Let Your Service Department Make Up For Slow Car Sales

Every day I hear car dealers complain about how bad things are. They talk about the stock market, the mortgage situation, how people are letting the banks foreclose on their property, and that all of those things are hurting car sales. These dealers are the same ones that are trying to cut every expense, including advertising, as if they actually believe they can “save their self into a profit.” It seems like they’ve all just given up and resolved themselves to tighten their belts in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, they can survive this horrible situation they have been thrust into without any way of controlling it.

Well, what did you expect? It is time for dealers to get serious about customer retention, about increasing customer-pay service work’ and about advertising and marketing their service departments. This is not a new concept, but it sure has taken a while to hit home. Unfortunately, it takes a serious downturn to get everyone’s attention. So, here they are, right in the middle of it all and deep down, most dealers know that if they had done the right things long ago they wouldn’t be in the situation they’re in now. It’s not hopeless. Here are some ways to get a service department back on track:

Open early and close late. And open your service department all day on Saturday. The independents will tell you that Saturday is their best day – you have to be open to do business.

Get competitive. Make sure your oil change price is a great deal. Remember, the oil change is the traffic driver and almost all upsells come directly from oil change write ups.

Advertise your service department. Even though car sales maybe be down, that just means that customers are keeping their cars longer, driving more miles and needing more service. Beef up your service advertising budget – go ahead, crank it up, don’t cut it. Don’t be the best-kept secret in town.

Increase customer loyalty and retention. It’s time to invest in some form of loyalty rewards club to give customers a reason to visit and do business with you. Whatever it costs, it’s much cheaper than constantly spending $400 to $500 in advertising for new car buyers. It is a known fact that loyal service customers visit more, spend more and are much more likely to buy their next vehicles where they have their current one serviced. Take a small portion of your advertising budget and invest it in your existing customers.

There you go – four things that will build your business. As crazy as it may sound, I’m excited about the future. I know that dealers who focus on customer retention and invest in their existing customers will reap the rewards both in the service department, the sales department and the bottom line net profit. I also know that dealers who didn’t get serious will be weeded out and eliminated. Which group will you be in?

Practical E-Commerce Advertising For Business

E-commerce advertising is a pertinent topic for online businesses who seek to increase exposure to increase sales and build market share. The selection of internet advertising initiatives become the focus of a company’s online marketing plan. If you don’t have a formalized plan or document that states your objectives, the mediums to be used and the benchmarks to be used to measure your goals and objectives then you should probably consider creating one. Here are few suggestions on the few commonly used web advertising options:

Organic Search Engine Traffic: Getting your site listed and indexed in a search engine is very important. Most people who search online usually select sites listed within the top 10 results for further investigation. As a site owner, you need to identify which keywords describe your business activity and employ a search engine specialist to target those terms. Traffic is the lifeblood of any website so you should seek the advice of qualified professional if you are unfamiliar with the process requirements.

Pay per Click: Listing your site under search keywords and phrases is a quick and effective way to drive quality traffic to your site. Pay per click advertising uses an online bidding and quality score to determine where your advertisements are listed. The same keywords that are used for organic listings form the basis of further research to refine your PPC listings. An online specialist can assist you with this process.

Email: Email is a form of direct internet advertising that allows you to keep in touch with existing customers and acquire new ones. It is an effective way to communicate offers, release new products or promote ancillary products and services. Companies that build quality email databases can find this form of e-commerce advertising to be very effective.

Banner Advertising: By placing a banner on high traffic web properties, you can drive quality targeted traffic to your site. You can approach exiting ads networks or the advertising department of high traffic volume sites to ascertain current advertising rates. They will also provide information on required banner specifications.

Article marketing: Writing about your companies’ goods and services and distributing to relevant article websites help to raise product awareness, generate traffic and build backlinks to raise your search engines rankings. Press releases are another form of article marketing which is very effective for generating interest. It should be part of every businesses advertising on the internet.

The above suggestions comprise common advertising approaches that can be used to form the basis of any e-commerce advertising plan.