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Competition is fierce in a fast-paced and saturated automotive market, and many dealers search for innovative ways to boost service lane income, including upselling strategies designed to get more value out of each customer.
However, approaching customers to discuss added services that cost more money is not simple. Their best interests should always come first, particularly when looking to upsell. Successful dealers understand this and appreciate that meeting customers’ needs is more important than looking to boost revenue through unnecessary services.
However, not all dealers know where to start, nor have they developed a list of upselling strategies that reinforce that customer safety comes first, and supplemental revenue comes second.
This article lists five tips dealers might consider for selling more services but do so in ways equally beneficial to customers.
5 Upselling Strategies for the Service Lane
1. Educate Rather Than Instruct
Earning trust is crucial to upselling services, but dealers cannot build those foundations overnight. It takes time and effort to show customers they are more than an opportunity to sell unnecessary services.
A terrific way to do this is through education. Dealers might consider creating learning materials that outline the benefits of upkeep or upgrades.
For example, the service technician should go beyond telling the customer they need a new oil filter or brake pads. Instead, they should take the time to explain and demonstrate how the car will be affected if the customer postpones this maintenance.
These examples might come in any of the following forms:
- Brief videos
- Explainer sheets
Taking the time to explain the risks to customers shows added value. Customers appreciate staff who talk with them instead of at them.
2. Create a Rewards and Loyalty Program
Reward and loyalty programs can often be effective ways to create repeat business. If a customer is satisfied with their first visit, they are more inclined to choose that dealership again in the future if more visits save more money.
However, to ensure that as many customers as possible can access these benefits, dealers should provide incentives in several ways, including options where:
- Customers can earn a discount code if they refer a friend who uses the dealership’s services.
- Customers can accumulate points through various purchases that they can redeem for discounted services or cash back in the future.
- Customers can receive a physical or digital stamp on a frequency card after every transaction, which works similarly to the point system.
- Dealers might collaborate with nearby businesses to give discounts to returning customers.
Every loyalty program should employ various tactics to encourage customers to use the dealership’s services. Dealers can also combine several of these strategies to create a well-rounded strategy
3. Prioritize Upsells by Importance
Prioritizing services—specifically focusing on safety first—is another excellent way to earn customer trust while expanding upsell opportunities.
A multi-point inspection is an ideal place to begin. From there, dealers might concentrate on safety features and explain their importance to customers (as discussed earlier).
After that, dealers should ensure their teams prioritize the remaining services based on importance to the customer rather than what is the most expensive.
As such, dealers might consider upsells in this order:
- Necessary safety features such as brakes, tires, and brakes
- Maintenance services
- Physical appearance
- Optional accessories
Dealers have a better chance of selling additional services in the future if they begin with what is most important to customers.
4. Stay in Contact
While providing educational material is critical, following up with customers is equally important. Dealers should make a point to follow up with customers and reiterate that they are available to discuss any questions about a prior or potential service.
This is also a wonderful opportunity to provide customers with updates, such as:
- New services
- Special promotions
- Replenished inventories
- Community events
If dealers do not keep customers abreast of new happenings, customers might take their business to competitors advertising their services and sales. As such, it is crucial always to be proactive and engage customers rather than wait for them to come to the showroom.
5. Provide Multiple Payment Options
Depending on the service, customers may find the pricing reasonable and agree with the recommendation, but they cannot afford it. To ease customers’ financial concerns – and bring in more business – dealers should consider offering multiple payment methods.
Among these choices should be:
- Digital payments like Google, Samsung, and Apple Pay
- Credit cards
- Service financing
Some customers might also appreciate the choice to break the cost down into affordable installments if they wish to avoid using up their available credit, have no available credit, or are temporarily low on funds.
Supplying the Best Service Requires the Best Digital Tools
Customers often find upselling beneficial – if the recommendations are proper, add genuine value, and improve everyday life in some way.
The upselling strategies listed above focus on educating customers and providing them with the maintenance and repair recommendations that best suit their needs. This approach is how a dealership proves value when adding more services to its portfolio.
However, the quality and efficiency of these services are only as good as the digital solutions your dealership employs. You need the industry’s top service software that quickly finds previously declined repairs, factory maintenance plans, and pre-existing conditions to sell the right services to your customers.
Contact us today and discover how Affinitiv’s SmartLane can help your dealership maximize its upselling strategies by finding customers with genuine service and maintenance needs.
All | November 17, 2023