By Laura Cronin 08 Jul 2022 4 min read

How to Excel in Your Dealership's Service Department: 5 Pointers

Sales may be the focus of a dealership, but they’re far from the only revenue source. Aftermarket services — though they may bring in less cash per transaction — likely deal with more customers on a daily basis. Consequently, as a worker in this department, you have a unique opportunity to serve customers and stand out to your employer.

Customers may not always need new cars, but they’ll always need tune-ups and repairs. Here are five tips for excelling in this area.

1: Go the Extra Mile to Understand Customers

A good employee provides top-notch service and encourages repeat business, and that means meeting customer expectations. That can be hard in this line of work, as many customers don’t know exactly what they need. You can help by communicating as much as possible.

When customers come in for service, ask a lot of questions to determine what they need or want exactly. Similarly, be as clear and detailed as possible when telling them what you can do to meet their needs. This will help improve understanding, leading to more satisfied customers.

2: Be Transparent

Transparency is another important part of drawing customers in and fostering loyalty. Only 34% of modern consumers prefer dealerships for maintenance services, with perceptions around cost influencing many decisions. Being more upfront about costs and necessary services can help counteract that trend.

Tell customers what you expect them to pay upfront, including how prices may change depending on what you find when you start working. When giving customers their bills, include detailed breakdowns of where costs come from. If they can see how their money goes toward quality service, they’ll be less likely to worry about costs.

3: Upsell, But Don’t Be Pushy

Auto maintenance is an ongoing process and can be complicated, so it’s the perfect place to upsell customers on some services. Look for potential areas of need that customers didn’t ask about, then point their attention to them and offer to address them. This will get your dealership more business and help you stand out as a proactive, sales-minded employee.

At the same time, you don’t want to be too aggressive with your upselling. You may come across as unfriendly or insincere if you make things seem more urgent than they are or push hard for more spending. To avoid this, only offer extra services you know can benefit customers and be honest about whether they could be put off until later.

4: Take Care of Your Tools

It’s also important to make sure you keep the equipment you use in top condition. Regular maintenance is just as crucial for your equipment as for the cars they service. If you don’t take care of your tools, you won’t be able to provide quality service and may even damage customers’ cars.

Remember to check your equipment before using it and report anything suspicious you see. Some maintenance steps like checking auto lifts should happen every day, while other, more involved checks can happen monthly or annually. If you keep an eye on these factors and help your department keep everything in top shape, you’ll prevent costly mistakes and impress higher-ups with your attention to detail.

5: Create Opportunities for Future Business

As you work, remember to create opportunities to get your dealership more business. Remind customers to come back for oil changes at least every 7,500 miles and for tire rotations every two oil changes. These repeated steps are necessary for any vehicle, but offering subtle reminders can help ensure drivers come back to you for them.

Placing stickers with return dates is an excellent first step, but you can go further. Talk with customers as you work, developing relationships with them. The more personable you seem, the more likely they will be to return for future services. If you can foster these kinds of ongoing businesses, your dealership will take note.

Improve Your Dealership’s Service Department Today

Improving your dealership’s service department can enhance your dealership as a whole. As you satisfy more customers and encourage future business, you’ll drive success for everyone you work with.

These five tips aren’t the only ways to excel in your service department, but they’re the most effective. Implementing these today can help you make an impact and stand out as an employee.


Author: Oscar Collins, Modded Founder and Editor-in-Chief