After winning customers back, how do you keep them?
Let’s say a dealership has successfully overcome concerns of trust, fair pricing and convenience — and won back customers that had been previously lost to other providers. How easy is it to keep them coming back for service?
The numbers suggest it will take some work: shopper loyalty, according to a 2020 study conducted by the CDK Research and Insights Team, ranked dealerships (at 47 NPS) significantly behind independent service providers (at 63 NPS).
One strategy may be leveraging customer perceptions. Research shows that customers tend to prioritize different providers based on perceived strengths. Dealerships are the front-runner when shoppers feel knowledge is needed (44%). But when speed is primary, chain service providers take the lead (59%).
In light of this, dealerships can play to their strengths by:
- Emphasizing dealer knowledge through certifications and vehicle specializations
- Promoting their factory-certified parts; 35% of shoppers visit dealerships for them
Finding the features customers want.
Another way dealerships can increase retention is by delivering the features that matter most to their customers. Here are several identified as particularly worthy of consideration:
Enhancing communications to build trust
Real-Time Service Updates
54% of customers would love if this were available, and 72% of dealers are either interested (43%) or have already added it (29%). Among the latter group, this has already a proven success: 97% of dealers who have this feature are satisfied.
Price Estimate at Booking
49% of shoppers would love if this were available, and 59% of dealers are either interested (24%) or have already added it (35%). Of the dealers currently using it, 84% are satisfied.
Market Price Information
The ability to show customers the transparency of market pricing is proving itself as a powerful tool. 57% of dealers are either interested (36%) or have already added it (21%). Of the dealers currently using it, 84% are satisfied.
In step with pandemic shopper interests
Mobile Check-In and Check-Out
38% of shoppers would love if this were available, and 63% of dealers are either interested (41%) or have already added it (22%). Of the dealers currently using it, 79% are satisfied.
Remote Vehicle Pickup and Delivery
60% of shoppers would love if this feature were available. 63% of dealers are either interested (16%) or have already added it (47%).
Evaluating features for the future.
Since technology is constantly moving forward, it would be impossible to predict every possible upcoming feature. But there are two questions dealers will always be able to ask of potential features for their Service business — whether available tomorrow or ten years from now:
- How is this helping me win back customers?
- How is this helping me keep my customers?
Remember: about 70% of new-car purchasers take their service needs elsewhere. But dealers responding to the latest data could significantly reduce this outflow of business — and make their dealerships far more profitable.