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Bodyshop in focus: Dealers fail the basic ‘three Es’ customer test

With revenue from car sales continuing to be squeezed, dealers are under even more pressure than ever to embrace, enhance and extrapolate as much as possible from alternative sources within the business.

And when it comes to looking after customers who’ve been involved in accidents, the revenue opportunity for dealers is still a vastly under-utilized one.

Think about it; unless you know otherwise, if you’re involved in a crash, the first person you’ll speak to is your insurer. Bye-bye dealer. If you do opt to call the dealer, a staggering 60% of customers are told to phone their insurer.

Bye-bye dealer again.

That facet of dealer life still amazes me – the ability to quickly show a customer the door when they need assistance most. It is also waving good-bye to genuine revenue – something no dealer can, or should, allow to happen.

By focusing on the three Es – embrace, enhance and extrapolate – dealers can increase their bottom line by 20-30% over the course of a year without breaking sweat. We’ve seen it. Some prestige dealers are adding upwards of £400,000 of pure profit without any investment or risk.

How? Well, you only need to look at the statistics. Every day, approximately 10,000 people are involved in an accident. Half of those will be non-fault and a further half will need assistance to get back on the road. And now the interesting one: 1,250 of them will buy a new car within six months. The question is, how many will you be able to sell to if you’re not talking to them? Then there is the value attached to retaining the customer experience – something the manufacturer continually stresses. It also provides you with the chance to sell more genuine parts, fitted by your factory-trained technicians.

Yes, accident management is a numbers game, but it’s by no means a gamble.

We know dealers get it. They understand the CRM and revenue potential. The problem is: are they doing enough of the three Es?

Author: Steve Evans, chief executive of Accident Exchange

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