In 2019, customer retention after a car’s warranty expired was 15%. This data from the U.S. market may vary a bit by region, but alarm bells should be sounding: Dealers are losing over 80% of potential service sales!
Why do independent workshops capture this market? Because they offer convenience and price. What’s concerning is that even though dealerships could compete with them, they aren’t.
Dealers need to change their strategy and adopt a proactive approach that helps the Service Department to improve customer loyalty and become a profitable business unit.
In the first part of this article, we’ll see 3 tips that for attracting and retaining service customers.
Tip #1: Be where the customers are
In the COVID-19 scenario, purchases have moved massively to the web. Ecommerce (which was already on the rise) became the only option to search, investigate, and buy.
Your target market spends more and more time on websites and social networks. This is why it’s essential that dealers establish and enhance their presence there. A minimum investment of time and money in social networks can help you gain a larger market share.
But you should also make the most of the information you already have about your customers (previous services, vehicle mileage, hours used in the case of equipment, etc.) to offer services they may not even know they need.
How to do this?
- Use your DMS’s Service Marketing features to offer scheduled or preventive services based on the mileage of your customers’ vehicles
- Offer seasonal maintenance services (before holidays, before harvest season, etc.)
- Work on your customer portfolio to use this information strategically and offer them services before they go to the competition.
Tip #2: Leverage the expertise of being an official dealer
When you begin your campaigns to retain customers and attract new ones, it’s important to offer a proposal that competes with the offering of independent workshops: price and convenience.
That’s why it is essential to focus on the advantages of being an official dealership: the OEM’s quality certification, the expertise of your technicians, the investment in training, speed, customer satisfaction campaigns, etc. These issues can tip the scales in your favor when the customer has to choose where to take their vehicle.
Tip #3: Offer special advantages
Customers choose businesses that offer certain advantages that save them time and money. To ask customers to call or visit the dealership to schedule a workshop appointment is to send them to the competition.
Think about your customers’ needs and act accordingly:
- They to book an appointment from their home, office, or anywhere.| Use an online scheduling tool.
- The customer that brought in their vehicle has to go somewhere else. | Offer alternative transportation in advance.
- The customer has to stay at home. | Create a process to pick up, repair, and return the vehicle.
- Customers have questions. | Current account, due dates, debt, prior services… you can provide customers with self-service access to their account information through a Customer Portal.
These types of strategies not only strengthen the relationship with your current customers; they are the most effective method to attract new ones.
These tips worked combined as well as independently, and are essential to restarting workshop activity during this time of COVID-19.
Don’t wait for customers to arrive at your dealership. Take the initiative, go find opportunities, and stay ahead of your competition.
Request a demo to receive more information about how Autologica DMS can provide you with solutions for loyalty-building strategies.