Getting customers to make an appointment is the first and most important step toward service success. It starts with a simple and consistent approach to appointment setting. It’s the first customer interaction – making it vitally important, whether the appointment is booked online or over the phone.
According to a J.D. Power Customer Service Index Survey, 28% of consumers prefer to book online, but about 45% do not know that booking online is an option.
1. Introduce Online Scheduling as Part of New Vehicle Delivery
Show every new customer your website, walk them through how to make their first appointment online, and give them a reminder card. In addition to this, you should walk every new customer over to the Service Department and introduce them to the Service Manager.
2. Promote Online Scheduling
The study found that customers who schedule online, book an average of $24 in additional factory recommended maintenance. If more customers booked their appointments online, you would see a significant increase in service revenue. Be sure to tell every customer that they can book their next appointment online at every touchpoint.
Point of Sale (POS) materials like tent cards, window clings and reminder cards are great ways to let customers know that online scheduling is an option.
3. Be Professional
“Service” is not an appropriate way to answer calls. Thank the customer for calling your dealership, identify yourself and ask, ”How may I help you?” Try to answer every call by the fourth ring!
4. Understand the Customer’s Concerns
Check the vehicle history and get background information. Is this a repeat visit? Are they coming in for maintenance only? Listen to their concerns – let them be heard. If you listen during the appointment setting process, it will have a positive impact on your fixed first visit numbers.
5. Advise the Customer on Required Maintenance
Send every customer a copy of the Maintenance Menu with the current maintenance interval, so they know what to expect before they check-in for service. Your customers will appreciate the transparency. and will be able to plan ahead.
Consistency Drives Results
The appointment setting process is the beginning of the service experience at your dealership. Follow these best practices consistently and you’ll increase online bookings, improve the efficiency of your shop, and increase customer satisfaction.
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