Dealership Insights Forum June Recap: Starting Service Off On the Right Foot

This month, dealers and association representatives from the RV and marine industry convened for the June Dealership Insights Forum. The discussion focused on how dealers can start service off on the right foot, from setting the appointment to setting expectations with the customer.


Here are the best practices shared in this month’s discussion.


Key Takeaways

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Regardless of when we start, the number one thing customers expect that most dealerships fall short of is adequate communication throughout the service cycle.
  • Get as much information upfront as possible so surprises don’t occur once a job starts, and so you can set expectations with the customer upfront.
  • Have customers take pictures of items that need to be fixed or replaced in advance to have a better understanding of the job. Texting is a great way to collect this information pre-ops and expedite the check-in time.
  • When new items do come up once a job has started, communicate openly and honestly and provide options for how to move forward.
  • The optimal cadence to communicate with customers throughout a job is at least once a week. No update is an update, and not getting an update is the worst thing for a customer. Moreover, make sure that the information you’re communicating is correct, like if parts have arrived.
  • Even if there is no update to communicate, communicate that to the customer at the agreed-upon touchpoint. Set the expectation on the timeline with customers upfront so they aren’t left to fill in the blanks themselves.
  • Set the expectation with the customer that work will not be completed until all parts arrive.
  • Some dealers have their service advisors schedule the retail delivery, so the customer is introduced to service personnel and familiarized with the process and procedures. This helps to set expectations for first-time owners.


RECT Data Review

  • Out-of-stock components: Identification Days (start of the order to when the last part was ordered) have increased dramatically in the last couple years.
  • Warranty Components: Start Days (start of the work order to the last labor start date) are almost down to pre-pandemic days.
  • It appears dealerships are turning wrenches as fast as they can but only identifying parts they need after work has started, which can extend the repair event cycle time.

See our monthly RECT data here.


About the Dealership Insights Forum

The Dealership Insights Forum is a monthly meeting with fellow dealers to discuss market trends, share best practices, and gain insight into how other dealers are running their day-to-day operations.


See when our next meeting is here.

You may also be interested in:

Don’t miss out!

Get the latest resources sent directly to your inbox.