Dealerships now more than ever are focused on getting customers into their service centers. But there are barriers to getting feet in the door. 70% of consumers who purchased or leased from a dealer did not return for service in the past year. How can dealerships change that?
When customers are going through the scheduling process, dealerships should provide cost estimates to alleviate the misconception of dealership service departments being more expensive than third-party service providers. By creating a transparent and trustworthy customer experience, dealers can increase the odds of getting customers back in for service appointments.
Keep a record of your customer car purchasing information and send them regular reminders to service and maintain their vehicles. This is especially important for common maintenance services that appeal to all car buyers.
Tires can bring customers into your service center. 15% of vehicles in the service drive need tires. 75% of consumers purchase tires from the first person who makes a recommendation. 78% of consumers maintain their vehicle at the place where they purchased tires. 40% of customers are aware that the dealership sells tires. It’s important to educate your customers on all the services that you offer. 60% of customers are unaware that dealerships offer services like tires. 80% of these same customers have indicated that they would be likely to purchase tires from the dealership, making it even more important to inform your customers. How can dealerships educate their customers?
Here are some beneficial suggestions:
As customers visit your service center for common services like tires, offer them a free vehicle inspection, complete with pricing. And, don’t forget to tell them to visit your service specials page on your website – complete with embedded video content in each coupon – to watch the videos and see if they are interested in any additional services while they wait.
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Now that we’ve discussed service specials, let’s quickly detour to…
Dealers continue to struggle with retaining customers after their warranty has expired. 6 in 10 service visits conducted at the dealership is by customers with a current warranty. 3 in 10 visits are from customers with an expired warranty. It’s important to note these statistics.
What can dealerships do to get more customers, with warranties and without, in their doors? Keep in contact with the customers who have visited your service center or purchased a vehicle from your dealership in the past. Send them reminders at regular intervals, either via email or regular mail. Remind them when it’s time for standard services.
After a customer purchases a vehicle at a dealership, their maintenance and repair visits decline year after year of ownership:
How do dealerships improve these numbers? It takes time and commitment to keep your service center in the minds of your customers. Keeping a CRM, sending out regular reminders, offering specials and discounts, and keeping in touch with past customers is key to returning visits.
There is some good news…
Since vehicles are increasingly more complicated and computerized, fewer owners are “do-it-yourself” mechanics. Less and less people are purchasing parts and accessories and installing them in their garages. Most owners prefer their vehicle to be serviced by professionals. This is good news for service departments.
The future is full of owners who are keeping their vehicles longer, prefering to service them rather than purchase a new one. And with evolving complexity in technology, service centers are going to be as important than ever to dealerships.
We encourage you to implement the advice suggested in this article. We hope it helps your marketing erupt, your service centers fill, and your customers return. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
*Sources: Cox Automotive, AAA, Car Care Council, NADA
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