It is a recognized fact that in the franchised dealer network the after sales departments have been underperforming for quite some time and are frequently seen as the weak link in dealer profitability.
This is for a number of reasons. In a rampant sales department with expanding volumes customers become an after-sales captive audience and thus a guaranteed source of revenue. Although the term “wooden dollars” is something bandied about in car dealers regularly the fact is that the least line of resistance is human nature.
As a result of this the will to up-sell to retail customers or improve the level of service to justify the cost has been sadly missing, indeed many drivers will take their car to a franchised dealer for a service to keep up the history but will often have any extras carried out at other dealers for often a much lower price or at least at a centre which is prepared to at least negotiate.
It is high time that staff in the service centres were trained to be a whole lot more sales orientated. Although traditionally recruited from a technical background, if service departments are to compete with the likes of Kwik-Fit and Halfords they will need to adapt to a changing business where more companies will be compeering for less trade.