Capture More Declined Services with MPIs
Build trust, drive advocacy, sell more services
Build trust, drive advocacy, sell more services
What do Tom Brady and Multi Point Inspections (MPIs) have in common? Both add value to any organization that integrates them into their operations. MPIs, when used correctly, are a fantastic tool to provide your customers with transparent and objective information to enable them to make an informed decision when offered additional services. Simply stated, MPIs build trust between your customers and your service department. If your customers don’t trust what your service representatives are telling them, you’d have an easier time selling ice cubes in Alaska than selling a brake fluid change to someone whose brake fluid reservoir resembles the tepid water flowing through Disney’s “It’s a Small World.”
Customers decline services for two simple reasons: either they don’t have the time or money for the service or they don’t trust the service rep’s recommendation. Having a customer decline a service because they cannot afford it isn’t ideal, but allowing them to arrive at that decision after providing transparent MPI results creates future opportunities to address their vehicle issues. These options do not exist if your customers do not trust your service reps. Further, one can assume that allowing service reps to resort to high-pressure sales techniques or push unnecessary service costs your dealership more money in the long term. Nobody wants to recommend your dealership to their grandma if they believe she is going to get publicly shamed for not buying a coolant flush that she doesn’t actually need.
While you cannot prevent every customer from declining a service, you can leverage MPIs to reduce the number of customers leaving your bays in vehicles with unaddressed safety issues by embracing one fundamental concept: transparency. The MPI’s effectiveness doesn’t hinge on your trained techs running down a checklist; rather, success hinges upon the transparent communication of the MPI’s results to the customer. To that end, consider the following good ideas, and their less successful counterparts, to influence how you implement MPIs at your dealership.
Good Idea: Let customers see the issues you techs identify in real time, either physically or virtually.
Bad Idea: Provide a verbal description of the vehicle’s issue while keeping the customer’s vehicle behind a secret veil in your service bays.
Why It Matters: Nobody enjoys learning that their vehicle requires costly repairs. In most cases, a customer’s natural reaction to this news is to become skeptical and question if the service rep is telling the truth or trying to earn the “Employee of the Month” parking spot by selling unnecessary services. Therefore, your service reps need to couch their recommendations with transparent evidence. An interactive, live-video MPI legitimately structures your sales reps’ recommendations and builds trust with each interaction. A customer declining services but still trusting your dealership is a better scenario then a customer buying every service, but leaving your dealership bitter and resentful. One will recommend your team to family and friends while the other seizes every opportunity to push people to your competition.
Good Idea: Use the MPI to prioritize the three greatest safety concerns when making service recommendations.
Bad Idea: Demand that a customer addresses every single deficiency if they don’t want to drive home in a death trap on wheels.
Why It Matters: Unless your last name is Bezos, your monthly budget is a pressing concern. Therefore, your customers appreciate a legitimate prioritization of vehicle issues so they can make an informed decision on what services they buy now and what can wait until next payday. As the old saying goes, if everything is a priority, than nothing is. Potentially, the greatest safety concern could be the cheapest service option…and that is perfectly fine. Your dealership ultimately has one goal: to make money on a regular basis. When your sales reps help your customers to address the greatest vehicle safety concerns, vice pressuring them to buy the most expensive service (or replace every lug nut and floor mat), you can expect your customers to return to your service bays and tell their friends and family to do the same.
Good Idea: Establish a database that stores your customer’s MPI results and exports them in search-friendly format.
Bad Idea: Dying on the proverbial “Old School Hill” of paper records stashed in disorganized filing cabinets.
Why It Matters: Time is money, pure and simple. When your employees spend hours sorting through reams of oil-stained MPI paper copies to identify opportunities to address declined services, you unnecessarily lose some of the potential revenue generated by getting customers back in your service bays. Further, people are people and tend to make mistakes and overlook details. Therefore, transitioning to digital MPI records reduces the hours needed to build a target list of customers into a neat spreadsheet generated in seconds. Also, aggregating MPI data on a digital backbone allows your team to identify long-term trends and accelerate and improve the decision-making processes. While a traditionalist approach is relevant to such industries as artisanal cheese making, the 1980s file cabinet in your service office is only costing you money and the valuable bandwidth of your employees.
Good Idea: Offer your customers coupons for services they previously declined.
Bad Idea: Offer them coupons that fail to beat your competition’s prices.
Why It Matters: When you give someone a coupon, you are telling them, “Trust me, this is the best price you can find.” In the pre-Google days, one could get away with using slight-of-hand coupon tactics to trick customers into thinking they were saving money. Now, emailing coupons for a promotion that still costs more than your competitors prices produces one reliable result: your customers learn that even your best efforts fail to beat your competition’s pricing. Naturally, your customers will see little reason for not choosing the best price. Therefore, do some local research prior to kicking off a coupon campaign to recapture declined services.
In closing, MPIs can strengthen the trust between your customers and your service department when your team uses inspection results to help a customer make an informed and confident decision. If your customers, decline a service, don’t get discouraged; the trust your team built will facilitate future opportunities to recapture previously declined services. We at Auto Labs hope this discussion has given you some new ideas on how to optimize your team’s approach to MPIs and ultimately keep your customers in safe and reliable vehicles. If you need some help, please contact us today to learn about how our interactive live-stream video technology can both drive customer advocacy and capture more declined services.
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