From Declined to Done: Recapturing Lost Vehicle Repair Opportunities

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You’ve likely experienced this scenario: your service customer listens attentively to your vehicle service and inspection overview, but fails to approve a recommended repair item. Customers often postpone repairs due to budget constraints, lack of understanding, or even a relational disconnect with the dealership, leaving your service department with dozens of declined vehicle repairs.

Every declined vehicle service offers your store a recoverable opportunity. As you understand the reasons behind declined repairs, you can equip your team with powerful techniques to recapture lost service revenue. By leveraging the right customer follow-up, upselling strategies, and technology, you can win back customers and keep your service drive profitable.

Key Strategies to Recapture Declined Vehicle Repairs

Why Customers Decline Vehicle Service Recommendations

To unlock the possibilities within declined vehicle services, it’s important to dive into the reasons behind the “no.” Some of the main customer concerns include:

Cost. This is often the biggest culprit. Repairs can be expensive, and some customers might find them unexpected or unaffordable, especially if they haven’t budgeted for car maintenance.

Lack of Trust and Transparency. Customers might doubt the necessity of the repair or feel the dealership is recommending unnecessary services. Poor communication or a lack of clear explanations can lead to suspicion.

Time Constraints. Busy schedules can make it difficult for customers to carve out time for repairs, leading them to put vehicle service off until absolutely necessary.

Misunderstanding the Issue. Customers might not fully understand the problem with their vehicle or its potential consequences if left unaddressed. This can lead them to question the repair’s importance.

Lack of Alternative Transportation. If a repair requires keeping the car at your service department, customers might decline due to the inconvenience of finding alternative transportation.

How to Follow Up on Declined Vehicle Repairs

Offer Financing and Payment Options

Many customers might decline repairs due to cost concerns. As you follow up with these customers, be sure to highlight the financing options you offer for vehicle services or present them with tiered service packages that break down larger repairs into smaller, more manageable costs. In your marketing communications to customers who have declined repairs, it’s also smart to promote service offers that could make the repair more affordable.

Establish Transparency with Visual Proof

Some customers might not fully understand the issue or its severity. During the service appointment, ensure their vehicle inspection report includes pictures or videos the technician captured of the problem area(s) alongside the repair recommendations. Utilize clear, concise explanations of the vehicle repair and its potential consequences if left unaddressed to add urgency.

Revisit Declined Services at Their Next Visit

Don’t be afraid to remind customers about declined repairs during routine maintenance or check-ups in a helpful, professional manner. Briefly mention the previous recommendation and inquire if their situation regarding the repair has changed. Reiterate the importance of the vehicle service for their vehicle’s safety and performance.

Conduct an Interactive Walkaround

If you still use physical vehicle check-in sheets, you can add transparency for the customer and efficiency for your staff by switching to a digital vehicle inspection tool. This will offer customers the opportunity to see the recommended vehicle repair(s) firsthand. Your service advisors can then take your customers on a walkaround of their vehicle and physically show them the problem(s), explaining the repair process in a clear and engaging way while addressing any questions or concerns.

Use a Multi-Channel Approach to Follow Up

Don’t rely on just one method of communication. Depending on your customers’ preferences, use multi-channel customer follow-up communications that combine phone calls, emails, and text messages. Tailor the customer follow-up message to each channel, keeping phone calls concise while making emails and texts more informative. Include the visual elements of the service report in the customer emails, and set the communications to be sent at specific intervals to keep the customer engaged without bombarding them.

Declined Vehicle Services Stalling Your Service Profits?

Each declined vehicle repair might become a lost chance to generate revenue and develop relationships, but the right customer follow-up and in-lane upselling strategies can help recapture those opportunities.

Contacting your customers with informative and transparent marketing communications—at the ideal intervals—can help reengage these customers and prompt action. Affinitiv Essentials is your answer to automated trigger communications to help drive customer retention and service revenue.

In your service lane, further add to your customer experience with Affinitiv SmartLane, an easy-to-use interface for service lane check-in. You can capture vehicle repair opportunities with photos and videos, view previously declined services, and navigate factory maintenance plans from a mobile device.

Reengage service customers to recover declined vehicle repair revenue with the optimal strategies and technology for your dealership. Contact us today for your live demo of our solutions.

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