How to Follow up on Declined Repairs

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Every dealership’s service drive is rife with declined repairs. These refusals might result from customer time constraints, financial hardships, or missing service reminders.   

Whatever the reason, denied services are not the end of the road. Instead, they are a second chance to win back the client’s business, requiring dealers to establish a process to follow up on declined repairs to recover the lost revenue.  

However, not all dealers know where to begin revamping their follow-up approach, and this article outlines five strategies they might leverage to design their new game plan. 

How to Follow up on Declined Repairs: 5 Strategies 

All dealers should consider implementing the following five strategies to encourage customers to act on service recommendations:  

1. Offer Financing and Payment Options 

Customers might trust their dealer’s repair recommendations and find the price reasonable, but they lack the funds to pay for the services. In those cases, dealers should look to offer multiple payment options. 

These options should include: 

  • Cash 
  • Checks 
  • Digital payments such as Apple and Samsung Pay 
  • Conventional credit cards 
  • Service financing 

The latter two options are often crucial, particularly during challenging economic times. Service departments that refuse specific credit cards might lose customers with limited payment options. 

Additionally, customers who want to avoid exhausting that available credit – or who have no remaining credit – may require service financing that divides the cost into manageable installments. 

2. Include Visual Proof 

Service department applications should enable technicians to take pictures or videos of damaged vehicle parts. Dealers can send these visuals to customers via the following channels and request feedback: 

  • SMS 
  • Email 
  • App login 

Customers are sometimes more likely to accept a suggested service when they can view the damage instead of reading or listening to a description. 

If that customer does not immediately approve the repair, the service team might consider resending the visual proof once more a week later. 

The dealer might also include more details about the safety concern in that second attempt and reiterate why a timely repair is critical. 

3. Revisit Declined Services at the Next Check-In 

An increasing number of tablet check-in applications and CRMs start the process by listing service recommendations the customer previously denied. This feature can make check-in a terrific opportunity to revisit the conversation and reiterate the repair’s importance. 

Concerning recall information, lane applications that effectively integrate real-time recall data allow service teams to apprise customers of safety concerns before the lane and multi-point inspection takes place. 

4. Conduct an Interactive Walk-Around 

The service walk-around is essential in developing a rapport and earning customer trust when inspecting their vehicles. Creating an interactive experience by including them in this process – instead of simply listing the suggestions after the fact – allows the customer to observe the issues in real time, encouraging them to consider repair or replacement suggestions more seriously. 

Dealers might even consider customizing this interactive service by reviewing the following information, all of which can help technicians tailor the inspection to a specific customer: 

  • The primary reason for the current appointment 
  • The vehicle service history 
  • All previously declined services 

5. Use a Multi-Channel Approach to Follow Up 

Advancing technologies and automation mean dealers no longer need to put the onus of declined repair follow-ups solely on the service teams. Instead, technicians can create and disburse customer service reminders at predetermined intervals.  

These reminders could be in the form of: 

  • Emails 
  • Text messages  
  • Voicemails 

Again, the dealer should consider including visual evidence in emails and text messages. They might even consider including coupons as part of a loyalty program to encourage a follow-up appointment. 

Declined Repair Follow-ups Require the Best Technology 

Every declined repair is a lost chance to generate revenue and develop relationships. While some missed opportunities might be lost, others are recoverable with the proper strategies. 

Fortunately, the development of tablet technology has made many of those strategies more feasible, allowing dealers to provide the follow-up information necessary to earn clients’ trust and more accepted repair orders. 

By implementing the above strategies and integrating the right software, your dealership can recover significant chunks of fixed ops revenue. 

Contact us today and discover how Affinitiv’s SmartLane can help you recover lost revenue by developing new strategies to follow up on declined repairs and encourage customers to revisit the service lane. 

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