Consumer satisfaction and loyalty across automotive service providers has been dropping since 2015, according to a recent press release. What’s worse, millennials – the fastest-growing generation of car buyers – are the population most dissatisfied with the current service experience. It’s clear: something’s gotta give in the service lane. And you don’t want that to be you losing returning customers. 

Enter, service clinics with a strategic difference. Start by target marketing your dealership’s current customers, because they’re the key to serious future revenue on next vehicle purchases. And consider putting the brake on conquesting efforts (or at least downshifting into first gear). By overhauling dealership marketing for service clinics, you can:  

  • Keep customers and grow revenue 

  • Turn service into sales 

  • Get customers to service clinics 

Service Clinics: Keep Customers and Grow Revenue 

 It costs 5 to 25 times more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. So, isn’t it time for dealership marketing to stop focusing on conquests and start concentrating on current customers? One way dealerships can strengthen relationships with their customers – and build loyalty – is through the service department. 

I know, I know. You already know this, right? Well, do you also realize you and other dealerships like yours might need to take a second look at how well you’re doing? 

How are dealerships doing with retention through service? Not so good. A study showed 70% of consumers who purchased or leased from a dealer didn’t return for service last year. That works out to about $266 billion in annual revenue loss across franchise dealers. (PR Newswire) 

The good news is, more than half those consumers said they’d travel further – and pay more – for a better service experience. And better means convenient and stress-free: 

  • 67% want to track their service history on the dealer’s website 

  • 62% want OEM maintenance recommendations on the dealer’s website 

  • 70% want price ranges for services on the dealer’s website 

  • 56% would choose one dealer over another if they could schedule appointments online 

Customers also want to understand the ROI on their service dollars: 

  • 2 in 5 want to know the cost of services needed compared to the vehicle value  

  • 1 in 3 want to get the trade-in value when their vehicle is serviced 

 3 Tips for Turning Service into Sales 

How can you take advantage of the stats above, aside from beefing up the capabilities of your dealership website? Give customers what they want – appraisals, loaners and offers – and start looking for qualified prospects in your services lanes.  

1. Leverage data 

When a service appointment is set, check the customer’s equity and see if they’re in a position to upgrade to a new vehicle. Provide a loaner while their car is being serviced – it’s a great way to begin the transition into sales. When they return the vehicle, have some no-money-down offers ready for them.  

2. Appraise vehicles 

Do an appraisal for every vehicle that comes through your service drive and share it with the customer. Make an offer on their car, then and there.  

3. Assign team members 

Dedicate staff to transitioning customers from your service drive to your showroom so that the process is seamless. They can be responsible for researching data, appraising vehicles, etc.  

How to Get Customers to Your Service Clinic  

Creating a strategic dealership marketing campaign is kind of like writing a repair order – it takes a lot of things to run a high-performance service clinic. DataTargeted email marketingSocial adsBranded content. And just like a first-class service department needs a top-notch team; a successful campaign calls for industry experts with a proven history of driving business to dealership events. Luckily, we just happen to know a few

Ready to save money on dealership marketing and target current customers? Want to use service clinics to build loyalty and grow revenue? Think it’s time to turn your service lane into a sales machine?  

Contact us to learn more about building relationships, targeting current customers and turning service into sales. 


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