When a customer arrives for a service appointment, the check-in process is expected to be smooth, fast, and painless. Having already set an appointment, the vehicle owner feels like they’re prepared for the visit mentally – they’re aware of what’s needed. At least, to the best of their knowledge. 

The service advisor’s role is to provide exceptional service for every customer on every visit. Starting with the customer’s arrival in the service drive, they play a pivotal part in an amazing customer experience while productively selling recommended services and repairs. 

A walkaround is the proven method. A service advisor that performs a walkaround on each customer’s vehicle can expect higher sales per work order and better customer satisfaction scores. Here are five ways a service advisor can convert the walkaround into these two results. 

Related: 15 Ways to Improve Communication in the Service Drive

Wheel Alignments

In cities and counties across the nation, road conditions, potholes, and minor bumps against a curb mean more customers than you think could benefit from a wheel alignment. Service advisors should be comfortable checking for a centered steering wheel as well as abnormal tire wear on a walkaround to identify vehicles that need this service. 

A wheel alignment is a relatively minor cost but opens up plenty more opportunities. It exposes worn suspension and steering parts plus is a great chance to sell tires for vehicles with excessive wear. 

Tires

An NHTSA study of 11,500 vehicles on the road discovered that at almost 50 percent had at least one tire worn to half tread or more. Measuring tire tread depth on each tire on every vehicle passing through the service drive should identify many that need tires every day. 

Tire sales typically have thin profit margins and labor costs are driven down with competition from all sides. But if you can sell tires to a customer, it opens the window to inspecting brakes and suspension while the wheels are off – areas where profits are much higher.

Multipoint Inspection

For some vehicles checking in, service advisors won’t identify specific issues to inform the customer about. However, it’s still a great plan to encourage multipoint inspections for these vehicle owners. 

Peace of mind is a driving factor for vehicle servicing. A minor cost to perform an MPI is an easy sell for most. And should there be any hidden issues, they can be identified before the customer gets a nasty surprise. This peace of mind bolsters the customer experience.

Building Trust

A customer might be coming in for a subsequent visit shortly after another service appointment, or it may be a first oil change. The value of performing a walkaround is still there in many ways. First, it shows commitment to the process a customer can expect every time they visit the service department. A vehicle could have had a minor fender bender or an unexpected issue within hours or days of their last visit. A walkaround builds trust with the customer, even if nothing comes of it. You can assure the customer, “Great news. As expected, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary on the walkaround.”

Related: The Importance of Having Return Customers in the Service Drive – John Fairchild, Fixed-Ops Expert

Detailing

Service advisors see dirty vehicles pass by them every day. A complimentary car wash is offered by many dealerships, but full detailing services are a fantastic way to drum up extra service income. Everyone loves driving a clean car inside and out. While detailing services often aren’t at the same door rate as mechanical (affecting ELR), detailing can boost dollars per RO as well as customer satisfaction. 

Get creative with ways to boost revenue and elevate the customer experience with the walkaround. You’ll find it does wonders to get your bottom line a little higher. 

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