Franchised car dealers are becoming increasingly concerned about how they make sure their aftersales business remains profitable. They are under pressure like never before from the likes of Nationwide and Kwik-Fit (although that may change after the recent report by the BBC’s Watchdog) and other independent service centres who appear to be offering customers what they crave; car servicing at reasonable prices.
We have often highlighted how dealers are looking to re-train their service advisors to encourage them to ‘up-sell’ repair items which are over and above what is covered on routine servicing or MOT work, however this particular oil tanker is proving spectacularly hard to turn around and in the meantime businesses continue to haemorrhage profit.
It seems to be payback time for the blasé attitude of times gone by and dealers really only have themselves to blame as the culture has always been to keep churning out shoddy service at extortionate rates knowing the customer had little choice if they wanted to have the peace of mind of a franchised dealer stamp in their service book. Even if it meant taking out a loan to do so and not even receiving the merest hint of gratitude from aftersales staff more keen to take the cash rather than deliver an experience.
Now that customers have a greater choice franchised aftersales centres are trying really hard to re-claim lost customers, as the powers that be acknowledge that the goose that laid the golden egg has stopped laying. As a result there are deals to be had are better than ever before and consumers should demand and receive a great deal in order to keep loyal to a particular dealer or car brand.
As staff become more aware of how vital it is to treat every customer as royalty we may see a new generation of service advisor who has the ability to sell services and products to drivers and who in turn will be happy to pay for that kind of value for money.
If not car dealers will find it harder than ever to find profit in their aftersales operations in the coming years.