During the earliest stages of the pandemic, daily car usage plummeted. According to one study, daily trips for those living in urban areas dropped by 42%. And, while some are returning to their pre-pandemic routines, many companies have made major shifts in the way their workforce operates, allowing for an increase in work from home or hybrid options. This change will continue to impact the number of miles car owners are putting on their vehicles each month.
With car owners driving less, they are in turn servicing their vehicles less often. This can make it difficult for dealerships with service departments to continue to increase sales opportunities.
This is where recall service events can become a valuable asset for dealerships in the year ahead. Not only that, but with inventory levels low, dealerships can use recall service events to make up for car sales shortages.
As you gear up for the year ahead, check out the benefits of hosting a recall service event early in the year and how you can make this event a true success.
The Benefits of Starting the Year with a Recall Service Event
You can host recall service events throughout the year, but kickstarting your year with one of these events can be the perfect way to fuel the rest of the year’s growth. The following are a few key ways that a recall service event might be the ideal pick for your dealership during the first half of 2022:
1. You Can Help Fill in the Gap Due to Inventory Shortages
For most dealerships, the start of 2022 looks a lot like the end of 2021. The microchip shortage continues to create inventory shortages, with many dealerships struggling to keep up with customer demand.
For dealerships facing this scenario, starting the year with a recall service event can be the perfect solution. Rather than focusing on car sales, which might stagnate due to inventory levels, teams can shift their focus to creating profit from their dealership’s service center.
By drawing in customers for recalls, you can fill in the gap left by inventory shortages while you prepare to ramp up during the latter half of 2022.
2. You Will Have a Guarantee of ROI Early in the Year
Nothing is better than kicking off the year with a strategy that guarantees a high return on investment. Unlike many marketing campaigns, which are highly dependent on customer demand and current inventory, a recall service event is a guaranteed way for your dealership to make money.
Once a customer finds out that their car needs recall services, they will be highly motivated to get this work done right away. And, because they don’t have to pay for the service, converting them is easy. This makes service recall events one of the best guarantees of increasing service revenue.
3. You Can Quickly and Easily Create Happy Customers
In many situations, it can be difficult to ensure customer satisfaction. No matter how hard your staff works to provide outstanding service, the current high cost of used cars and the increased cost for standard services can leave customers frustrated.
One of the best ways to start the year off with happy customers is to host a service recall event. You will gain favor with your customers in two key ways:
- You’ll be the hero who notified them of a potential safety risk. Often, customers are completely unaware of service recalls. When you reach out and provide them with a personalized offer to get their recall service taken care of immediately, you create a bond of trust between you and that client.
- You’ll be dealing with a customer who doesn’t have to spend money out of their own pocket. After the uncertainty of the past two years, offering your customers a service that is free to them is a sure-fire win. This will create a positive association with your dealership, which can help fuel sales later in the year.
4. You Can Increase Service Department Appointments
This year, one of your dealership’s primary focuses should be increasing the number of customers who visit your dealership for routine services. However, converting customers who are accustomed to visiting third-party mechanics for those services can be a challenge.
Hosting a recall event at the start of the year allows you to bring customers to your service center. Here, your team can work diligently to provide outstanding service and encourage customers to visit at a later date for routine services.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is to have your staff or a dedicated event manager spend a portion of the event gathering information from customers. Glean important data, such as when they are due for their next oil change, tire rotation, or fluid flush. From here, use this data later in the year to draw these customers back in for additional services.
5. You Can Reach Back Out to Lost Customers
In 2021, you may have lost a few customers. The reality is that the inventory challenges of the year made it difficult to create satisfied clients.
At the start of 2022, reach back out to those customers you didn’t close a deal with via a recall service event. This can help you establish a positive relationship, even if they didn’t find the vehicle they wanted last year. Rather than leaving things on a negative note, turn the situation into a positive scenario by helping these lost customers with important safety recalls.
6. You Can Kick Off the Year with Fresh Marketing Data
One of the most valuable assets derived from a recall service event is fresh customer data. This data can be used throughout the rest of the year to build highly-targeted marketing campaigns.
For example, during a recall event, you can glean all of the following information:
- Up-to-date contact information for both new and previous clients
- Detailed vehicle information, including year, make, model, and maintenance schedule
- A customer’s future purchasing plans, e.g., are they thinking of making a new vehicle purchase in 2022?
