5 Strategies to Help Dealerships Compete Better for Service Customers

For new-car dealerships, the service department is an essential profit center. It’s not simple to acquire and keep the clients who enable that profit, nevertheless. Aftermarket service providers are always trying to win your business, and they frequently succeed.


Dealerships can use a number of inherent advantages to attract and retain more customers, though. And there is more they can do, with a little effort, to continue to be the best and most obvious option for vehicle owners.


To distinguish themselves from their competitors, new-car dealerships can do the following things in particular:


1. Strive for excellence in service


A race to the bottom is created when businesses try to compete solely on price and discounts. Dealerships don’t wish to participate in that game. Instead, new-car lots can compete on the level of service.


While customers certainly value price when choosing where to go for service, they value the quality of work even more, according to our 2020 Dealership Retention Report. Dealerships can continue to be the most desirable alternative by highlighting their proficiency in servicing particular makes and models. Better yet, use a technique for obtaining more favorable internet reviews to let your consumers help you promote your superior quality.


However, maintenance and repair quality is only half the battle. Dealerships must also compete on the basis of the caliber of their customer support. The process from making an appointment to paying for the service should go as smoothly as possible. The aim should be complete contentment. Even the most devoted clients may start looking at other service providers after just one poor encounter.


2. Offer a Customized Experience


Dealerships may maintain client satisfaction by delivering superior maintenance and repair services in addition to improving the customer experience.


“Think about selling forward: If a retailer retains the data that a buyer tested an SUV before buying a compact sedan, it can offer the SUV as a service loaner,” advises Deloitte.


Dealerships can also provide more convenient, individualized experiences, like online appointment scheduling and reminder services. Ask clients what their preferred means of communication are—text, email, or phone call. Then, to improve the customer experience, you may stay in touch with each customer through their preferred channels rather than calling each one individually for service reminders.


3. Act Immediately After Inspections


Customers frequently select multiple suppliers for various services, which is one of the barriers preventing dealerships from getting additional service business. In our study, 56 percent of dealership service consumers used other providers for some services.


Most people visit dealerships for necessities like maintenance that the manufacturer recommends, electrical problems, unidentified problems, or checking engine alarms. Customers are considerably less likely to visit dealerships for other difficulties, such as with batteries, tires, and bodywork.


However, dealerships can improve customer satisfaction and keep customers coming back to you for additional service if they are proactive in spotting problems in these areas when performing other maintenance. However, performing a simple, multi-point examination is insufficient. Additionally, you must make sure your team has the interpersonal skills and upselling strategy needed to successfully persuade clients to act on your advice.


4. Take Tires Seriously


As already indicated, dealerships frequently suffer losses in tire-related business. In fact, according to our analysis, 69% of dealership service users last needed a tire replacement elsewhere.


However, this isn’t just because they’re trying to find the best deal. A little under a quarter of car owners didn’t even know their dealership sold tires. 20% of dealership consumers, even devoted ones, are ignorant.


This means that dealerships need to promote their tire sales and maintenance services more. It’s best if buyers can connect tire dealerships with those associations.


Utilizing technology that connects to enhanced inspections is one way to differentiate yourself from the competition. According to UVeye, a provider of vehicle inspection technologies, just visual inspections account for close to 60% of tire checks. However, the business argues that “automated tire-inspection systems would more accurately pinpoint serious problems and help ensure customer safety,” according to nearly half of the service staff.


Offering free tire repair and replacement as an added benefit is another way to make sure clients return when they need tires. Dealerships can offer renewable road hazard tire protection with each maintenance service and vehicle purchase thanks to SimpSocial. Customers are more likely to return to you when they suffer a flat thanks to this kind of incentive, which also reinforces the idea that your dealership sells tires.


5. Offer Special Value-Added Incentive Programs


Customers are frequently kept happy with amenities like vehicle pick-up and delivery, tasty coffee, and shuttle services. But the actual secret to luring and keeping clients rests in incentives.


Value-added incentive programs that dealerships may provide to consumers thanks to SimpSocial give them a competitive edge and deter third-party service providers.


SimpSocial offers more assistance than just tires, as we’ve already covered. SimpSocial assists your dealership in providing dealer-loyal roadside support, road hazard tire protection, and ride-share transportation in the event that a customer’s car needs unexpected repairs with each qualifying service visit or vehicle purchase. These benefits are only renewable by going back to the dealership for an eligible maintenance service, like an oil change after the dealership-recommended maintenance period has passed.


Customers have an added incentive to return on time for routine maintenance with SimpSocial. And SimpSocial makes your dealership the obvious choice to fix the problem if they experience an unforeseen breakdown or flat tire.


Be a Standout in the Crowd


Owners of vehicles have a variety of options for servicing, but dealerships should do more to stand out as the preferred option. Dealerships that can highlight their knowledge and offer top-notch service might stand out from the competition instead of competing on pricing.


Additionally, by providing features like SimpSocial, which are available only at new-car dealerships, you can entice clients to return for other services like tires. More clients will eventually rely on your dealership for all of their servicing requirements as opposed to selecting several maintenance/repair businesses based on the service required.

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