Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 22

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

FIXED OPS JOURNAL ILLUSTRATION

 When posting service prices makes sense ---- and when it doesn't

PRICE POINT
B
rowse a dealership's website, and
prices of new and used vehicles are
likely to appear prominently.
Go to the same store's service site
and prices for maintenance and routine repairs may be harder to find.
At a time when prices of almost everything
are easy to find online, some dealers still resist
posting how much they charge for an oil
change or a scheduled maintenance visit.
Many say they fear that a competitor will undercut them with a lower price that includes
fewer amenities but grabs the attention of
penny-pinching customers.
"People are just too quick to look at the price
and look past the value of what we do," says
Robert Parnell, parts and service director at
Westside Lexus in Houston, which doesn't
post service prices online.
"We have to sell value," Parnell told Fixed
Ops Journal. "We can't sell price."
Dealership service departments routinely

PAGE 22

DECEMBER 2017

"

"

RICK POPELY

foj@autonews.com

"People are just too
quick to look at the price
and look past the value
of what we do."
ROBERT PARNELL, Westside Lexus

tout their use of new original-equipment parts
and the talent and experience of their factory-certified technicians.
Competing with aftermarket service providers on price is tougher.
Parnell says he typically charges $140 for
10,000-mile maintenance. That includes synthetic oil, tire rotation and an inspection with
a report card that details the condition of various components.
He also provides service customers with
loaner vehicles, free car washes and sometimes pickup and delivery. But because he
can't place dollar amounts on such extras, he

says it's hard to convey the added value of his
services to customers who merely seek low
prices.
Parnell says his typical customer, the original
or second owner of a late-model Lexus, cares
more about time than a few extra dollars.
"They want it done right the first time," he
says. "If I tell them it's going to take an hour to
do something and it ends up taking two hours,
I'm in a lot more trouble than if I'm $10 over
the estimate."

Price transparency
Not all dealerships take the same approach.
Del Grande Dealer Group, which operates 14
dealerships in the San Jose, Calif., area, says it
practices transparency of service prices.
Del Grande customers can find how much
maintenance will cost - to the penny - by
entering vehicle and mileage information in
the service scheduling portal on the dealership website.
The cost of 30,000-mile service on a 2015
Hyundai Santa Fe GLS, for example, is $187.13.
Tully Williams, fixed operations director of
the Del Grande group, said he doesn't worry
that competitors will poach his customers by
see PRICES, Page 23



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Big verdict
Ho-ho-ho
Battery charge
Price is right
Tomorrow’s techs
Selling accessories
SEMA dreams
To the rescue
Profit Builder
Richard Truett
On the line
Letters
Real time
Feedback
After hours
Efficiency expert
Longer lasting
Shop Talk
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Big verdict
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 11
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Ho-ho-ho
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Battery charge
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 18
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Price is right
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Tomorrow’s techs
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 27
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Selling accessories
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - SEMA dreams
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 31
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - To the rescue
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Profit Builder
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - On the line
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Letters
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Real time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - After hours
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Efficiency expert
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Longer lasting
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover4
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