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A quick snapshot of any dealership website reveals the exact same thing. The first thing that’s evident will be new car inventory, followed by used car inventory. Tucked away in a corner, in a seldom-selected dropdown menu are parts and accessories, and then the service department.
What do you get when you select the service department? Very few websites even have a clickable ‘Service’ heading. The ones that do have a basic, uninspiring page with little to no helpful information. Possibly hours of operation, a handful of keywords, but nothing more. The ‘Service’ dropdown has a slightly better, offering the opportunity to schedule an appointment, view specials, or perhaps even view maintenance schedules.
Compare that web presence to the service department’s value in your store. Are you operating near or at 100 percent service absorption? If you are, you know exactly how important your service department is. And if you aren’t, then maybe your website experience is a tool that could boost your service department up a little.
Think about the ‘Service’ tab as its own website. Because, honestly, your customers that want service information don’t want to search all over your website to find the one thing they want to know. It should be contained and easy to find.
From the first click on the ‘service’ tab, customers should be able to access the most important details right away. It should give them access to creating an appointment or contacting your service department directly, and it should have your hours of operation immediately present. Don’t forget to show holiday hours also.
A personal connection is powerful. That’s why I’d always recommend putting a department profile in the related webpage. Post pictures and a one- or two-line bio for all your service staff, from service managers and advisors to cashiers and valets.
The manufacturer always has a service special running, don’t they? Artwork is provided from the OEM and it’s simple to insert onto the webpage. What’s even more important than putting specials online is making sure they are current. Information that is months or years past their expiration tells website visitors they can’t rely on the rest of your content to be current either.
One of the most powerful tools for your website is a blog. Include how-to guides for basic service-related features like ‘how to tell when your air filter needs to be replaced’ and ‘how to adjust your tire pressures’.
A service blog is a fantastic opportunity to pack search terms onto your website. When potential customers are searching online, you want your website to show up. So, put popular search terms into your content as keywords. Terms like ‘oil change near me’ and ‘Honda repair shop’ are examples of keywords that customers are searching.
While you’re at it, every department should treat their portion of the website like this. The fact is that all dealerships are competing against each other for the most important leads right now: online leads. Make your web content stand out more than the others to get more than your share of the leads, service or otherwise.