New Study: Even Loyal Clients Can Quit After a Poor Experience

What is the simplest approach to making your dealership a profit-generating machine?


keep more people returning for service more frequently.


Okay, so it might not be entirely “easy,” but it is still feasible.


In fact, nearly 2,000 dealership service department customers have provided their opinions, and you might be surprised by what they have to say. All of this is covered in our 2020 Dealership Service Retention Report, which is packed with useful advice that will help you turn client loyalty and retention into not just a possibility but also your new reality.


Let’s look at some of the conclusions.


Why Would Customers Seek Service Elsewhere?

We’ll begin with the most significant. The report’s most startling finding, though, was that a single negative encounter at the dealership puts it at risk of losing any customer, regardless of how devoted they are.


It is completely understandable for those without allegiance to abandon the ship. However, we were taken aback when over half (49%) of those who considered themselves to be “extremely loyal” customers stated that they would be inclined to think about quitting the dealership if they had only one negative encounter there.


No retries—even from the most fervent of our supporters. Although it seems harsh, it can be just what we need to wake us up right now.


On a brighter note, we might find comfort in the fact that 25% of the group who were extremely devoted indicated “nothing” would cause them to think about switching.


Here is a high-level overview of what can lead clients to seek service elsewhere:


Everyone (apart from the “extremely loyal”) chose to leave for a reduced price, with 46% of the 2,000 participants indicating that price is a significant factor. When the data is broken down by age, 56% of consumers under 34 said they would consider switching to the cheapest service provider from their dealer service department.


Our primary lesson from this is this:


The results show that the vast majority of respondents would continue to patronize dealerships that successfully delight consumers and demonstrate value, provided that the customer experience continues to be consistent and excellent.


Over half (53%) of those surveyed stated that just one negative encounter could cause them to leave, which is a grim prediction but one that is unavoidable. Now is the time to put best practices and tried-and-true strategies into action in order to create a memorable experience that retains and boosts service traffic.


Enough with the Dealership defect…

What are the motivating elements for customers to return to your dealership for repairs?


You might find some of these comments to be very affirming. Others may point up issues that need improvement.


Customer service is important, but work quality matters more.

When asked to rank a number of factors by importance when choosing where to take your vehicle for service, “quality of work” came out on top. The second most significant factor was “price,” with “quality of customer service” closely following.


For dealerships, the majority of which already take great pride in the caliber of their products and services, this is generally excellent news. It does, however, emphasize a point that service managers are already aware of low-cost competitors are always a threat.


Getting Past the Price Issue

Dollars and cents simply make sense at times.


After all, we live in a world where profits are everything.


However, regardless of price points, there are ways dealership service departments can set themselves apart from the competition.


Keep your attention on quality and emphasize to your customers that the price they pay is more than fair for what they get. Nobody else compares to you as their primary caregivers and specialists on their particular makes and models.


Many dealerships have little trouble overcoming the price aspect by highlighting the skill of their experts, ensuring that their staff is providing a wonderful experience, and adding a value bundle of exclusive vehicle owner perks that buyers won’t discover with cheaper competitors.


We discovered that this is particularly true for client segments that are older and more concerned with work and service quality than price.


What Kinds of Services Do Customers Expect From a Dealership?

It is impossible to stress the importance of the 2020 Dealership Service Retention Report. It is the only study of its sort, focusing solely on customers who already get their cars serviced at a dealership.


This makes the following point even more important.


44 percent of respondents said they would rather use a dealership for all of their vehicle maintenance requirements.


The type of work required is a major consideration for the remaining 56% when deciding where to take their car. These are the top five services that customers most frequently choose to obtain from a dealership:


1. Maintenance suggested by the manufacturer (77%)

2. Power problems (63%).

3. Unknown problems/warnings from the check engine light (63%)

4. Changes of oil (63%)

5. Work on transmissions (57%)

They are least likely to choose to have the following three services performed at a dealership:


* Replacement of batteries (18%)

* The body (21%)

* Rotation or repair of tires (33%)

It is crucial for service advisors to see those problems while the customer is already at the dealership because consumers are less likely to return with problems with batteries, tires, and brakes. This not only keeps the customer from seeking those services elsewhere, but it also gives dealerships the chance to address potential problems for their clients before they arise.


We’ll now go back to your source of income.

In the end, customers who buy and repair their vehicles at a specific dealership are also inclined to purchase their subsequent vehicles there, resulting in new sales and increased service revenue.


Every subsequent service visit is an opportunity for your dealership to impress your clients and win their repeat business, as nearly half of the consumers in our study already planned to buy their next car at the dealership where they serviced their current one (and 45% were unsure).


You’re ready to become the sole person your customers rely on for maintenance, tires, and repairs now that you know what keeps them coming back and—perhaps more importantly—what drives them away.


To delve even further into the distinct viewpoints of your target market and learn the strategies for dealership service departments to retain consumers,

No leads were lost. reduced overhead.
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