Why Prepaid Maintenance Plans Are Important for Service Departments
The majority of auto dealers offer their clients prepaid maintenance packages. And for good reason—between 75 and 90 percent of clients renew these plans, which can result in an average $70 per visit increase in repair order income through upsells.
Standard services covered by prepaid maintenance plans typically include tire rotations, oil changes, and other similar tasks. They’re an excellent strategy for the dealership to boost client loyalty while giving the client cheaper pricing and the assurance that their vehicle will be well cared for.
The F&I department, which usually only deals with clients when they’re buying a car, sells the majority of these prepaid maintenance agreements. However, a dealership’s service division may be its best-kept secret in terms of selling more of these lucrative plans.
Prepaid maintenance packages are much easier to market when they are sold through the service department, opening up a whole new cash stream for your dealership.
However, since the purchasing habits in the two departments are different, you can’t simply employ identical packages for your service department and your F&I department. Continue reading to see how these programs can help your dealership and how to successfully offer prepaid services from your service department.
The advantages of providing your clients with prepaid maintenance plans
Here’s a short refresher of why, if you aren’t already, you should stress prepaid maintenance contracts at your dealership before we continue.
When dealing with some of our clients, we’ve observed an 18–24% boost in retention compared to those without prepaid packages. Prepaid plans also increase consumer loyalty. According to our client research, successful dealerships with a high penetration rate of prepaid maintenance packages do two out of every three oil changes in the service department for prepaid maintenance package holders.
Prepaid plans improve customer satisfaction because you can discover tiny issues early on and car owners not only receive a cheaper cost by prepaying but also visit you more frequently.
Prepaid plans enhance the number of vehicles sold since clients are twice as likely to buy from you if they’ve used your services in the previous year. You reduce your chances of losing them to another dealership when they’re ready to buy their next vehicle by obtaining a pre-commitment to maintenance.
Pro Tip: Since tire care is a significant client loss point, marketing prepaid maintenance is the ideal moment to let customers know about your dealership’s tire capabilities. Our research has revealed that almost a quarter of consumers are unaware that their dealership offers tires, and 69 percent of respondents in our most recent study said they visited a location other than a dealership the most recent time they required the replacement of one or more tires.
How dealerships may promote prepaid maintenance plans in the service department more successfully
Prepaid maintenance offered on the service side can be sold successfully by anyone, but it requires a different approach than prepaid maintenance sold in the F&I department.
Prepaid maintenance (PM) is often sold by F&I for the duration of a car loan, enabling clients to incorporate the plan’s cost into their loan payments. Selling the same package during the service drive will be difficult because they are frequently more expensive, complete packages.
How, then, should selling through F&I differ from prepaid maintenance plans in the service center? Think of the contrasts as being brief, straightforward, and pleasant.
Better service with a shorter time department Only 3–4 services should be included in prepaid maintenance packages, and their validity period shouldn’t exceed 18–24 months.
Simpler options include oil changes, tire rotations, and any other features that all of your models share to make the offer as appealing to a wide range of customers as feasible. Because different vehicles have varied needs, it becomes quite complicated very quickly if you try to adapt the strategy for various types and years of vehicles.
Deals that are sweeter can be made in two different ways. One strategy is to charge a lower price (clients need a financial inducement to pay for their oil changes in bulk). As an alternative, you may add more value. You can provide a special package of renewable perks to your consumers using SimpSocial, for example.
Using SimpSocial to set up service-led prepaid maintenance
Offering prepaid maintenance plans from your service department is made simpler with SimpSocial. We assist you in creating a program and setting your own prices (with some guidance), all while facilitating the handling of prepaid maintenance activities by any administrative and marketing staff members.
This guarantees that your team won’t experience any hassles with package purchases or redemptions. You don’t have to worry about delivering contracts, keeping track of enrollments, liabilities, expiration dates, or managing customer communications because we also handle the program’s administrative aspects.
SimpSocial not only makes it simpler for your service department to offer prepaid maintenance plans, but it also allows you the choice to add extra value to boost customer loyalty through a variety of renewable incentives.
SimpSocial incorporates the benefits enrollment procedure with the prepaid maintenance redemption process because it connects with your DMS. Each time a customer comes in to redeem a prepaid service, you can instantly renew their SimpSocial advantages thanks to this. (To keep things simple, these advantages are not marketed as part of the prepaid maintenance purchase itself but are supplied on a gratis basis upon redemption of a service.)
We provide service sticker templates with unique QR codes for each car to make it simple for the customer, offering various advantages to each customer: A tracker that displays how many prepaid maintenance redemptions they still have is available, along with digital roadside assistance features, the ability to schedule service, and more. The consumer and the service adviser may both quickly view the count thanks to this final feature.
SimpSocial assists you in offering your clients significant value, giving them compelling reasons to continue using your services. We’re here to help—wwithout placing any additional demands on your time—with everything from making it simpler to provide alluring prepaid maintenance packages in your service drive to raising customer loyalty overall.
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