Marketing your service department

ORLANDO, Fla. — “Marketing service is totally different than marketing sales,” Noel Osborne of Osborne & Associates said at the 2009 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo. “If we are to significantly increase our service department revenues, we have to market our service like we have never done before.”
One out-of-the-box way dealers could market their service departments is through business cards. Osborne says few dealers give their service department employees business cards, but it’s a great way to draw people into the store. “They’ll feel more a part of the team,” Osborne told the audience of more than a couple hundred attendees. “They’ll give them to everyone.”
Another way to attract more business in the service department is through the dealership’s Web site. Osborne suggested devoting an entire section of the dealer’s Web site to the service department. He also said to include the service specials as well as service tips on the Web site. It’ll keep people interested and coming back, he noted.
Osborne discussed in detail various other ways to achieve high levels of profit in service. “These are out of the box approaches that we haven’t used in the past,” he commented, “but we haven’t had to in the past.”
Other areas he discussed were social networking, geometric marketing, marketing partnerships and utilizing every employee. “Every employee you have is a part of your marketing team whether you know it or not,” Osborne said. “Your sales team cannot talk to everyone who walks into the store. Your service department is probably key to your success and survival.”

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