Between 2019 and 2021, incoming phone calls to Service Departments steadily increased by 16.3% — from an average of 9,904 calls per month to 11,534 calls. As inventory shortages plague the automotive industry, customers are hanging onto their cars longer and keeping up with regular maintenance. Dealerships have recognized this source of immediate revenue and many have shifted operational and marketing resources to highlight their Service Departments. One thing is clear — dealerships are emphasizing Service and customers are responding with their business.
With the growing emphasis on Service, however, many dealerships have seen a decline in customer experience as they attempt to keep up with growing Service requests. Customer satisfaction and loyalty go hand-in-hand; with many potential customers choosing alternative repair shops as opposed to a dealership's Service Department, it's more important than ever to provide customers a top-notch experience.
A customer's experience with your Service Department typically starts on the phone. Most customers will even say they prefer to book their Service appointments over the phone to have the opportunity to ask your reps questions. The phone is a critical tool and opportunity every Service Department needs to properly manage.
Below are three fundamental ways your dealership can leverage the phone to improve CSI and increase customer loyalty: improve inbound call connection, increase outbound communication, and provide regular status updates.