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Handling the "Recall" call for maximum Fixed Ops Profit

The word "recall" can bring up feelings of fear and anxiety for many consumers, but there is another way to approach it. Think of auto recalls as the manufacturer's continued commitment to the consumer—even beyond the warranty of the car. In most cases, a recall does not mean that the vehicle is going to break down. Usually, a problem has come up in similar models and the OEM has engineered a fix that will allow dealers to install the new part or parts at no cost to the consumer, preventing any future issues.

For the dealer, there's yet another way to approach the "recall call" to the dealership, and it involves making money. Let's look at the the opportunities auto recalls can present to the dealership if that call is handled properly.

What needs to be the main goal of the dealership in handling these “recall calls?"

  • To keep or create a loyal customer through great service.

Recall owners have the ability to get their car repaired at any factory authorized repair facility they choose. Earn their business on every call!

  • Just because you sold them the car, don’t assume they are coming to you!
  • Used car owners of vehicles involved in recalls are “orphaned” and might never be notified by the manufacturer. They need a home. Make them yours!

Recognize that owners who are excluded from the recall will call, and are still potential future members of your owner base.

  • Make sure you use the "recall call" to secure the owner's contact and vehicle information every time. Build or purify your marketing database with every call.
  • Name / Number / Email—Make sure your team is asking for them! 

Use your Branding and Value Propositions.

  • Set yourself apart! Make sure they know what you have to offer! Free courtesy inspections, free car washes, free loaner cars, quick lube services, etc.

Identify and separate non-recall related repair opportunities and schedule them NOW when possible.

  • Many recall callers will have other items they want fixed as well. Don’t let a parts “back order” keep you from a “non-recall” RO. Where possible appoint for what you can do! Your team needs to identify and ask!

With these tips in mind, no dealership has to fear the "recall call," but instead view it as an opportunity to provide great service, boost RO's, get CSI up, and set up future deals by building consumer loyalty.

(Posted with permission from Larry Lambdin, Director of Client Services, CallRevu LLC, contact Larry:

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