Automotive Service Consulting for Auto Sales Directors

In this new digital age where dealerships are struggling to maximize sales and separate themselves from the competition, automotive service consulting is quickly becoming the secret weapon for keeping the numbers solid. 

Service departments are one of the best ways for dealerships to develop the long-term relationships they need with customers to keep them coming back. They also generate important revenue that supports the dip in sales during the slower months, and the best teams are discovering that service departments are a hidden opportunity to market to customers and generate new leads. 

Undoubtedly, a service department consultant can make a big impact on your bottom line. However, that doesn’t mean that just any off-the-shelf sales consultant will do; the automotive industry is extremely specialized, and that means you need a partner who understands the business and what it takes to succeed.

Here are the essential points to consider when choosing the ideal service consultant for your business.

Connecting Sales and Service

The business connection between car sales and service departments has been obvious since the first Ford rolled off the assembly line. If you’re in the business of selling cars, there is a natural opportunity to maintain and repair them as well, and the vast majority of dealerships for major brands have a well-established service department supporting the sales side. 

What an automotive service consultant should be looking for is ways to develop a pipeline from sales to service and vice-versa. The stone-cold fact is, that dealerships are only handling about 31% of the service visits in the U.S. today. It’s down 4% since 2021, and there are two important metrics at play:

  • The average price per dealer service visit is up 45% since 2021
  • 54% of customers cited “trust” as the reason they chose to use their dealer for service—down 5% since 2021.

What these statistics indicate is that the dynamics of service departments are changing, and an automotive service consultant who’s going to make an impact needs to be talking about two important things: how to use your sales team to build trust in your dealership’s service department, and helping your service side leverage all sales opportunities. 

Developing a Trusted Service Department

Believe it or not, trust in your service department’s work doesn’t start when they return a working car to a customer. It begins when your sales team lays the foundation for the value sticking with in-house service will deliver. 

There are a lot of angles for this an auto sales director can leverage, and here are some of the most important ones an automotive service consultant will ensure are reinforced during the sales process:

  • A consistent history: By returning to your dealership every time their car needs work, every tech who services their vehicle will always have a complete understanding of the car’s history and issues. This is a major selling point for a dealership and one sales should be highlighting. 
  • The right solution: Does a local mechanic charge a bit less? Maybe, but that’s because they are often using generic parts or making compromises to get your car up and running. That can cause serious downstream effects customers need to be aware of when it comes to the longevity of their vehicles. 
  • Service deals: Because they’re part of a larger team that handles every aspect of car sales, your dealership’s service department is in a position to create deals and help you find the best solutions. An automotive service consultant should promote coordination between them. 
  • Thorough evaluations: A stop at the dealership for an oil change often comes at a premium, but how many customers understand what they’re paying for? Your sales team needs to effectively communicate the comprehensive analysis your dealership service department delivers that will save them money in the long run. 

Of course, getting your sales team trained and consistently painting the picture takes a dedicated consulting partner who knows how to coach effectively and create and deploy scripts to ensure success. If you’re working with an automotive service consultant who’s not talking about these key points, it’s time to move on. 

Maximizing Your Service Department’s Opportunities

Once your sales team is trained to funnel buyers to the service side of the business, an auto sales director needs to ensure the service team is ready to pick up where they left off. A service department’s phone skills are one of the most underrated opportunities for revenue in any dealership (let’s face it: whether it’s sales or service… it’s sales), and the ones that get it right have a major leg up over the competition. 

Fortunately, the same team that trains your sales department can also work with service because the rules of the game are the same: they need to find out what customers need as quickly and efficiently as possible and then guide them toward the best solution. 

When customers call your service department, they expect to be met with the same high-quality service and interactions they’ve come to associate with your business. Gone are the days of the gruff mechanic grunting into a phone about windshields and axle grease—your service department should be working from phone scripts that promote polite and helpful interactions that make the most of every sales avenue. 

Ideally, these should be written to align with your sales scripts and overall dealership branding, and your automotive service consultant can help you ensure these are on point. The very best will also use the same active coaching strategies they deployed with your salespeople to improve your service team’s phone performance. 

Now You’re Ready!

With the items we’ve covered here, you should be well-armed to choose the ideal automotive service consulting partner. And if you’re looking for the best in the business when it comes to connecting your sales and service teams to maximize revenue, look no further than Phone Ninjas

We’ve got decades of highly successful experience in the automotive industry from sales to service, and we know exactly how to train and coordinate your people to send your business soaring past the competition.  We provide personalized phone scripts and coaching as a core part of our training methodology. After a 90-minute initial teaching session for the whole staff (remote or in-person as you desire), our coaches work with your employees one-on-one every week until they’ve got it down. 

After the training is complete, we provide the mystery shops to verify your team’s hard work is translating into a great customer experience, then resume coaching as necessary. And because we know how busy auto sales directors are, we do it all while making sure you can focus on doing your job. We’ll only check in if there’s a problem or to discuss results and analytics with you.

But we can’t help until you let us! Reach out today to schedule a demo of our services (which includes two free mystery shops to gauge your current phone and internet customer service. We can’t wait to start elevating your sales and service teams. 

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