How Car Dealerships Can Be Competitive in Capturing Battery Sales

by | Apr 8, 2024 | Battery Testing and Diagnosis, Servicing and Repairs | 0 comments

In today’s fast-paced automotive market, car dealerships are constantly looking for ways to stay competitive and increase their revenue streams. With vehicles becoming more dependent on electrical systems for both basic functionalities and advanced features, the importance of a reliable battery has never been more critical. But it’s also no secret that dealerships lose out on a vast majority of battery sales opportunities to the aftermarket.

This segment of the automotive industry offers a significant opportunity for dealerships willing to invest in the right tools, training, and strategies to capture and grow their battery sales. Explore how car dealerships can leverage their unique position to become the go-to source for all battery-related needs, enhancing customer satisfaction and driving business growth.

Understanding the Importance of Battery Health in Customer Satisfaction

A failing battery not only risks leaving customers stranded but can also lead to a cascade of electrical issues that are costly and time-consuming to fix. If symptoms lead a technician down a rabbit trail before arriving at the conclusion that a new battery is necessary, it becomes an issue. Customers believe, right or wrong, that the tech ‘missed’ the battery and they’re being overcharged for diagnosis. Ensuring the health of the battery is paramount in maintaining customer satisfaction and trust in your dealership.

Customers often overlook battery maintenance, unaware of the signs of battery degradation until it’s too late. This presents a unique opportunity for dealerships to educate their customers on the importance of regular battery checks and maintenance. By proactively identifying and addressing battery issues, dealerships can prevent the inconvenience and frustration of battery failures for their customers, enhancing the overall service experience.

What’s more, attention to battery health helps in building trust and reliability with customers, encouraging them to return to your dealership for future service needs and even their next vehicle purchase.

Position Your Team as Experts

One of the most influential ways to get customers to come to your dealership for battery sales is to establish trust in your expertise. It starts from the very first interaction after purchasing their vehicle or upon their first visit to the service department.

Rather than simply being order-takers, service advisors have the unique ability to be the face of expertise for your department. A knowledge of the processes – why the battery is tested every time the car arrives at the service department, for example – can be the reason that customers return time after time. There’s comfort for car owners in the expertise they see, and it translates into a willingness to pay a premium on both parts and labor.

Leverage Advanced Diagnostic Tools for Accurate Battery Testing

When customers have a weak or dead battery and believe it’s time to replace it, the most common reaction is to call around and check prices. What’s more important than pricing at this stage is to confirm that it’s a bad battery. So, when a dealership receives calls for battery pricing, the response can be to have the owner bring the car to the service department for a fast, free, professional battery test with no obligation.

The main ideas here are twofold: first, get the customer in the door. Once they’re at your store, build trust by performing the battery test in their presence, showing them the results, whether it indicates a failure or not. Should the battery test fail, you have the unique and first opportunity to present pricing for your battery as well as advantages of going with your store.

Display Value-Added Services Around Battery Maintenance

According to InteliChek, an industry leader in automotive service studies, the fact that dealerships charge more than the aftermarket is true. However, that doesn’t mean customers aren’t willing to pay more so long as there are benefits to it, and it’s relevant for battery maintenance and replacements too.

As mentioned previously, the professional-grade testing equipment that’s available at a dealership – and often with no-charge battery testing – is one such factor. But in addition, there’s the warranty that includes both parts and labor, access to shuttles or courtesy cars, and technicians who are specially trained to work on the brand’s vehicles and technology. Going a step further if battery registration is required, you can post that owners can avoid future issues with their cars. Value doesn’t always revolve around having the best pricing structure.

Enhancing Customer Experience with Quick and Efficient Battery Services

According to a J.D. Power Customer Service Index survey in 2023, customers truly value their time as a precious commodity. It’s evident in the decreasing satisfaction score related to the time it takes to get their vehicle in for an appointment. Today, it takes roughly 5 days to get an appointment compared with about 1.5 days in 2021. And when customers are in the dealership, there’s no question that they would prefer for ‘simple’ services like battery testing and replacement to be expediated.

The truth is, for battery tests, there’s no reason a test can’t be done with no appointment, and in less than five minutes with Midtronics MVT. Decisions can be extremely fast, typically in under 60 seconds, so customers can be on their way sooner. Naturally, replacing a battery takes longer, but fast-tracking it into the shop can not only make the sale but opens up opportunities for adding other services or concerns to the work order.

Building Trust Through Transparency in Battery Sales and Services

All in all, being competitive in battery sales at the dealership is about doing what it takes to satisfy customers. We know that fast battery testing that does not compromise on accuracy is a key element, and providing the results with an explanation of the decision helps establish the dealership as the authority.

By showing that you value the customer’s time, you possess the technology and knowledge to position your store as experts, and proving why the dealership is the best choice for battery diagnostics and replacement, you can retain more of those sales, and in the long run, keep customers coming back to your store.