How to Entice More Service Drive Customers with Targeted Messages

service drive

You can make money with coupons with the right customer messaging and targeted marketing. It is easier to learn than it sounds. if you give the right coupon (the right offer), to the right customer (not just anybody), for the right reason (a goal that makes sense), then you will bring in more customers to your service drive.

Don’t Leave ‘Money on the Table’

The inefficient way coupons are typically used merely wastes the dealer’s money. For customers who are already on the service drive, and are willing to pay your normal prices, giving them a discount coupon won’t make them spend more on that visit. Neither will it encourage them to buy from you more frequently. In marketing, the term for that wasteful practice is “Giving away margin.”

Coupons Are a Staple of American Advertising

Because coupons are proven to work when used correctly, advertisers use them heavily. To be a skillful advertiser, though, you have to understand the difference between a low-involvement purchase (a product with little or no risk of loss) and a high-involvement purchase (a transaction with a high potential for a problem, dissatisfaction or a complaint).

A coupon for a box of cereal at the grocery store is a low-involvement purchase, because if you don’t like the cereal you have lost nothing. Simply don’t buy it again. A coupon for car repair, though, brings the possibility of (expensive) repairs not done correctly and a long, frustrating ordeal to get it corrected. That is how the public views car repair; it’s been said they would rather visit the dentist than bring their cars in for service. Because of that apprehension, the public is not very willing to use your service department’s coupons, unless the message on your coupons can specifically remove their innate fears and resistance. Make sense?

Make Offers That Solve Your Customers’ Problems

No, not their mechanical problems, but their fears, worries, frustrations and bad feelings over past experiences in car repair – those are the innate things that your coupons must address. How so?

Like this. Realize that people are not buying car repairs from you. They are buying safety for their families, the promise of vehicle reliability, the security of maintaining their warranties, and other intangible benefits of that nature. Those benefits are how the car was sold in the first place – by a skilled salesperson.

So, list the worries customers have about car repair (be specific), then develop some offers that specifically address those concerns. Then print your offers on coupons for your SAs to hand out in the service drive.

Practice Examples to Get You Started

If your goal is to:

  •   Build a large email mailing list that generates service appointments, then your offer could be:

“Want to save money and avoid worry about car repair? Receive a free, short, easy to read, money-saving tip from us monthly by email. Free. Opt out any time with one click.”

You monthly tips would be about common mistakes people make in car repair, avoidable expenses, etc.

If your goal is to:

  •   Sell more wheel balances and alignments, then your offer could be:

“Does your car vibrate or change lanes by itself? Get our steering and suspension safety check, wheel balance and alignment, for one low price of $XX. xx.”

If your goal is to:

  •   Sell more billable hours, then your coupon could say:

“Want to talk about car maintenance? Get a free 20-minute consultation with a certified master technician. Limited to availability.”

If your goal is to:

  •   Sell more batteries and drive belts, then your coupon could say:

“Want to make sure your car will start when the weather turns cold? Get a complimentary battery and starting system test. Done while you wait today – no appointment necessary.”