Let's face it; times are tough for the auto industry. Most dealerships have reduced their advertising and promotional budgets, and at the same time, are looking for higher efficiencies and improved ROI (return on investment) from their efforts. As dealers cut ad spending, each dollar must work harder and go further than ever to get foot traffic in the door.
Hosting service clinics to attract your past, current, and prospective customers is an excellent cost-effective method to help drive traffic to your dealership. Clinics present a different approach to traditional advertising. Service clinics invite customers to come in for a no-cost vehicle diagnostic inspection, and are designed to be a low pressure way to entice previous customers to return, re-activate lost customers, and prospect for new customers who have never done business with your dealership before. In addition, service clinics can generate goodwill in your local community.
The timing of the service clinics is important. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., or Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., are choices to consider. Your customers should receive invitations one week to three days prior to the event and should be encouraged to register by phone or online through a dedicated page on your website. You can enhance the invitations with a variety of premium gift options for those who respond and have an inspection performed. Premiums can include items like golf umbrellas, tools kits, first aid kits, stadium blankets, cash give-aways, gasoline gift cards, etc. To help increase attendance, most dealerships make it a festive event with balloons, refreshments, children's activities and more.
Over the past year, Shell Lubricants has been helping its dealer customers conduct service clinics, and together, they have seen success in terms of helping increase service drive traffic. Service clinics have drawn response rates ranging from 3-6% of those invited, which can often be a stronger response rate than traditional direct mail. In the past several months, Shell Lubricants helped coordinate a clinic at a New York dealership. 10,000 customers were invited, 255 had their vehicles inspected the day of the event, and another 198 came in within the next three weeks for inspection. Over $68,000 in additional service and parts revenue was generated and 7 vehicles were sold to those responding to the invitation. Another Shell Lubricants-sponsored clinic at a dealership in Ohio generated a similar result. The dealership received 110 responses from 3,000 invitations, and generated over $40,000 additional service and parts revenue. The dealership also sold 5 vehicles to customers who were invited to the clinic.
Shell Lubricants has teamed with one of the industry's leading direct marketing companies who also provides service clinic support, J&L Marketing, to execute these turn-key service clinics. Shell Lubricants can help coordinate the event following a seven-step process:
Step 1 - Design the clinic and invitation and set date(s)
Step 2 - Develop guest list and acquire and ensure accurate data
Step 3 - Plan for guest arrival
Step 4 - Order materials and supplies and send invitations
Step 5 - Set appointments
Step 6 - Confirm appointments and conduct clinic
Step 7 - Track and measure responses, follow up with and complete scheduled work
Service clinics are just one way that Shell Lubricants is working with its dealer clients to help you market the services offered by your dealership. And, Shell Lubricants coordinates the event, including preparation and follow-up.
Want Shell Lubricants to help with your service clinics? Contact Mike Burns, National Sales Manager - Auto Dealer Development, today.
National Sales Manager - Auto Dealer Development
The term "Shell Lubricants" collectively refers to the companies of the Shell Group engaged in the lubricants business. Shell Lubricants has been the sole premium lubricants and consumer products affinity partner for AIADA members since 2003. To learn more about how Shell Lubricants can help your dealership, click here. Would you like to be contacted by someone at Shell Lubricants to learn more? Click here.