Promote it all in Fall

Price, safety and value! Typically these are the angles for running a fall auto check-up promotion. You want to be unique in running a fall promo, but also you want to stay with the tried, tested and true favorites. When running a service promotion think in terms of saving the customer time and/or money. But does one go for the good old special for this time of year? Speaking of which, what can we

Price, safety and value! Typically these are the angles for running a fall auto check-up promotion.

You want to be unique in running a fall promo, but also you want to stay with the tried, tested and true favorites.

When running a service promotion think in terms of saving the customer time and/or money. But does one go for the good old special for this time of year? Speaking of which, what can we call it? Fall special, pre-winter promo, back-to-school bargain…?

Whatever we call it, The bottom line is we want to attract new customers and get old ones back on the hoist.

Personally, I like the term “Fall Winterization.” Combine the two seasons into one. After all, in September, October or November we can experience the conditions of all three seasons, especially if we get an unexpected blast of summer-like heat.

Whatever the season, this service promotion covers a lot of ground.

The next question is “What do we advertise?”

The objective, as noted, is to get the cars on the hoist, and get our techs looking under the hood, to find other items to be fixed or replaced.

That's why many dealerships incorporate a tire rotation as part of an advertised special. Michael Karkhoff, parts and service director at Prestige Ford in Garland, TX, says “Most customers still do not realize the importance of regular tire rotations and how it can save money by improving tire life.”

Regular tire rotations can increase tire life by 15-20%. Plus it gives a chance to inspect tires, brakes, suspension components and other items.

In the northern climates, many stores will incorporate an AVR (amps, voltage and regulator) test. This satisfies the “peace of mind” factor of whether a car will start in impending cold weather.

Other shops like to make sure the ad indicates a safety inspection. It's also a good idea to advertise a “safety test drive” along with a safety inspection. Most, if not all, shops do it. So, tell the customer about it!

Some of the most effective ads add value for the money and explain in detail what the customer gets.

For example, a Subaru dealership in the Northeast had a $79.95 fall special.

The ad ran like this:

  • 30-point analysis
  • Tire rotation
  • Lube, oil, and filter
  • Vital fluid check that includes coolant/antifreeze test — we test temperature range and corrosion effectiveness
  • Brake fluid: Test moisture content and hydraulic capability
  • Safety inspection and safety test drive
  • Wash, engine shampoo and vacumn
  • Only: $79.95

There's much perceived value in spelling it all out, even if the most important elements of the work are an oil change and a tire rotation.

The beauty of this kind of ad message is that it can be a great way to bring up added value suggestions or upsells, especially if your service advisors and appointment schedulers are upt to speed on asking customers the right questions.

If you would like to find out how effective your dealership is at promoting service contracts through the service drive, fax 403-283-4188 or email [email protected].

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