Tips to Increase Traffic to your Service Drive

Hand holding wrench and another giving a thumbs up

The ongoing vehicle inventory shortage has changed the way a lot of dealerships are conducting business, and one area that is getting a lot more priority is the service drive. Car maintenance is a regular occurrence, and if your dealership is looking for a place to increase customer loyalty (as well as profit), your service drive is a great place to turn.

One problem that seems to arise for many dealerships is how to get enough customers in. If you are looking to increase the traffic coming in to your service drive, here are a few tips that can help:

Make It Personal

Your service drive faces stiff competition—from other dealerships to franchised auto repair shops and local mechanics. When a customer’s check engine light turns on, why should they choose you?

Marketing your service drive is essential to showing customers the value you can provide them and their vehicle.   To stand out, use custom messaging and targeted ads to increase the likelihood that customers will find your messaging relevant to them. This sort of personalization will help ensure that when customers find themselves looking for maintenance or repair work, they remember you.

If you want to capture the most demand, it’s not enough to show up in generic search results, such as “service center near me.” You should also target specific searches. A good place to start is by breaking your customers into separate segments based on whether they come to you for maintenance or repairs. Your maintenance customers are going to have different needs and levels of urgency than your repair customers will, meaning they will likely turn to search engines with different queries. Consider targeting maintenance customers searching for topics like “best repair shop for oil changes,” and repair customers searching “clicking in my dash.”

The channels you use to reach your customers should vary as well. You may want to market certain specials on social media, such as Facebook or Instagram, but for more reactive, immediate repair needs you may find it easier to reach your audience through custom search and display ads on Google. This sort of segmentation may seem like a lot of work, but it can ensure that your customers see the ads that are most likely to get them to take action.

Review Your Workflow

Before drawing more customers in for maintenance and repairs, it is important to ensure that your drive is running efficiently enough to take on any extra work.

Look at how your service drive is currently operating, specifically searching for areas where workflow could be improved for your advisors or technicians. Maybe you find that your team could use an extra pair of hands during busy hours, or you find that your advisors spend a lot of time and effort adhering to an outdated procedure that could be easily changed. Finding these sorts of problems and working to eliminate them can be beneficial to any dealership, but especially for those interested in increasing their traffic flow.

Refresh Your Scheduling Process

Once a customer decides to schedule a service appointment with you, you don’t want them to change their mind because the process takes too long or is difficult to follow. Customers value convenience and variety—while some will want to call you to book an appointment, others may choose to schedule online or opt to walk in. When looking to increase traffic, you are going to want to make sure that your customers are able to arrange appointments in a variety of ways with minimal effort on their part.

Not sure where to start?  Ask customers for feedback on your scheduling process: Did they have to wait long if they were put on hold? Was your website easy to navigate and understand? These simple questions can help you refine your process and ensure customer satisfaction.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to take a proactive approach and ask customers if they would like to schedule their next service appointment before they leave your dealership. Scheduling appointments ahead of time increases efficiency for both you and your customers when it comes to future visits.

With a little extra effort, your dealership can reap the rewards of a full service drive. Drivers are always going to need maintenance and repairs on their vehicles, so it makes sense to want to tap into that market as much as you possibly can. When it comes to increasing the traffic coming into your dealership’s service drive, it can be extremely beneficial to personally connect with your customers, assess your capabilities, and rethink your processes. Following these tips can ensure that as your service appointments and profits rise, so does your customer satisfaction and loyalty.