- A customer’s current maintenance strategy, e.g., do they visit another dealership or a third-party mechanic?
- A customer’s familiarity with your brand
Then, you can use this data in a variety of ways, such as:
- Improving current customer segment lists
- Targeting customers with future maintenance offers based on specific vehicle make and model
- Creating a content strategy to sway customers to visit your dealership for future services
- Building a brand awareness strategy for customers who were unaware of your dealership before the recall event
- Follow up communications to check up with recall customers, establishing long-term trust
Tips for Pulling Off a Recall Event in 2022
Starting the year with a recall service event is an excellent way to build a solid foundation for the year ahead. But for the event to be a success, it’s important to follow a few key guidelines. The following strategies and tactics can help ensure that your recall service event provides you with the utmost benefit possible.
Start with Clean Data
Marketing a recall service event will only be as good as the data that you feed into your campaign. Make sure that, from the start, you gather clean, accurate data on potential recall customers.
Whether you purchase this data from a third party, work with an internal team to gather the data, or outsource the data management to a marketing agency, make sure that you’re using accurate customer contact information and not paying for stale data.
The cleaner your data, the less money you will have to spend to get customers through your doors.
Optimize Your Marketing Funnel
Once you begin marketing your recall service event, make sure that you optimize your marketing funnel to create the greatest reach possible.
One of the best ways to target customers is to utilize a variety of channels.
Use Facebook, Instagram, email, direct mail, text, ringless voicemail, Google display ads, and more to target your audience with recall information.
Additionally, be sure that you feed data back into the funnel throughout the marketing campaign, optimizing further as you go.
For example, if a customer RSVPs to the event after the first email is sent, don’t keep targeting them with information asking them to RSVP. Instead, move this customer into a new segment, with follow-up communications closer to the event, providing them with a reminder of their scheduled service time.
Conversely, if a customer hasn’t clicked on a single ad yet, don’t keep targeting them with the same ad copy. Instead, move this customer into a different segment, switching up the messaging and channels utilized to reach them.
Throughout the campaign, pull detailed reporting and start to increase your spend on the customers more likely to respond.
Make Scheduling the Service Simple
Using a personalized RSVP landing page makes it extremely easy for a customer to schedule their needed recall service at your event. Instead of asking customers to fill out a long form with all their information, prepopulate the form with their data.
This is especially beneficial for customers who are landing on your RSVP page on a mobile device. Everyone has experienced the frustration of tediously filling out line after line of information on a small screen. The less resistance you can create for RSVPing, the easier it will be to convert leads.
Follow Up Leading to the Event
Before hosting your recall service event, make sure to follow up with both your confirmed attendees and those who have yet to RSVP.
For those who have scheduled a recall service, remind them of the time of their service and anything they might need to bring to the event. Offer a way to contact your team if they have any questions about the event.
For those who have yet to RSVP, give them one last chance to do so, reminding them of the benefits of the event. Make sure to send them to a personalized landing page to help cut down on the amount of time it takes to respond. You might also consider providing them with an alternative way to RSVP if a landing page previously failed, such as via text, online chat, or a phone call.
Hire an On-Site Event Coordinator
If possible, hire a dedicated on-site event coordinator for the day of the recall event. An event coordinator can maximize the customer experience, help ensure that the event runs smoothly, and work to gather as much valuable data as possible from customers.
Reach Back Out After the Event to Both Attendees and No-Shows
After you host your recall service event, make sure to reach back out to both those who attended the event and those who didn’t show up for their appointments.
For those who attended, make sure to thank them for their visit. Provide a little more information about your service center, and remind them that you can assist them with further vehicle maintenance needs. Additionally, take the time to add a targeted message that aligns with the data you gathered from the event. For example, if you discovered a segment of attendees who plan to purchase a new vehicle in the next year, be sure to add some information about your sales team and financing options.
For those who didn’t show up for their appointment, reach back up with an offer to reschedule their service. Make sure that you also include an easy way for them to get into contact with your team.
Talk to J&L Marketing About Your Next Recall Event
Recall service events are a valuable tool for building a quality foundation for the year ahead. Your dealership can use a recall event to gather important customer data, rebuild relationships with clients, and kick off the year with a steady stream of guaranteed revenue.
If you are interested in hosting a recall event, we invite you to reach out to our team at J&L Marketing. We have years of experience assisting dealerships with both marketing and running a service recall event. We look forward to helping you create a strong start to 2022.