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Recall Repairs Equal Upsell Opportunities

Article Highlights:

  • Manufacturer recall notices are failing to bring customers in.
  • 47% of customers agree to additional service work when recommended.

Right now, over 63 million cars on the road in the United States have an open recall, according to CARFAX. Even though the NHTSA requires manufacturers to send recall notices, customers aren’t responding. With the frequency and large volume of recalls in recent years, perhaps vehicle owners have become numb to manufacturer recall notices. Vehicle owners are even ignoring life-threatening airbag recalls, with only 47% of those recalls resolved.

While safety is the primary concern, if you can get these customers into your dealership for repairs, you will have the opportunity to upsell additional services. To do that, you need to get their attention. Manufacturer recall notices are failing to bring them in, so what should you do?

Send Your Own Recall Mailers to Your Customers

While manufacturers send notices instructing owners to visit any local dealer, you can send mailers with your dealership name and contact information. This is an effective way to bring these customers in for repairs. However, not all recall mailers are created equal. Make sure you use attention-grabbing designs and consolidate recalls attached to the same VIN. Also be sure you are following all federal and manufacturer guidelines. If you aren’t sure what to do, find a marketing partner to help.

For those customers that don’t respond to the mailer, follow up with phone calls to increase the success of your recall campaign.

When They Come in, Recommend Additional Services

Coach your service advisors on the value of recall appointments and advise them to perform free multi-point inspections. The benefit of offering additional services is clear – 47% of customers agree to additional service work when recommended by their advisor. Taking advantage of these opportunities will increase customer pay business in your service department.


While recall mailers may look simple on the surface, important data determines whether your mailing will be effective and improve your bottom line. Bring customers back for needed recall repairs, giving your dealership the opportunity to upsell additional services.

For more information on sending recall mailers to your customers, contact Reynolds Document Services at 800.344.0996 or email RDS@reyrey.com.

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Director of Marketing, Reynolds Document Services

Chuck Havener is the Director of Marketing for Reynolds Document Services at Reynolds and Reynolds. Havener has more than 15 years of experience serving the automotive industry. His teams are responsible for the product management, marketing communications, compliance, and pricing functions for the Reynolds Document Services business.

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