Welcome to NCM's Up to Speed Blog
Welcome to NCM's Up to Speed Blog

60 Seconds to Gain a Service Customer

Steve Hall
Written By: Steve Hall
Posted on May 28, 2015

Do you have 60 seconds to gain a service customer? Let me restate that: Do you have a structured 60 seconds to gain this customer? Why the emphasis on structured? Let me explain.

Let me start with this ...

If you are a dealership that doesn’t already perform an introduction of the new and used vehicle owners to the service department, then you aren’t quite ready to read this article. In that case, set the process in place, and get it started. Enough said?

Now, for the intended audience:

What does your customer introduction to the service department really look like? Think about this. You have just worked hard to gain a vehicle sale, and now your sales consultant completes the dealership “road to a sale” process by escorting the new customer to the service department for an introduction and to set the appointment for the first service visit. The salesperson stands with the customer in the service drive as the advisors are busily moving around. One of them is on the phone, one is with a client, and another is working on something, but we’re just not sure what. Five minutes pass by … OK maybe it’s only 45 seconds, but it feels like five minutes. Once the wait is over, the sales consultant and customer approach one of the advisors. The advisor glances around, looks at the salesperson and customer with a “what do you want” look, and doesn’t even smile. Everyone can tell that he’s distracted. The salesperson tries to make the situation better and introduces the customer to the advisor with an enthusiastic phrase, but the advisor’s response is lukewarm. The advisor congratulates the customer on his purchase and says, “If you ever need anything, please let me know,” and then he hands over a business card. At this point both the sales consultant and the service advisor feel that they have followed the process and have “done their job”.

But what really happened? Did the customer feel welcomed? Did the customer feel like you really wanted them to do business with you? Did your people provide any compelling reason why this new customer should do business with you?

Your service department just had 60 seconds to win a customer ... and you fumbled. Worse yet, you didn’t even realize the opportunity that you missed. I am a firm believer that every new customer should be introduced to the service department, the parts department, and the collision center. I am also a firm believer that these introductions should make a very positive impression on each customer. This is our time to shine! After all, this may be the only time that members of these departments ever get to see this customer, so we need to make a great impression. To help you along the way, here is an introduction script that I developed for our NCM Institute Service Management I, II, & III classes.

Introduction Script:

Service Department Employee:

Congratulations on your purchase. I would like to be one of the first to welcome you to our family. What type of vehicle did you buy? (as the customer talks, smile, nod in approval slightly, and listen … do not interrupt them.)

Customer:

(Answers)

Service Department Employee:

Terrific! May I ask what kind of vehicle you have been driving up until now?

Customer:

(Answers)

Service Department Employee:

Well, we’re glad that you are joining our family now, and I’m sure that you will enjoy your (type of vehicle purchased). I would like to share a little information with you, so that you can feel comfortable anytime that you come in for service (Point to the service doors.) You can see over here, these are the service entry doors. Any time that you need service, you will just pull up to them, and we will open them up and let you in. (Point to the service advisors.) Also, you can see the advisors over here. They will greet you and take great care of you any time that you arrive. I would also like to reassure you that we are here for you. There is no reason to worry about anything pertaining to your vehicle, because we can handle it. Whether it is warranty work (which hopefully you will never need), routine maintenance, tires, or anything … we can handle it for you. We offer highly competitive pricing on everything, including oil changes. We will get you in and out quickly to make it most convenient for you. But, most of all, we want you to know that since you have purchased your vehicle, you are now part of our family and we will take great care of you. Are there any questions that I can currently answer for you?

Customer:

Not right now, I’m just excited to get the vehicle.

Service Department Employee:

I’m sure you are. Here is my business card. Just know that if you ever need anything please let us know, and enjoy your car.

You can see that your employees will need to practice the script, but it's easy to learn. You will also need to modify it slightly for customers that are currently servicing their vehicle with you, but you get the concept. As a final tip, I suggest that the sales consultant carry a color-coded, bright yellow clip board when he escorts the customer to the Service Department. The yellow clip board signifies to the service department employees that the salesperson is accompanied by a new dealership customer and not a “heat case.” Consistently perform and flawlessly execute the structured 60 second approach to win over the customer, and it will become one of the most profitable investments of time ever spent with your clients.

No Comments
Subscribe to our blog!