Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, auto dealers have to navigate a new world of business. New cars aren’t being built fast enough to meet demand.
This is causing used cars to get swallowed up by anyone with a checkbook and a parking lot. Dealerships are finding themselves with low inventories and few ideas on how to keep customers coming in the front door.
Does your dealership’s low inventory get you down? Try pushing fixed ops like your parts and service center on your ideal social media platforms.
Tis The Season For Service Centers
When your main source of sales is in low supply, your only choice is to emphasize your other specialties. This is the perfect time to remind current and potential customers about your service department. Whether you’re pushing getting a winter checkup to ensure no one gets stranded in the snow or you advertise spring cleaning with an upcoming tune-up, you should be working towards filling up your service department’s schedule.
This is a great time to start marketing a variety of service specials. Your goal is to get people in the door and on the schedule, even if it means reducing the overall profit from those services. You can also create multi-service bundles or discounts. For example, maybe work towards getting someone to pay for a tune-up package that includes all of the basic services. You can also work on bundles that include multiple return trips, like a discount on oil changes when you purchase two or more at a time.
Think about other services you offer like car washes, emissions checks, inspections, and more. Feel free to target popular vehicles in your area. For example, if you’re a Mazda dealer, you might offer a special Mazda service to target a specific niche.
Turn Service Customers Into Shoppers
When someone comes in with their vehicle for service, you get a chance to give it a look. That means you can evaluate what the car is worth and start testing the waters if the owner is open to selling their vehicle or using it towards a trade. Even if they aren’t interested in selling on the spot, you have their information and can reach back out in the future.
While customers are waiting for their vehicle to be ready, offer to show them around the lot or discuss upcoming vehicles. Even if you don’t have a certain car in stock, you canhelp them reserve it as soon as it’s available.
There’s also something to be said about just showing off your incredible staff and facilities. Anytime you can get someone in the door for Mazda service, you have a chance to turn them into new customers.
Utilize New Tech
Unlike traditional marketing campaigns that require mailers, major website redesign, and other time-consuming efforts, now is the time to go with social media. You can easily adapt and update your content as often as you like. With the specialized targeting abilities of things like Facebook ads, you can really narrow down your target audience and market to specific people.
Times of low inventory are also moments when you can explore new tech. Look at ServiceIQ, for example. This app is helping auto dealers build a stronger sales funnel. It’s especially helpful in reaching Mazda owners, for example, who didn’t purchase from your dealership but might be interested in Mazda service centers. This app, and others like it, work with your current management system to help bring in new customers and then keep them coming back.
The days of low inventory won’t last forever, but while they do, there is potential in pushing service appointments to get people in the door. Once they come in, impress them with your staff so that those customers turn into shoppers and keep coming back.
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