When push comes to shove

shoveCustomer objections can be difficult to identify and handle, so many service providers fear them. However, objections communicate important and valuable information about customer concerns, needs, and fears.

Most objections revolve around an array of issues and can be effectively handled with a simple reframing process that puts the issue into perspective.

However, as service providers, our commitment is to provide the best quality at a fair price and on time to achieve customer satisfaction.

Tell your customers why it’s worth their while to service their vehicles at your dealership. Even if a customer does decide to leave your business, it’s still possible to get them back.

Just recently, a customer walked into our service department to discuss a letter he had received from Toyota Canada about a recall on his vehicle. I checked his records and realized he hadn’t been into the dealership for service in months, but I was able to slot him in for an appointment that day.

While he was waiting for service, I asked him why he hadn’t come in to see us, to which he replied, “Your dealership is great, but too expensive for me.”

The customer told me he had found a local mechanic who would be able to perform cheaper and more frequent oil changes — with less wait time than the dealership. He added the mechanic had also performed other costly repairs, which he perceived to be lower than the dealer price.

I then asked him if I could see his invoices to compare the costs. After a few calculations and a breakdown in costs, I was able to show him how he would have actually saved more money by bringing his vehicle to our dealership than to the aftermarket provider. He hadn’t factored in warranty coverage, which would have made a significant difference in costs.

Tell your customers why it’s worth their while to service their vehicles at your dealership. Even if a customer does decide to leave your business, it’s still possible to get them back.

To address his other concern about the longer wait times for oil changes at our dealership, I took the time to educate him about the process. I explained that we take the time to drain the dirty oil trapped within the internal parts of the engine to minimize the leftover dirty oil mixing with new, clean oil.

The customer was quite surprised to hear that. I continued by informing him that in addition to engine lubrication, the service technicians at the dealership will also take the time to check other parts of the vehicle, such as fluids, lights and tire pressure.

At that point, the customer said he was sold on servicing his vehicle at the dealership and proclaimed
that he would no longer go to an aftermarket provider.

Objections usually stem from the customer’s fears. But if your product/service marketing knowledge and understanding of your industry allow you to back up your statements with hard facts, the customer will feel much more comfortable. They will respond by entrusting you and your dealership.

Today, with aftermarket competitors at an arm’s length, getting customers into your dealership business may be a little tougher during financially challenging times.

But when customers do come back, make sure you do everything you can to hold on to them. It really isn’t that difficult, and efforts are well worth it to regain a customer’s trust and to retain them for life.

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Canadian auto dealer