A recent study by Cox Automotive showed that fleet sales are down 20% from 2020. With this lack of sales, your dealership needs to find other ways to earn revenue from your commercial clients. However, these businesses are feeling the effects of the recent pandemic, which is why they aren’t buying new cars in the first place. So, how are you going to convince them to get service done?
We discuss three essential ways to make your service department more appealing to fleet customers.
1. Bend Over Backwards
A superior fleet dealer understands how important the vehicles are to a business. For this reason alone, every staff member should fully accommodate the needs of the company. There are several ways to do this, and all should be executed.
- Create priority servicing: Offer a dedicated bay just for fleet repairs and maintenance. This arrangement provides a faster turnaround time, which makes your dealership a top choice.
- Supply concierge services: Consider picking up and dropping off fleet vehicles to make it easier on the business.
- Offer after-hours appointments: You can service the fleet vehicles after-hours when the business isn’t operating.
- Provider loaner vehicles: If you can swap out for a nearly identical model, offer your customers loaner vehicles, so their business is never down while repairs are happening.
2. Cross-Train Technicians
While you want to have a dedicated bay and team that is working on your fleet vehicles, you don’t want anyone to be left out. Your team should be skilled in handling the average customer’s vehicle along with the fleet lineup. Make sure that all of your technicians and service advisors receive regular training, and then use that talking point as a means of advertising. As you pitch your fleet services, companies will want to know that your technicians are specifically trained to handle the job.
3. Develop Fleet Relationships
Pick one go-getter from your team to lead the fleet service department. Put this person in charge of building new relationships with companies in your area. They will also be responsible for cultivating those relationships and maintaining contact.
Networking tends to be the best way to find new fleet customers. You can look at local associations of businesses in the area to start visiting. By joining an association, you make it easy for companies to find you. However, don’t expect instant results without putting in a little work.
Additionally, you want to fall back on some traditional methods of advertising too. Email campaigns, cold-calling, mailers and building your website are all great ways to reach fleet customers. While you will need to get used to hearing no often, don’t get discouraged. The longer you nurture the process, the better the payoff will be in the end.
Once you gain a new fleet customer, you must become proactive, ensuring that all of their expectations are constantly met. Send out regular reminders of upcoming service needs and touch base with them often.
With fewer fleet customers buying newer models, there’s a much larger avenue for you to swoop in with your service promotions. These cars are going to need more care and maintenance, so you might as well get the revenue before your competitor does.
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