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Service departments must fight harder against downturn

Successful service up-selling has been hit by the downturn in consumer confidence.

Castrol Professional has detected a downturn in the proportion of customers agreeing to additional work after submitting their car to a vehicle health check.

It estimates that, compared to last year, the average dealer could potentially miss out on £20,000 of aftersales revenue per technician in 2008.

Adrian Brabazon, Castrol OEM and workshop marketing manager, UK and Ireland, said specific sales training for service receptionists could help overcome customers' reluctance to buy more than the absolute necessary.

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"Their objective is to make sure customers are left in no doubt that the work should be undertaken when it is identified, that the franchised dealer is uniquely placed to provide the best, dedicated technical service, and that they will also receive exceptional customer care,” he added.

If customers decline to have identified work complete immediately, the emphasis is on service reception to follow-up with the customer on a later date to retain the work.

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