Selling in the Service Lane: How Vehicle Appraisals Build Inventory

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When your dealership is in need of quality pre-owned vehicles, you need a strategy that helps you maximize profit from every opportunity. Auctions might only offer low-mileage vehicles at near new-car rates, resulting in low margins. Or, your vehicle trade-in tool might not provide accurate market values, preventing lead conversions.

If you aren’t capturing the potential vehicle trade-ins visiting your service center, you should be—with ten times the number of service customers compared to lot ups, these customers offer a great opportunity to your store. Implement the right vehicle appraisal strategy for your service lane, and not only can you can build a better used car inventory, but you can sell more new cars and establish stronger customer loyalty.

Build Better Inventory with Service Lane Vehicle Appraisals

Understand Your Service Customers Before Check-In

You likely know that your top sales opportunities are your current customers, so it’s crucial to understand these customers fully to best serve (and sell) them. Be sure that your sales staff completes thorough research on the service customers before their appointments to uncover their current situation as well as their needs or interests. Some of the details to verify include:

  • The vehicle trade-in value of their current car
  • Their preferred vehicle models, financing needs, and other demographic details
  • Information on their intent if they have been shopping for a new vehicle

Being aware and knowledgeable about your service customer’s specific situation and needs helps your team build trust and transparency with these customers—and helps guide them toward the best vehicle trade-in or purchase options.

Create a Seamless Customer Journey from Service to Sales

It takes a team effort to close a service drive sale successfully. Your sales team can’t estimate the value of a car in your service drive, nor can the service technician performing vehicle repairs provide an offer to the customer. That’s why you need the right specialist in place to help facilitate the service lane vehicle appraisal, and eventual transition to sales.

To move your service customers swiftly and simply through touchpoints, you need seamless transitions between departments. Invest in the proper technology solutions to help unite departments and give each user access to real-time, up-to-date information. And connect customers with the right dealership personnel at the right time.

Keep Your Customers Engaged with Strategic Follow-Up

Your staff can provide exceptional vehicle trade-in experiences by having the sales team engage service customers in a consultative (rather than a hard-sell) manner. As you choose sales staff to work with your service drive customers, ensure they are knowledgeable about the following:

Accurate vehicle appraisals. A skilled salesperson can recognize and communicate with your service team about damage, previous repairs, repainting, and any mechanical problems. They also must explain the vehicle’s valuation to the customer in ways that pique their interest.

Personalized trade-in offers. Your team should make each customer feel valued and appreciated by personalizing their vehicle trade-in offer, which requires having accurate information and paperwork that includes the service details for a more credible offer.

Customer follow-up strategies. Of course, not all customers will accept their vehicle trade-in offer in your service lane. Some might want to think about it, ask the sales team for a better trade-in amount, or reject the offer altogether. To keep these leads warm, it’s important to have open communication channels and a helpful follow-up strategy that includes:

  • Offering to have a third-party agency value their vehicle independently if they were dissatisfied with the offer
  • Asking if there is a specific new make and model that would encourage a vehicle trade-in and purchase
  • Looking for other pre-owned vehicles that better fit the customer’s needs or interests

Ready to Find the Right Vehicle Appraisal Solution?

Building a higher quality inventory right from your service department can help your store nurture lasting customer relationships while maximizing profit. It starts with the right strategies to identify the needs of each service customer before they arrive, establish a smooth transition from service to sales, and engage and excite customers about their vehicle trade-in options.

To take your strategies and staff efforts further, it’s important to find the right digital solutions to provide accurate, enticing vehicle appraisals that result in more vehicle trade-ins and a more extensive pre-owned inventory. Affinitiv Service Lane Appraiser can help, offering instant SMS messages inviting customers to view their vehicle valuation, alerts to notify staff when customers engage with the tool, dynamic reporting to view results, and secure CRM integration to capture leads.

Contact us today to learn how Service Lane Appraiser can help your dealership provide more accurate vehicle appraisals, build your inventory, and close more deals.

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