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10 Ideas to Increase the Dealership’s Bottom Line

This article discusses key ideas that dealership principals and managers can implement to improve their bottom line and differentiate themselves from the competition.

Ideas

  1. Know the Sales Potential of Your Customer Base
  2. Saving Time, Money, and… Paper
  3. Leverage Vehicle Reception to Improve the Customer Experience (and Sell More)
  4. Work on Lost Sales and Discarded Opportunities
  5. Know Exactly What’s Happening in the Workshop
  6. Maximize Customer Interactions With a Vehicle Reception Checklist
  7. Transform Lost Sales Into Future Opportunities
  8. Streamline Parts Management
  9. Track Aftersales KPIs
  10. Kickstart Each Day With a Daily Meeting

Top Ideas

Know (and Leverage) the Sales Potential of Your Customer Base

Each new sale should be the first step in a long process: the customer’s vehicle will require service and parts. Dealerships that closely analyze their after-sales potential will be much more likely to be the ones to take advantage of those opportunities.

Each model has an estimated annual consumption established by the OEM; in some cases, the dealer does not know this information, and in other cases the dealer does but does not have the tools to take advantage of it.

If you analyze the post-sale potential and the buying trends of your customers, you will be able to fully dedicate yourself to working on these opportunities that can represent hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Saving Time, Money, and… Paper

In the quest to optimize resources, time and money are key factors, but paper enters the equation because it is not a minor expense. And for dealers seeking to be greener, it is important to reduce the use of this input.

Invoices and other documents can consume paper, and sending out those documents is time-consuming. If you can automate the sending of this type of information, you will save many hours of repetitive and costly manual tasks.

Leverage Vehicle Reception to Improve the Customer Experience (and Sell More)

There is a trend in almost every industry that has a direct relationship with customers: the reduction of in-person contacts.

In this context, every interaction with the customer is vital, and one key interaction is vehicle reception in the workshop. This is the moment to record the condition of the vehicle prior to repair, but also to detect other interventions that can be performed. You have 100% of the customer’s attention and need to take advantage of this valuable moment.

Ask yourself the following questions: How good is the reception checklist we are using today? Do we generate more work than the customer requests? What is the ratio? Do we take advantage of this moment to know if the customer would choose us again? Do we provide a unique experience?

Take advantage of your checklist to learn more about the customer, to offer seasonal services, other services that we know they may need but they did not express, and to learn about their experience and degree of loyalty.

Work on Lost Sales and Discarded Opportunities

Lost sales and ignored opportunities mean you will be losing the full sales potential of each of those customers.

How can you take advantage of this information?

  • If the main reason you’re losing parts sales is lack of inventory, you can work on your purchasing strategy. Autologica Sky DMS includes an Order Suggestion feature, an intelligent purchase analysis feature that drastically reduces lost sales.
  • If the main reason you’re losing service sales is lack of interest, you need to analyze how the dealership’s expertise is being communicated to customers, so that they see your service suggestions not as a cost, but as a trusted recommendation.

Know Exactly What’s Happening in the Workshop

The Service Department today plays a key role in dealership success. To get the most out of this department, it is necessary to measure several KPIs, constantly adjust them, improve processes, and always keep a close eye on performance.

  • Ratio of jobs invoiced to customers
    This KPI monitors the service mix is put, i.e., what proportion of jobs are invoiced to customers versus jobs whose cost is absorbed by the dealership, such as pre-deliveries.
  • Number of third-party jobs per month
    We’ve seen cases where there was an average of 30% of third-party work in service invoices, which means that the dealer is missing out on a large portion of service sales.
  • Efficiency and productivity
    These KPIs are as vital as breathing; without efficiency and productivity, the workshop may be losing money when it should be a major contributor to dealership profit.

Maximize Customer Interactions With a Vehicle Reception Checklist 

In today’s virtual landscape, leveraging direct customer interactions is essential. Make the most out of moments like vehicle reception in the workshop or visits by Service Advisors to the field.

Implement a comprehensive checklist that enables you to gather crucial customer information, offer additional services, and evaluate customer satisfaction. By strategically leveraging these touchpoints, you can unlock new sales opportunities and enhance the overall customer experience.  

Transform Lost Sales Into Future Opportunities 

Every lost sale holds valuable insights. Analyze the reasons behind lost sales and strategically address them. Identify common patterns and develop targeted recontact campaigns to reconnect with customers who did not purchase. By offering fresh approaches and effective messaging, you can convert these missed opportunities into future sales. 

Streamline Parts Management  

Avoid the frustration of selling a part that was requested by another customer. Implement efficient processes to reserve parts for customers and promptly notify them when the parts are available for pickup. This not only improves customer satisfaction but also optimizes your internal operations. 

Track Aftersales KPIs 

To drive efficiency in your Aftersales Department, rely on precise KPIs that measure performance and facilitate process adjustments. Key indicators to consider include: 

  1. Efficiency and productivity per operator, workshop, and store: Identify areas that require additional training or areas where specific operators excel. By assessing performance across all locations, you gain a comprehensive understanding of your dealership’s operations. 
  2. Percentage of jobs billed to customers: Understand your service mix and identify if your dealership is absorbing costs for certain types of jobs, such as pre-deliveries or fleet services. 
  3. Number of third-party jobs per month: Determine the extent to which your dealership is missing out on potential revenue by tracking the percentage of repair orders outsourced to third parties. 
Autologica Sky DMS tools for efficient workshop management.

Kickstart Each Day With a Daily Meeting 

Embrace the practice of a daily team meeting to set clear objectives and align everyone’s focus. Known as the “Daily Huddle,” these brief gatherings lasting 5 to 10 minutes provide a compass for each team member’s day. Use this time to communicate goals, address potential obstacles, and share key information.