Tony Canade offers a simple formula to demonstrate the benefits of having a collision repair solution at your dealership.
“Assume your dealership sells 1,000 units a year over four years,” the president and COO of Assured Automotive says. “With a four year manufacturer warranty, it means that at any given point in time, you have 4,000 customers that are entrenched within the dealership. They are still under warranty and hopefully bringing the vehicle in for oil changes and regular maintenance.”
Of those 4,000, roughly 10 per cent will be involved in an accident equating to approximately 400 a year.
“At an average of $2,500 per accident claim, there’s $1 million worth of repair business on the table,” he says. “That million in repair business could translate to roughly $500,000 in parts, just do the math.”
Assured Automotive is a corporately owned collision repair organization that offers Canadian dealers the chance to branch into the accident repair world without the headache of the overhead.
Operating in 13 dealerships in the Greater Toronto Area, Assured establishes, staffs and manages a collision repair department inside the store. Dealership customers who return for collision repair deal with the Assured staff that handles the entire process.
“Our collision repair manager walks a customer through the process,” Canade says. “In the background, the vehicle is taken to the nearest Assured collision repair centre, repaired, then delivered back to the customer at the dealership. It is seamless for the customer.”
But, he contends, with or without an Assured operation in your store, dealerships are leaving money on the table if they don’t actively market collision repair services to their regular customer base.
“You have to have a plan.”
Options include retention mailers, hosting second delivery clinics and, he advises, total buy in from the staff.
“Whether the customer calls the service manager, the sales person or the receptionist, the message should be the same: ‘Yes, we do collision work. Bring your vehicle in and we can take care of everything.’ Everything needs to start and end at the dealer.”
Assured Automotive says its best dealers constantly promote the collision repair work as another service the dealership can provide their customers.
“We remind the customer that they really should bring it back to the dealership and let them look after it following a collision. It is about trying to stress that the dealership can be their complete resource, not just a retail sales outlet and mechanical repair option. It can be all-encompassing,” he says.
“The goal of Assured is to build the dealer’s collision repair brand.”