Utilizing Three Key Sources of Information to Support the Product Support Business Growth
Guest writer Ron Wilson covers the data points and information we can gather inside and outside the dealership in his blog post, “Utilizing Three Key Sources of Information to Support the Product Support Business Growth.”
There are many data points and sources of information within and outside the dealership that can support growing the product support business of a dealership. Two areas reviewed below are examples of a source within the dealership and one from outside of the dealership.
Abandoned Shopping Cart Analysis
We have all left items in our online shopping cart. This is no different with the customers utilizing the online part lookup and order systems with the various dealers.
The abandoned parts orders can provide a wealth of information:
- Model, serial and arrangement number. This information is not always provided and may not always be correct, but when provided tells a story in itself.
- The parts list provides an idea of the type of repair that is needed. For example, a parts list to rebuild an engine is valuable information for Product Support Sale Representative to have during a visit with a client and understanding the customer’s rebuild direction.
- A model, serial number, and parts list abandoned by a component rebuild competitor is one of the most important bits of information a salesperson can receive.
Maintaining the Dealership’s Machine Population List is a Challenge.
Many dealers and OEMs utilize the dealer’s machine population within the territory to identify parts and service opportunity. It’s an ongoing challenge to keep the various customers machine population current. One suggestion is to monitor the various auction sites that your customers may use when disposing of machines. Some of these sites will list not only a photo of the machine, but also the model and serial number. Run this serial number against the dealer’s machine population list to identify if a client is planning to sell the unit at auction. Notify the Sales/Rental and Product Support Sales Representatives and update the machine population.
Here are a couple of examples:
Both of the machines above came from an auction company’s website showing the location and detailed information about a specific machine.
Identifying Missed Component Rebuild Opportunities
Very often a customer may source component rebuilds and parts purchases from various vendors in addition to the dealership. Reviewing the service repair history of a customer can help identify to what level the customer is utilizing the dealership’s total service capabilities.
Depending on the dealer’s business system it may be possible to determine:
- Does the customer utilize field service and shop service areas?
- What components are being rebuilt (more important not being rebuilt by the dealer)? It is not unusual for a customer to rebuild engines themselves (or use a competitor rebuild shop), but always send the transmission rebuilds to the dealer for rebuild. Hydraulic cylinders are often sent to various competitors.
- What type of repair/rebuild is being done by the dealership?
- Depending on the OEM some part numbers are extremely specific to a component and often to a specific model of machine.
Utilizing the above information can be particularly useful when developing marketing campaigns, recording lost sales, and identifying future business opportunities. The dealership can apply a more focused approach for product support offerings.
There is a tremendous about of information available within the dealerships business system, the challenge is utilizing the data to understand the current environment and the future direction. Combining data analysis and business expertise can lead to increased part and service business, as well as improved customer service and support.