Monday, April 9, 2012

5 Must-Have Items for Car Dealership Service Departments takes a highly specialized inventory of supplies to keep automotive dealerships up and running at peak performance. In addition to maintaining an efficient sales floor, most car dealerships also maintain a full service facility, essentially running two separate businesses under one roof. Dealership service facilities require their own separate set of supplies to keep them well-organized and operating smoothly.

There are many forms, tags and auto body supplies auto dealership service departments depend on to keep business running. The following five car dealership service department supplies tend to be the most essential for dealerships in terms of both providing excellent customer service and maintaining an organized shop.

Dispatch Hang Tags

Service dispatch hang tags are simply numbers printed on sturdy tags used to keep track of repair orders and customer vehicles. Most dispatch hang tags have two smaller matching sets of printed numbers at the bottom along perforated edges; these can be torn out and placed on car key tags and used as customer dispatch tags. Depending on how the dealership's service department is organized, the dealership may choose to use colored dispatch tags or plain tags.

Plastic Seat Covers

For many auto dealerships, using plastic seat covers to protect customers' car interiors is a no-brainer. A small, simple step, placing inexpensive plastic film seat covers over car interiors before beginning work shows customers that their vehicles are well cared for - and that their business is valued. Most seat covers are single or double ply sheeted plastic which come in rolls.

Static Cling Write-In Oil Change Reminder Labels

In terms of customer retention, few items are more important for car dealership service departments and stand-alone auto service facilities than service reminder stickers. Placed in the windshield of the customer's vehicle after service has been completed, static cling service reminder stickers remind drivers of when their vehicle is due for its next oil change, routine maintenance inspection and so forth. Most service facilities choose to use customized reminder labels complete with their facility's name and contact information, reminding drivers of where their vehicle was last serviced and - hopefully - what an excellent experience they had having their vehicle serviced there.

Paper Floor Mats

Another body shop item used to protect car interiors as the vehicles are serviced, paper floor mats are not only a great opportunity to show excellent customer service, but also to increase customer retention and brand awareness. Standard paper floor mats display messages such as "Thank you for your business!", but service facilities can easily purchase customized paper floor mats displaying their business name, contact info and even a custom message. These mats remind customers that their vehicle is in good hands - and they further impress the service facility's brand name into customer awareness.

Night Drop/Early Bird Envelopes don't only break down during business hours - which is why having a good night drop system in place is key for any auto service facility. Using night drop envelopes (also known as early bird envelopes), customers can drop their vehicles off at a service facility during any time of the night or day, even on weekends and holidays, and know their vehicle will be serviced as soon as possible. Night drop/early bird envelopes provide critical information which protects the service facility or dealership from potential libel; this information includes labor rate disclosure and areas for the customer to indicate what services he/she wants to be performed (or not). Different states have different requirements about what information must be included on these forms.

Jeff Dodson is the owner of Dodson Group, a business supply vendor specializing in car dealership supplies such as paper floor mats, hang tags and oil change reminder labels. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dodson Group has worked with area auto dealers and businesses to increase sales and lower costs with targeted marketing strategies and competitively-priced supplies. Learn more about Dodson Group at, or browse their auto dealer supply catalog.

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