Is your service marketing broken?

In 2018, service and parts sales totaled over $116 billion for new vehicle dealerships. An increase of nearly $2 billion from 2017.

Drivers need to service their vehicles far more often than they buy new ones. Yet the majority of dealership marketing is focused on sales, not service.  

By neglecting your service marketing, not only are you giving up on your share of those profits, but you lose the retention value that service customers bring to your sales business.

Marketing your fixed ops areas helps you gain new customers, retain current ones, and recapture the ones who haven’t been back.

Without it, drivers have no reason to choose you over every other dealership and independent repair center.

Ask yourself:

  • How much of your dealership revenue is generated by service compared to how much of your budget you spend to market it?
  • How much of your website is devoted to sales compared to the space focused on fixed operations?
  • How much could you increase overall dealership profits by driving more service business?

Drive profitable service business

Generating service business for your dealership can be done using reactive or proactive marketing measures.

Reactive marketing

Reactive service marketing means providing immediate help to a customer with a specific problem.

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Search engine optimization

Optimizing your website with service-focused content allows your dealership site to be displayed higher in search results. Helpful service content — like how-to videos and articles — makes your website a trusted resource for people seeking help. To make sure you are found when they need you, it is important to check the accuracy of your dealership information on third party business listings, and highlight your service department whenever possible.

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Digital advertising

Through locally-targeted online advertising, you can compete for the customers closest to you who need your service the most. Use your fixed -ops advertising to bring in customers by promoting your towing options, roadside assistance packages, shuttle service, or anything else that sets you apart from other dealerships and independent repair centers.

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Social media

Data restrictions on social media advertising limit how you target customers based on interests, demographics, and behaviors. But with your own database and market data, you can continue to target key audiences where many people go to ask for help. The diverse ad types let you choose the ideal format for collecting leads, providing more information, or showcasing specific services or specials.

Proactive marketing

Proactive service marketing means generating demand, so the next time they need service, they think of you first.

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Service-focused content delivered through an eNewsletter keeps your dealership in front of customers between appointments. Use helpful articles and useful information to gain trust and be their go-to expert. Highlight specials and promotions for those who are in-market. Track their interactions with the content and follow up with those who have shown interest but have yet to take action.

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Email and direct mail

Keep the lines of communication open between service visits with email and direct mail pieces. Ensure driver safety by sending factory recall notices and reminders for recommended-not-done repairs that encourage service visits.  Reach out to dormant customers with offers inviting them to return.  Send scheduled maintenance reminders to current customers so they know in advance which service they need why they should get it from you.

Reputation management illustration

Reputation management

Diligently managing your online reputation is an often-overlooked piece of service marketing. Feedback from current customers influences future customer decisions for service and sales. Encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews and let unhappy customers know that you want to address their concerns. If handled correctly, negative interactions can show your commitment to customer satisfaction and eagerness to improve.

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Naked Lime Marketing
2405 County Line Rd.
Kettering, OH 45430

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