Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 13
FIXED OPS JOURNAL
continued from Page 12
ing. The goal isn't to generate leads, but to
persuade customers to schedule shop appointments.
Dealerships need to make that process convenient, he says, by embedding links to the
service-scheduling web page from other online pages and in email messages.
A new Google study concludes that nearly
half of vehicle owners between the ages of 18
and 44 prefer to schedule service appointments online. More than two-thirds of customers who are shopping for service make an
appointment within 24 hours, Clark adds.
The Del Grande Dealer Group in San Jose,
Calif., uses the scheduling platform offered by
the service experience provider Xtime at its 14
When a Del Grande store sends email messages to existing customers that promote service specials, a link takes them directly to the
scheduling page on the website. Their vehicle
and personal information is already on file at
Tully Williams, Del Grande's fixed operations director, says customers can breeze
through the scheduling process, which drives
more business to the dealerships' service departments. At several Del Grande stores, he
notes, about half of service appointments are
made online, mostly through email links.
"We have saved customers probably five to
eight clicks because they don't have to remember their user name and password," Williams says. "Who's going to remember their
password for a dealership?
"So now the customer can make an appointment off a digital marketing campaign
and find the special in about three clicks," he
Learning from Amazon
Jim Roche, Xtime's senior vice president for
marketing and managed services, says it's no
longer enough for service departments to
benchmark what other dealerships and aftermarket providers are doing online.
Instead, Roche says, they need to consider
the ease of online experiences consumers
have with other retail purchases, whether
from Amazon, Home Depot or the local pizza
"The consumer's expectations of the automotive service experience are shaped outside
of automotive," Roche says. "You can go online to Domino's and configure a pizza. It will
tell you when it's in the kitchen, when it's in
How to market your
service department online
Dealers should think big - really big -
and consider building hundreds or even
thousands of service-related web pages, industry analyst Jeff Clark says.
Service departments that fail to market
themselves aggressively online are losing
maintenance and repair jobs to digitally sophisticated competitors, says the executive
vice president of business development for
Franchised dealerships, Clark notes, sell
only 14 percent of parts, 17 percent of oil
changes and 33 percent of tires to service
He offers these digital suggestions to improve that performance:
Gear your website and digital marketing
to keeping current service customers coming back. Offer them loyalty coupons and
discounts, and remind them of the quality
of your shop's work.
Let these customers know that you would
like to buy their well-maintained used vehicle - and sell them a new car or truck.
Focus your website initially on basic services, such as oil changes, brakes and tires.
Then add content over weeks and months.
Use digital media and blog posts to explain products such as tires and batteries,
and the importance of regular maintenance. Include photos and videos of such
things as worn brake pads and rotors.
Show current service specials and discount coupons on your website. Let service
customers know you provide amenities
such as free car washes, shuttles and loaner
Give customers the ability to book a service appointment easily online, via personthe oven, when it's in the delivery vehicle and
how many minutes before it arrives for you.
"I can get that experience for a $10 pizza,"
Roche adds, "but I can't get that experience
for a $40,000 car."
Customers who book service appointments
online or respond to an email expect to continue communicating and transacting with
the dealer digitally, Roche says. In a digital
world, he adds, an ideal service visit should
start online and work like this:
"When you arrive at the dealership, [a service adviser] with a mobile device will greet
al computer, smartphone or tablet.
Provide an online configurator that lets
customers identify the tires available for
their vehicle and shows how much they
cost. Offer an alignment check with new
tires - something that some aftermarket
competitors don't provide.
If you want to appear prominently on
search engines, especially Google, develop
extensive content on your site that fits the
most popular search terms for vehicle service, such as oil changes, batteries and
brakes. That's called "search engine optimization."
The same goes for "search engine marketing," paid advertising that pops up in Internet searches. "You want to make sure
that if you're on the paid search side of it,
you've got good quality content to drive
people to you once they've clicked on that
link," Clark says.
Automakers, suppliers and other vendors provide service-related web content
that dealers can use. Customize that content
for your dealership with unique geographical or brand identifiers.
Create a full online parts store that allows retail customers to order, pay and arrange shipping for parts digitally.
Advertise aftermarket parts and accessories on your website. Let customers
know that your service department can
install them, and that both parts and installation are covered by a factory warranty.
You don't have to be selling all the time.
Use social media such as Facebook and
Twitter to highlight your dealership's involvement in community events and
charities. That builds goodwill among potential service customers.
you at your car, and they will
know why you are there. They
will process you at your vehicle, add anything that needs
to be added and let you sign
with your finger, and you're on
"When the vehicle moves into
the shop, all that information moves along
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017
Port of call
Wisdom of age
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 9
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 11
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Web threads
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 14
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Chitty’s law
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 22
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 24
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 27
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Port of call
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 30
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Featured film
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Wisdom of age
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 35
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Future techs
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 37
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Intake, outgo
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - NADA numbers
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - 41
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Top 50
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Guest comment
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - June 2017 - Cover4