5 Service Lane Secrets to Exceed Customer Expectations

A great customer experience is everything.

Creating brand loyalty in today's computerized world requires excellence and speed at every step of the automotive customer lifecycle, from first contact to repurchasing. If your dealership can't keep pace, we can guide you through a digital transformation to streamline your operations.

We provide a comprehensive and tailored solutions suite that converts manual tasks and face-to-face interactions to the digital applications you need to create a fantastic customer journey.

Get Started Today

Consider the question: What do you expect from a dealer when you visit for service? What would your answer include? More importantly, how would your customers respond?

Meeting—and exceeding—these customer expectations is a priority of many service departments and repair shops, but knowing what they are is the first step towards happier customers that continue to return for service (and potential repurchase). In our recent National Consumer Survey, we gathered intel on what service customers expect—and below, we detail the service lane strategies that can help you exceed customer expectations as well as your service revenue goals.

Do More Than Meet Customer Expectations with Smart Service Strategies

Customers Expect a Time-Conscious Experience

Time is an invaluable resource, so it’s no surprise that the number one survey response indicated that the waiting is the hardest part. Nearly 70% said that their biggest expectation was that their vehicle repair time estimates would be accurate. The top five service customer expectations include:

  • Vehicle ready at the promised time
  • Expertly OEM-trained technicians
  • Competitive pricing
  • Customer amenities, such as refreshments, a comfortable lounge, or a business center
  • Quick and efficient check-in and checkout process

The best way for your service team to exceed customer expectations is with smart time management strategies that help reduce vehicle repair times while revving efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Ways to Supercharge Service Lane Efficiency

1. Schedule for Optimum Shop Capacity

Exceeding customer expectations regarding vehicle repair time estimates—while maximizing shop capacity—can involve a delicate balance. The right scheduling software can help ensure you’re keeping a full (but not overbooked) service lane. Plus, it can help you manage your shop capacity as precisely as possible (even with recall repairs) so you can provide more accurate promise times.

2. Advertise Your Service Advantages

Do your customers know about the time-saving advantages you offer over your competition? Be sure that your marketing always highlights your trained technicians who specialize in a particular OEM to offer the best efficiency and proper service execution. Your marketing should also showcase your amenities on your email and print communications to ensure customers are aware of everything you have to offer. And you can show how your pricing compares to other local shops with attention-grabbing “dare to compare” campaigns.

3. Streamline the Check-In and Checkout System

You already likely know that customers who are greeted promptly are willing to spend more on repairs, so having the ability to initiate the check-in process quickly and smoothly can be incredibly profitable. Equip your service advisor or dedicated greeter with a mobile tool that allows them to accurately capture customer information at check-in, helping streamline the service process. Then, by collecting vehicle photos and video, your team can add transparency to service recommendations and drive more upsell opportunities.

Once vehicle service is complete, simplify the checkout process while saving time for your staff and your customers by sending a digital invoice through text or email. This way, your customers can take care of their bill with just a few clicks from wherever they are.

4. Keep Customer Communication Lines Open

By keeping customers updated about their vehicle maintenance, you’ll be able to build a better rapport with them while easing their concerns. Adding SMS messaging and email communications to your time management tools can help speed the service process by capturing customer approvals on needed repairs and updating them about their vehicle repair time estimate.

5. Offer Express Service Options

For customers with urgent needs or minor maintenance, an express service lane option can be a great alternative to a quick lube shop. Provide express lane options for oil changes, tire rotations, and other quick services to help reduce wait times for customers, boosting customer satisfaction while increasing shop efficiency.

The Right Tools Can Transform Service Customer Expectations

Maximizing your service department’s profitability while juggling shop capacity and customer expectations is simpler than you might think. Affinitiv Book allows you to increase service capacity utilization and free up your service advisors by empowering your customers to book their service appointments in three minute or less. Shop loading and skill group optimization allows you to ensure accurate vehicle repair times and increased shop throughput. And add-on solutions including SmartLane, Messaging, Open Recalls, BillPay, and more can supercharge Book to help take your service lane to the next level.

Ready to exceed customer expectations—and revenue goals? Contact us today for your live demo.


Return to Marketing

Related Content