The Secret Ingredient To Winning Back Service Customers? Trust.

The Secret Ingredient To Winning Back Service Customers? Trust.

What would it take to move shoppers to not only put dealerships into their consideration set, but to choose one for service?

This article has been contributed by CDK Global. 

A 2020 study conducted by the CDK Research and Insights Team found that 74% of customers who opted to go outside of a dealership for service would consider visiting a dealership in the future. This is encouraging news for dealers, as it suggests there’s potential for customer behavior to change. 

But what would it take to move shoppers to not only put dealerships into their consideration set, but to choose one for service? When asked about this, shoppers expressed hesitance — specifically about dealers’ ability to: 

  • Provide “trustworthy” service 
  • Offer a “fair” price 

These factors are closely tied. Fifty-five percent of shoppers say they don’t trust dealers, and give as their reasons their own beliefs that (1) dealers frequently upsell unrequired services, and (2) don’t keep shoppers informed or updated during the service process. 

Such a high percentage of customers with strong feelings of distrust is a sizable concern. But now that we have identified specific reasons for this perception, dealers can begin to address them. 

Evaluating How Dealers Upsell 

Are shoppers right — do dealers upsell unrequired services? To be fair, some probably do. But more often, dealers upsell without adequately communicating and gaining the understanding of their customers. In both cases, it leads to confusion, unsatisfying customer experiences and loss of trust. 

Dealers hoping to rebuild shopper trust around this concern should keep these points in mind: 

  • Avoid unnecessary upselling (obviously) 
  • Prioritize the service needed today, and be forthcoming about services needed in the future; this is particularly important to younger demographics 
  • If an upsell is needed or would be beneficial, take the time necessary to fully explain the procedure, cost and benefits — and make sure the customer fully understands prior to servicing 

What Makes Service Pricing Feel Fair? 

Exactly what makes a price feel fair can be difficult to pin down, as it varies from customer to customer. Even within a single customer it’s a shifting target — changing according to whether the service is major or a minor repair. 

When major services are required, customers take into account the dealership’s level of expertise, quality of work and the expectation that OEM-certified parts will be used. This may incline them to be flexible on price. 

Minor repairs, however, are treated with less flexibility on price. This is because customers don’t feel as great a need for expertise in managing minor repairs, and are more aware of standard prices for these services. 

To rebuild shopper trust around this concern, dealers should consider: 

  • Prices for major services don’t necessarily have to be the lowest to be deemed “good” 
  • Transparency is essential for shoppers to feel more secure and in control of their major and minor service decisions; this is particularly true for younger demographic 
  • Minor services are valuable for establishing trust — and if the dealer performs agreeably, they’re often stepping stones to more expensive, major work 

Seeing Customers as More than Sales 

There’s one more way to help repair the trust concerns of shoppers. And it goes far beyond upsells and price transparency. 

Customers need to feel dealers value them as more than just providers of income. Of course, they know they’re performing a monetary function. But trust isn’t rational, it’s deeply emotional. So, dealers should make these a priority: 

  • Get to know your customers and listen attentively 
  • Find out their personal level of service knowledge 
  • Determine the level of involvement they’d like in the Service experience 

With this knowledge, dealers can provide each customer with the personal attention that leads to trust — resulting in Service experiences that meet their individual needs. 

Missed Part One? Read it to learn two more reasons customers don’t return, and how you can overcome them. 

Coming in Part Three: we’ll look at what the data tells us about retaining Service customers after winning them back.

You May Also Like

Dealerware, Tekion Partnership Saves Time with Self-Service Check-In, Automated RO Tracking

The Tekion and Dealerware partnership utilizes Dealerware API to automate the flow of customer information between Tekion DMS and Dealerware’s courtesy loaner management platform.

Every minute a customer spends waiting in a dealership service department puts that dealer's customer satisfaction scores at risk. Every minute saved increases the likelihood that a customer will return for future service and future vehicle purchases. 

An integration between Dealerware, dealership mobility experts, and Tekion, innovator of the cloud-native platform that serves the entire automotive ecosystem, simplifies the overall service scheduling experience, including loaner vehicle reservations, to save customers and service department employees time at check-in. 

How to Turn 1.5HPRO into 2.0HPRO

With all the downward pressure on sales per repair order, how do you take your service advisor from average or below average to a service sales superstar?

Body Shop: Are You In or Out?

As the complexity of the vehicle increases, so does opportunity. But you must be willing to invest, educate and market your body shop business to succeed.

Masters School of Autobody Management, body shop, auto body, collision repair,
UpdatePromise, Infomedia Power Rebranding of Kia My Service

KIA Superservice SLT Powered by UpdatePromise provides a comprehensive suite of features designed to streamline vehicle maintenance and elevate the overall ownership experience.

The Growing Importance of Warranty to Dealer Profitability

In the next three years, OEM warranty will become an increasingly important factor in dealership operations.

Other Posts

CDK Global Announces Inaugural Vehicle Ease of Purchase Survey Results

Dealerships work to increase consumer satisfaction during the car-buying process.

Resignation Letter

When the service and sales departments don’t have fixed ops net profit at heart, you can expect to receive unwelcome news.

resignation letter
Diagnosing Intermittent Misfires

What if there are no codes and a misfire is intermittent? This is where it gets complicated.

What if there are no codes and a misfire is intermittent? This is where it gets complicated.
Stellantis Expands and Enhances Parts Business in North America

The newly introduced bproauto parts portfolio is available for most makes and models.

Stellantis Expands and Enhances Parts Business in North America