Recalls are not anything new for the automotive industry.
Every car manufacturer has had one at some time in its history. While they affect and inconvenience millions of vehicle owners, obviously they have an impact on the new car dealer’s business. But, they also affect the parts suppliers, service providers and the automotive industry as a whole.
Do you think a recall can affect your business? I think a recall is another black eye for the whole industry. It brings into question the trust a car owner has for that vehicle manufacturer and it also rubs off on everyone associated with cars, parts and service.
It is no secret that the car driving public doesn’t love to have service performed on their vehicles, especially after paying thousands of dollars for them in the first place.
Sure, maybe recalls serviced at the dealership don’t cost the vehicle owner money out of their pocket, but they do cost the vehicle owner in time lost while the vehicle is in the shop being repaired. It also can be a hassle for the vehicle owner to have to schedule an appointment, as well as the time lost from their busy day or their job to make that service commitment.
And let’s not forget while automakers scramble to repair their image damage when focusing shop bays and personnel on handling a specific recall, their other customers with general maintenance or regular service repairs are put on the back burner. This, too, can cause unnecessary grief among vehicle owners.
Finally, recalls hurt the industry mostly through the spread of misinformation. Vehicle owners hear a lot of things about their vehicle that may not even have anything to do with a specific recall often from secondhand sources or through unreliable Internet sites.
Even the media at times has trouble keeping the flood of complaints, public angst and issues pertaining to a recall in check.
At the end of the day, you want your customer to feel good about their car and their experience with it. You want them to think that automotive service extends the life of the vehicle they rely on every day for safe transportation.
This is all the more reason why it’s important to have a good rapport with your customers and to offer an honest dialog with them about these issues during times of industry uneasiness. As we all know too well, a customer’s trust is the easiest thing to lose, and one of the hardest things to regain.