Q: Your brother said that when a new car is sold, you give the buyer your home phone number.
A: Oh, yeah. I've had people call me on Christmas Day with dead batteries, middle of the night, any time, and we're willing to go out and do whatever.
Anybody can sell a car, but the service and follow-up is what makes you different from the other dealerships.
It gets busy in here, especially when the community swells with tourists in summer.
We have a pretty good-sized shop. We'll do anywhere from 50 to 60 cars a day. In the summer it gets really busy. In the summer we've moved almost 100 cars through the shop in a day.
The nearest Chrysler-Dodge dealer to us is probably about 20 miles away. We kind of have a captive audience.
Do you market service work specifically to visitors and vacation-home owners?
No, I don't, just because in the summer we get a little overrun. I'm not looking to get a lot of extra business that I just can't handle. That disappoints the customers who have appointments. I don't want to overrun the shop just for the sake of big numbers.
How do you staff the service department for such a variation in business?
It's tough. The guys just know they have to step it up a little in the summertime. I try to limit the time off in the summertime. And I do have one or two guys who, if they have to, they'll stay and get the job done. We have an open shop.
But I'm restricted with room here, too. It is something we're going to try to address with the Mopar Express Lube. I can get the lube, oil filters and stuff out of the main shop and free that up a little more.
We have a building in the back. It was used for New York state inspections and stuff like that, but we're turning it into a Mopar Express Lube.
Do you sell F&I products in the service lane?
It's something that we definitely want to expand. I want to sell more of the maintenance contracts, just to keep the people coming back because the cars are getting so much better. Our warranty work has dropped off so much and our service work now is more routine maintenance stuff than warranty work or heavy engine work.
And it's good because we're going to sell the Chrysler contract, so if they go back to their winter home they can still go to their local dealer and get their car serviced there.