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The Grinch Who Stole Service Revenue

Article Highlights:

  • The Grinch isn't only stealing presents this year.
  • Increase profits and CSI.

It’s that time of year when Dr. Seuss’ iconic character makes his annual re-emergence in the classic 1966 cartoon How the Grinch Stole Christmas. As we get into the holiday spirit, it had me thinking… who is the Grinch in your service department?

The type of Grinch we’re talking about isn’t coming to steal Christmas joy and take the holiday decorations from your service drive. His target is much worse: your profit.

As the days until Christmas tick down, so do the temperatures outside, meaning your customers are coming in to prepare their vehicles for winter: new tires, batteries, oil changes, wiper blades, etc. Winter should mean big profit for the service drive. Unfortunately, you have a Grinch stealing your service revenue, leading to low profit and unhappy customers. That’s right. The Grinch who stole service revenue is the all-too-common error of misquoting service jobs to your customers.

Too often, customers call in for an estimate and are met with long waits, multiple transfers, and estimates that don’t end up matching the price on their invoice. Compare this to the one-click checkout of Amazon and you can see why this crucial part of the service process impacts CSI and revenue.

When customers call for estimates, they often call multiple businesses – Jiffy Lube, Pep Boys, Midas, and independent shops. If even one of those competitors has a better and quicker estimate process, they are likely to win the business that should be yours.

The Grinch also strikes when advisors estimate the cost of service jobs from memory instead of looking up all labor and parts costs to-the-penny. It is very upsetting when a customer agrees to have service done from an estimate but is asked to pay much more when they come to pick up their vehicle. Service advisors find themselves in these situations often, and frequently end up discounting to make the customer happy. The result is little to no profit and the customer is still annoyed they had to fight for the price they were quoted.

“Hate, hate, hate. Double hate. Loathe entirely” — as The Grinch himself would say.

The Grinch is costing you a lot not just now, but all year round. Can you afford to keep him in your service drive?

The good news? Cindy Lou Who is eager to turn that Grinch around and bring back service revenue. With a better quoting process, your service drive can thrive in the winter and be set up for a record year.

Your advisors can have accurate quotes ready in seconds so your customers can avoid the long wait on hold and inaccurate estimates. Your CSI can greatly increase with retained and happy customers who will think of your dealership first when it’s time to buy a new car.

And what happened then? Well, service revenue grew three sizes that day!

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Cory Coler is a member of the fixed operations product planning team at Reynolds and Reynolds. He began his career in the automotive industry in 2001 at a Toyota retailer, becoming an ASE Certified Advisor and Toyota Certified Assistant Service Manager. In 2005, he joined Reynolds’ Service Price Guides (SPG) department in Tampa, Florida and quickly became a subject matter expert for the product. In 2014, he transitioned to his current role in Product Planning where he is responsible for the enhancement and design of several fixed operations applications.

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