The focus is on new vehicle inventories and how they are affected by the continuing shortage of chips. Although gross receipts have been significant, as inventories continue to decline, auto dealers are focusing on other profit centers, particularly fixed operations.
Within the Fixed Operations department, the focus is on service retention. OEMs measure service retention and hold auto dealerships accountable for that metric, or use it as part of award criteria. Service retention is not only important for a car dealership’s business, but also for its relationship with the OEM.
Most OEMs offer a fully funded or cooperative Level 1 service callback program. Many auto dealers rely heavily on these factory sponsored programs for marketing and they are of great value. To discuss this in more detail, we are delighted to welcome Tom Heizer, senior vice president of revenue and customer experience at GSM, a fixed-line marketing company belonging to the Force Marketing family of brands.
Heizer starts the conversation off by sharing his thoughts on these types of programs, and whether or not they’re good for car dealerships. He believes that if auto dealerships can participate in OEM-funded programs, they should take full advantage. The programs are good and valuable, but auto dealers need to understand what they are getting from the manufacturers.
Heizer says that when you break down financial statements, there are a lot of opportunities in fixed trading. With the income that fixed operations currently generate, Heizer says the expenses are significantly lower than they should be. Auto dealerships are competitive, but they have to remind their customers to come. This is a huge benefit to service customers at a dealership.
Over the 30 years of GSM existence, the company has learned where the gaps and opportunities lie in the plans provided by the EOs. They identified four specific areas: audience, communication, channel and customer behavior. Therefore, by adding additional data, they are able to significantly expand their reach.
Heizer concludes the conversation by discussing GSM’s goals for the future. From his point of view, their goal is to allow others to work in the fields in which they are experts, but to let GSM be an expert in their field; bring the customer to the dealership. GSM wishes to continue helping car dealerships to retain their customers and develop their business.
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