Almost half of a dealership’s sales customers never return for their first service appointment – that’s a hefty chunk of a dealer’s lifetime service potential! What causes this pattern in car buyers, and how can you channel more of them from your showroom to your service lane? AutoLoop surveyed our subscribed dealers and their customers, and we discovered vital insights that will enable you to establish a long-term relationship with your customers – and generate more consistent revenue.
Why Customers Go Elsewhere for Service
Studying a large sample of dealers and finding that nearly half of sales customers don’t return for their first service visit prompted the need to dig deeper. So we surveyed customers who purchased a vehicle in the last 12 months at a dealership and discovered that the biggest reasons they bolted for the aftermarket service providers was due to comfort and cost-related factors. The primary reason customers did not return to the dealer for service was due to an inconvenient location to their home or workplace. Other reasons include:
- Competitive prices
- Speed of service
- No appointments required
- Price options
Address Pain Points to Win Them Back – and Keep Them
In addition to marketing to your dealership and informing customers of Service Department amenities and specials, target the pain points listed above to overcome customer perceptions. If a new car buyer misses their first scheduled maintenance appointment, offer deeper discounts or savings on bundled maintenance packages to overcome the inconvenience of your location and compel them to choose your dealership over the competition. Emphasize the acceptance of walk-ins and the availability of loaner vehicles or shuttle service, if available, to solve the comfort factor. And promote your factory-trained technicians and genuine OEM parts selection. That way, your customers will know that in your service lane, their vehicle will receive the utmost care – something the other guys can’t guarantee.
Author: Doug Van Sach
Doug Van Sach – Vice President of Analytics & Data Services
At AutoLoop, Doug uses crucial customer analytics and insights to improve and drive digital and multi-channel acquisition, retention and loyalty programs across leading OEMs and dealer groups. Previously, as VP of strategy at DME Automotive and VP of Analytics at 3Birds Marketing, he developed innovative marketing programs for automotive dealers and aftermarket providers. Prior to that, he established the customer insights and online marketing functions at Dick’s Sporting Goods and provided performance improvement consulting to Fortune 500 companies at Ernst & Young Management Consulting. Doug earned his BS from Miami University in Ohio and his MBA from Indiana University.