Increasing service levels in your parts department isn’t just good business, it can also make a huge impact on overall dealership profit. By focusing on some key factors and fostering great communication between parts, service, and customer care, you can transform your service department and support your dealership with a consistent stream of business from parts and services. According to NADA, 49.6% of the average dealership’s gross profits come directly from the parts department.
The first and seemingly simplest step in increasing service levels is making sure you have the right parts when you need them. While it may sound simple, any good Parts Manager knows keeping your shelves stocked with the parts you need and not those you don’t is anything but simple. Between manufacturer programs, special orders, ever-changing DMS settings, and employee management, Parts Managers are climbing an uphill battle to get stock orders right and fight obsolescence on their shelves. Prioritize giving your Parts Managers the tools they need for success. PartsEdge was created by a Parts Manager and a DMS specialist precisely because this gap exists. Prioritize optimized inventory, and the results will speak for themselves both in increased service levels but also in employee and customer satistfaction.
Is there anything customers love more than timely and efficient service? Tying in what we just touched on with inventory optimization, ensuring your technicians have the parts they need when they need them naturally contributes to the efficiency of your service department. Another way to increase perceived efficiency is to get clear on just how much time things really take, and not what they can take if everything goes right and the parts arrive on time. It’s always better to disappoint a customer now then overpromise and under-deliver. Great communication between your parts, service, and customer care will also increase efficiency.
You would think it would go without saying that doing a repair or service right the first time makes all the difference, but you’d be surprised how many operations struggle to deliver on consistent repair and service quality. Ensuring your mechanics have enough bandwidth to do each repair right is crucial.
Although this applies less to routine service or repairs, good follow up can be the make or break your service success. We all know the scenario: a customer comes in for a routine repair and the tech discovers another issue that doesn’t render the vehicle unusable but will require a special order. Weeks later the part comes in, the customer is called to schedule the repair and isn’t available, and after a few attempts to reach them, the repair falls by the wayside. While it can be frustrating to deal with such a customer, it’s essential that the consistency comes from your dealership. Creating a systematic plan for follow up and a plan for what to do when a customer goes MIA is essential to keep your parts shelves clear of the unneeded stock.
At the end of the day, your customers come to you because they feel you can help them best. Cherish that trust and reward loyalty in any way you can. Great care, excellent service, quality service, programs for discounted service, community involvement, and consistent follow up will all grant you the gift of continued business and referrals.