The average age of the vehicles on our American roads is at an all-time high of 12.1 years. This does not mean that people own their cars for this entire time. Instead, people buy a car, drive it for a few years, and then trade it for another. The car that one person considers a ‘clunker’ is potentially inventory for your future used car inventory. That old car gets bought by someone else who is looking for a deal on a slightly older and used vehicle. As a car dealership, this presents a potentially lucrative opportunity, but only if you’re truly taking care of the vehicles that come to you for service.
Most Car Trade-Ins Are Still Young Bucks
Most people believe it’s best to trade in cars every two to three years. However, if this is a new car, this is usually above the optimal time to sell when the value still exceeds the maintenance costs. It’s still a young buck ripe with opportunity: the inner parts still work, it looks appealing, and it runs like a charm. If that car receives proper and timely maintenance during that time, then it is a valuable asset that a car dealership should want to add to its used car inventory. On the other hand, if that car has not received the recommended maintenance, then it’s just going to be a clunky old geezer. Don’t get us wrong - old geezers can be valuable too. They just require extensive maintenance and restoration to keep them in tip-top shape (something your service department and most of your customers probably aren’t interested in).
Offer Your Future Inventory Great Health Plans
This is something similar to what you’ve heard your mom say over and over to you since you were three years old - we’ll call it the Chrome Rule. Treat other cars the way you would like your car to be treated! Many owners are unaware of what their new car requires regarding maintenance. Offering a service plan when they purchase their new car makes routine maintenance simple. Once registered, the service department can send reminders for routine maintenance. Sending these reminders via automation using car dealership software makes scheduling maintenance simple. A car owner can request a time that’s most convenient for them, and the service department can regulate demand and ensure it has the necessary service team available. It keeps your customers happy and your future inventory out of hospice.
Get the Customers Out of Your Lobby
We all live busy lives, and things move at a faster pace than ever. Because of this, the prospect of waiting for hours in a car dealership service center has become progressively less appealing to car owners. Sure, you can have people wait in your lobby for hours, but they’ll eventually get bored of their phones and frustrated because they have other things that need to occupy their time. And let’s face it: sometimes, you respectfully want those customers out of your face. When customers are constantly asking when the vehicle will be ready, when their shuttle ride will arrive, or asking other questions that are easily solved with automation, it can feel like the hovering presence of your mother-in-law.
Offering a complimentary shuttle service gives car owners their freedom back. Using an app or software platform allows a car dealership to communicate with its customers on a platform where they are most comfortable. Using a service like Quickride, a service agent can provide real-time scheduling and repair status updating to increase communication and customer satisfaction. Not only will that delight your customers, it also makes them more likely to agree to additional services that increases the value and functionality of the vehicle, making it more likely that your future inventory is well-taken care of.
Now that the customer is comfortably back at home thanks to the shuttle, use this time to analyze their vehicle and see if it would be a good target for equity mining! If so, pass their information along to the sales team to reach out, and schedule their return ride to the dealership in the Quickride Command Center.
Build a Flourishing, Robust Inventory
The only way you’re going to be able to build a robust inventory that can increase the profits of your used car inventory is to take care of the vehicles that are coming into your service department today. By providing exemplary service, you can help your customers take better care of their vehicles and in turn, your future inventory. You’ll reap the benefits of a higher resale value on your used cars, increased customer loyalty, and a highly successful service department.