Consumers say what they like, sort of like and don’t like about auto dealership service departments.
Service and parts represent $4.8 million in revenue for the average dealership. For every $1 of service revenue, the dealership adds an estimated $1 of profit to its bottom line.
However, across the country, only 54% of customers who purchase or lease a new vehicle return to the original dealership for service.
How can dealers increase this percentage? In a Vennli survey, 516 car owners were asked where they go for ongoing car service: a dealership, an independent full-service center that services all models or a specialty service center that focuses on a certain type of service such as tires or brakes?
While these national insights might not reflect your local market, the findings shed light on the illusiveness of service retention.
For example, only 36% of surveyed car owners go to a dealership for regular maintenance and just 22% for oil changes. However, 91% who get oil changes at a dealership also get service done there.
The most important drivers of customer choice were quality of service, explanation of service, trust in the recommendations, expertise with make and model, speed of service, low price and comprehensive 1-stop service.
It was less important for car owners to be able to schedule online, personally know the mechanic, have the car cleaned before it was returned or experience a great waiting area, even though these represent common improvements dealerships make when trying to grow their services.
Car owners perceived independent service centers to be cheaper than dealerships. However, they valued the specific expertise of the dealership as well as the certification of mechanics, comprehensive vehicle inspection and use of parts by a specific manufacturer.
Those that go to dealerships perceived them to have higher quality of service and be equally convenient compared with other options. However, those who opt for independent service centers believed that they have better service and are more convenient.
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