Take Action


Take Action

The average age of vehicles in the United States has reached 12.2 years of age. This is the fifth year in a row the average age has increased. With new vehicle inventory remaining hard to get, this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. The reduction in new car sales is causing warranty work to decline substantially. Automotive car dealerships traditionally lose market share in service departments after the vehicles fall out of warranty. The primary cause is the perception car dealership service departments can’t be afforded. Car dealerships have so many advantages over independent repair shops it should be easy to retain customers outside of warranty. Factory trained technicians that are supported with hundreds of thousands of dollars in special tools designed by the manufacturer to repair their vehicles. Dealership standards that create comfortable environments for customers to wait for vehicle service don’t exist in independent repair facilities. Original equipment parts departments with best access to items needed designed by the factory for the customers vehicle. Customer shuttle and vehicle pick up a few more ways dealerships distinguish themselves. With all these advantages and the only concern being pricing why is the result so poor in servicing vehicles outside of warranty? The largest concern most customers have when a vehicle needs repaired is when they can it get into service. If the wait is too long the customer moves on to the next shop. If your staffing is adequate, I must ask you a challenging question. Why are you not taking action to develop a growing market of customer pay work? Why have we accepted loss of customers when warranty expires? Here are some suggestions.

  • Have a process to sell extended warranty plans to every customer without one as warranty expiration gets close.
  • Monitor safety recalls and notify customers by phone, email, mail, and every other way possible.
  • Training, training, training! Compare the money & effort spent on training the sales dept. with that of the service dept.???
  • Perform mail marketing using brand, age of vehicle and zip codes.
  • Have events providing burgers, hot dogs, and drinks.
  • Be creative! I used to do baby seat inspections to assure child safety. We had local police and fire on site with certified safety seat inspectors.   

It’s time to refocus and take action to develop customer retention for life.
In our next newsletter, we will dig a little deeper into training.

Interested in More Ideas?
Call Rob Gehring   Cell 419-282-1351     rgehring@fixedperformance.com

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