A special role of service facilitator is helping Sellers Auto Group trim customer wait times and boost vehicle sales.
The Farmington Hills, Mich., dealership group employs three service facilitators at its Sellers Subaru and Sellers Buick-GMC stores after launching the position in 2012. Their No. 1 job: Make sure customers don't have to wait when they arrive at the service drive, especially during peak hours. That's a common constraint many dealerships battle.
In addition to greeting the customer and aiding communication with service advisers, the facilitators offer to appraise customers' vehicles, said Sam Slaughter, president of the dealership group. Those appraisals can lead to customers trading in their car and buying a replacement vehicle. The facilitator position has contributed to lower service department turnover and better customer retention, which helps improve sales and profitability.
"The facilitators have helped maintain positive reputation and consistent customer traffic in the service drive, and that's helped our organization grow," Slaughter said. "We have sold about 12 to 15 cars extra per month from people who came into the service drive, with repeat customers telling us they buy Buicks and GMCs because of our service department."
Even when service customers don't intend to buy a car, he said, they sometimes end up doing so after learning their vehicles are worth enough to trade in for something that's newer or that better fits their needs without costing much more.