A very large percentage of service customers from just about every dealership selling new cars will ultimately take their business to independent repair facilities. This is a very rampant issue among new-car dealers, regardless of the city or state in which your dealership resides. There is seemingly a “corner garage” on every corner these days and they’re all looking to take business from you.
A recent study conducted by Ward’s Auto showed that about three-quarters of the time, service customers are taking their repair and maintenance issues to third-party mechanics. This is a big number and it’s our sincere hope that figure is lower for your particular dealership – especially when statistics show that 53% of a dealership’s average daily gross profit is a direct result of the service department.
With this in mind, stop for a minute and imagine what it would do to your bottom line to lower that 75% figure to say, 50%. It almost gives you chills, doesn’t it!
Service Customers for Life
There … we’ve presented the problem. Now what’s the solution? The most logical step is to begin, well, from the very beginning – specifically, at the time of the sale. It’s at this point when you have a tremendous opportunity to show the customer your service department, let them meet your service personnel and instill in them how important it is to have their just-purchased vehicle maintained by factory-trained technicians. Offer them specials and discounts. See if you can get them to schedule their first oil change on this day. In short, do everything within your power to get the customer used to bringing their car to your dealership.
Then, of course, once you’ve hooked them, it’s up to you and your staff to meet and exceed their expectations.
Over time, you’ll improve on your current number if you make a concerted effort to giving your service customers every reason to come to – and come back to – your dealership for all their automobile maintenance needs.
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