3 Ways to Get Declined Services Next Time

Car tire replacement.

Persistence is necessary for achieving success in almost every area of life, and your dealership service department is no exception. The majority (at least 58%) of additional service recommendations offered by dealerships to their customers get declined. Successful dealerships know how to channel that rejection into a productive and persistent process for recapturing those services down the road. That process is made up of three simple steps.

1. Make Additional Recommendations

Many service lane customers come to the dealership for a particular purpose—often a singular, obvious, and bothersome problem with the vehicle. You should use a vehicle inspection software to identify, generate, and present additional vehicle service needs. If your dealership is like most, the majority of those recommendations will be rejected by the customer. Rather than seeing that rejection as a negative thing, view declined services as your starting point for future repair opportunities. Additional service recommendations (ASRs), in other words, have value whether or not they are initially accepted.

2. Store Declined Services Electronically

In the past, dealerships have relied on paper service notes and other ineffective means for storing declined services. Only when those declined services are stored electronically and in association with customer records, do they begin to generate future opportunities. Declined services should be electronically recorded during the initial service walkthrough and following any subsequent conversations between the customer and service advisor.

3. Target and Invite Customers to Return

Every good marketing initiative relies on the ability to match a specific audience with a relevant message. A well thought out system for capturing declined services is effective for this very reason. There is perfect alignment between an individual customer and a message promoting a service they know they declined in the past.

dealership service lane

When declined services are stored electronically and connected to a customer record, they can be used in auto repair marketing to build personalized promotions and invitations to return. You can use electronically stored data to filter by service, and then craft customized emails, digital ads, mailers, phone calls, and old-fashioned point-of-sale conversations around specific declined services.

From the time we’re little, we’re taught to try, try again if at first we don’t succeed. But many dealership employees leave that lesson behind as soon as a customer declines a recommended service. In reality, a simple three-step process, the right auto repair software, and a little persistence can help dealerships recapture declined services and boost service lane profits.