Building Relationships In the Service Department

Build Great Service Relationships

Nextup has a "service-secret-weapon" on the team, and her name is Sherry Thomas. Sherry's background, as a Service Manager and Fixed Ops trainer, make her quite the subject matter expert and we wanted to share that expertise with you. Welcome to a new series of steps that will help your service department evolve from good to great.

Step 1: Relationship Building In the Service Department

The service department relationship is key to your customer's lifecycle with your dealership and increases their potential to purchase their next vehicle with you too. What are you doing to foster and build this relationship in the service drive?

Do you have a formal process for this? A guest who has recently purchased a new or pre-owned vehicle from your store should be officially introduced to your service department, and ideally to a service advisor specifically. Encourage your sales staff to have a service advisor partner that they can introduce new guests to. Your customers should not feel like they have to take their car in for service but, "I am going to go see my friend, Mike, to take care of my car."

Be sure they feel comfortable with what it looks like to bring their car in. Where do they drop it off? Where is the waiting area? What amenities do you offer? Shuttle? Loaner Cars? Are refreshments and WiFi available?

Start to build your "intake process playbook" with your advisors. Getting this small first step customized for your team will help set the table for the next step in the series "Your Service Guest's First Visit" and build a foundation for great customer experiences.


Nextup has been providing up system technology solutions to dealerships across the country for more than 12 years. While up systems are usually associated with showroom sales process we also can help your service advisor team. Nextup's Maintain allows advisors more time to focus on inbound customers, build better connectivity to the sales department and reduces waiting times for your guests. Great customer experience in the service drive mean higher CSI scores and continued profitability.

1 Comment

  • Keith Smith Reply

    I have about 20 years experience in a dealership, 16 of that in the Service Dept/Fixed Ops side of things. I think it is AWESOME that Nextup is serving this side of the business. So many companies focus only on sales, which is important, but since Fixed Ops has always been the a consistent source of revenue. I remember an article put out by Cox Automotive earlier this year that said that fixed ops contribute 49% of dealerships gross profit! The article also went on to say that Fixed ops is crucial for customer retention, so a big KUDOS to you guys for working with service departments!

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