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AI and Cameras in Dealership Service Departments

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Tackling Customer Wait Times in Fixed Ops

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Mastering Sales in Dealership Service Drives

Optimizing Parts Inventory in Fixed Ops

Sales Funnels for Dealership Service Departments

Saving in Service Departments: Trim Cost, Not Quality

Unlocking Revenue Potential: Innovative Marketing Tactics for Fixed Ops

There’s no need to convince fixed ops leaders of the importance of marketing for service departments. As McLarty Diversified Holdings chairman and CEO, Franklin McLarty, put it, fixed operations is the “firm foundation of the dealership.”  But if dealerships want to overcome the negative impacts of interest rates and inflation in 2023, their marketing strategies must be aligned for fixed ops success.

Understanding the Fixed Ops Customer Journey 

Marketing-Tactics-for-Fixed-Ops-Departments

The fixed ops customer journey starts with the customer’s initial need for vehicle maintenance or repairs, followed by researching and selecting a dealership. The customer then schedules an appointment, arrives at the dealership, and engages with the service advisor. The customer journey concludes with the completion of service, payment, and post-service follow-up. Each step of this journey presents opportunities for the dealership to provide exceptional customer service, build trust, and foster long-term relationships.

Find Marketing Opportunities Throughout the Customer Journey

Each of these steps also presents touchpoints and opportunities for marketing engagement. Here are some recommended marketing strategies for each stage:

  1. Awareness and Research: Implement search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to ensure the dealership’s website appears prominently in search results. Develop informative and engaging content, such as blog articles and videos, that address common customer pain points and offer solutions. Utilize social media advertising and targeted paid search campaigns to increase brand awareness and attract potential customers.

  1. Appointment Scheduling: Provide an easy and convenient online appointment scheduling system on the dealership’s website. Utilize mail, email, and SMS marketing to remind customers of upcoming service intervals and encourage them to schedule appointments.

  1. Arrival and Intake: Enhance the physical dealership experience by providing clear signage and welcoming waiting areas. Utilize personalized greetings and ensure service advisors are well-trained and knowledgeable. Use signage, brochures, and digital displays to highlight current promotions, service offerings, and loyalty programs.

  1. Service Engagement: Offer personalized service recommendations based on the customer’s vehicle history and current needs. Utilize digital tools such as tablets or mobile devices to visually demonstrate repair or maintenance needs. Implement customer-centric communication channels, such as text messaging or mobile apps, for real-time updates and two-way customer communication.

  1. Completion and Payment: Provide transparent and itemized invoices to communicate the breakdown of services performed and associated costs. Offer convenient digital payment options, including contactless payment methods and digital wallets. Utilize post-service surveys or feedback forms to gather insights and promptly address potential issues.

  1. Post-Service Follow-Up: Implement automated email or SMS marketing campaigns to request customer feedback and reviews. Offer incentives, such as discounts on future services or referral programs, to encourage repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals. Engage with customers through personalized thank-you messages and exclusive service offers to foster long-term relationships.

By strategically implementing these marketing engagement strategies at each step, fixed ops leaders can enhance the overall customer journey, drive customer satisfaction, and increase customer retention.

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