Dealerships have been riding a high for the last couple of years, enjoying increases in sales since 2015. However, 2017 saw a deceleration of those sales, leaving many dealerships wondering how to increase their profitability and growth amidst the decreasing sales and profit margins. The answer to that lies in the automotive aftermarket, more specifically, the dealerships’ service departments.
Sure, you sold them the car. You might have even given them the deal of a lifetime on it. But what is going to keep them coming back to you for car services and maybe even another car in a few years when there are so many local repair shops and other dealerships out there competing with you? Not to mention the stigma that people think independent repair shops are cheaper than dealerships. The service you offer is the difference.
The key to retaining customers is making them the focus and building a relationship with them. Location and convenience are often issues that prevent customers from returning to dealerships for their service needs, so making sure that your offerings and service schedule is flexible is important.
In addition, using smart technology (emails or postcards reminding customers to change their oil right around the time it needs done) to communicate with customers can really increase communication efficiency and the chances of customers returning to the dealership for their service needs.
But that is not all. Once you secure customers coming back for their service needs, the service department really has to shine. They need to be on time, friendly, honest, and provide the best experience possible. One bad service experience and you could lose a customer for good. One way to ensure a great experience for your customers and show them you care is to use Slip-N-Grip® products like seat covers and floor mats to keep their car in the best possible condition during the service. In addition, you can personalize the floor mats with your own logo and coupons to keep them coming back!
If you’d like to read more on the topic, there is a great article in Fixed Ops Magazine elaborating on the importance of a service department when it comes to customer retention.
_______________________________________________________________________ Slip-N-Grip® is a division of Petoskey Plastics serving the automotive aftermarket with a variety of vehicle protection products that help exceed customer expectations and keep them coming back. The Slip-N-Grip® product line includes everything from seat covers to floor mats to service reminder printers; whatever you need for vehicle service operations.