Why car dealers must have a consistent service menu process

Many car dealerships ignore the use of menus in their F&I department, though they have been around for decades. In fact, according to one recent study, 80% of service departments are not using any type of service menu—but why? On today’s episode of Service Drive, Don Reed, CEO of DealerPRO Training, discusses the importance of strong service menu presentations.

A service menu can provide customers with a higher degree of assistance by offering products and services that add protection, peace of mind, and reliability to their vehicles. In addition, using menus can also increase the gross profit per vehicle sold for the dealership. However, many dealerships have gotten lax in this area because instead of building a proper service menu themselves, they rely on third-party providers.

Additionally, OEMs are putting menus into dealers’ DMS systems, but these are often not being utilized or presented to customers. If salespeople do not present the menu to customers, sales will suffer. Even if the service menu is not ideal, some additional sales will be generated if it is offered to all customers.

The way service representatives deliver a menu is lacking. Present the benefits while identifying the features. With some of these advisors, no training has taken place. The F&I producer likely received training, but everyone needs to be educated about these services.

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Lastly, many dealerships are not making service menus a priority. This is a problem because service menus are essential in helping customers properly maintain their vehicles. Without service menus, customers are more likely to under, or over-maintain their cars, leading to critical problems down the road.

It is the responsibility of service professionals to train customers on how to maintain their vehicles properly. This includes sharing the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule with them. By doing this, customers will be able to properly care for their cars and avoid any potential problems in the future.

To boost customer-paid gross profit, one Pennsylvania Chevrolet dealership is 100% focused on presenting service menus to all customers. So far, this process has resulted in a 57% increase in customer-paid gross profit. 

When discussing what dealers can measure to track profit increases, Reed stated that F&I producers at the dealership should measure finance penetration, extended service contract penetration, tire and wheel presentations, roadside assistance, and gross per retail unit. They hold employees accountable to minimum requirements for these penetration rates.

When it comes to success in the auto industry, service providers and F&I departments are key. What makes service providers different is their ability to track repair orders per day, total dollar sales per day, and the number of menu sales per day. Sales per customer paid repair order and hours per customer paid repair orders are also important metrics to measure. When it comes to menu services, F&I and service departments are similar in that they both require 100% presentation to 100% of people. Continuous training is essential to teaching staff the proper processes and holding them accountable to standards.

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