Create separate driving lanes and/or parking areas for those with an appointment and those without.

Use signs to direct the different types of customers to their assigned areas. Using signs will not only create efficiencies for the service department, it will also promote the new appointment process.

Conclusion

Proper education is critical to establishing and maintaining a higher rate of appointments. Remember, training staff members on the service appointment process is only half the battle. It is equally important to educate your customers on the value of scheduling appointments!

Need a better process for scheduling and tracking appointments? Check out Reservation Manager.

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Troy was a Reynolds Consultant with 11 years of automotive retail experience, including Service Advisor and Warranty Administrator.

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