How to Increase Customer Retention in Your Dealership’s Service Department

Employee detailing a headlight for an automotive dealership service department

Paying attention to automotive dealership customer retention is the key to unlocking more revenue from your current customer base. Providing your customers with great experiences in the service department distinguishes your dealership from its rivals. But how can you optimize your car dealership’s customer retention rate in the service department?

The team at Diamond Dealer Services understands the importance of dealership customer retention. Our automotive dealership services can help you meet customer expectations and build positive customer relationships. Today, we’re sharing insights and tips to teach you how to maximize customer retention and revenue in your dealership’s service department.

Automotive Dealership Customer Retention Statistics That You Need to Know   

Customer retention is an essential metric for automotive dealerships. To understand why, consider the following statistics from Semrush:

  • The possibility of selling products or services to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the possibility of selling products or services to a new customer is 5-20%.
  • Existing customers are 50% more likely than new ones to try a business’ new product.
  • On average, a loyal customer spends 67% more between their 31st and 36th months with a brand than what the customer spends in the first six months of the relationship.

Building a loyal customer base can go a long way for your dealership. Your service department can play a vital role in helping your dealership improve its customer retention and revenue. 

Why You Need to Account for Customer Retention in Your Service Department

Research indicates that car dealerships’ service retention rates may be declining. There are several reasons why.

First, a recent DealerRate survey shows that 75% of new-car buyers return to the dealership where they bought their vehicle for service. If you sell a new car, a buyer will likely come back to your dealership for repairs and maintenance. However, the number of customers buying new cars is declining at some dealerships.

According to Reuters, some automotive industry consultants estimated that new vehicle sales would increase in the United States in August 2023. However, many auto dealers are still dealing with inventory shortages that make it tough to provide consumers with the cars they want when they want them.

There is no telling how long a vehicle inventory shortage will last. Regardless, a shortage of vehicles can affect customer retention — and you need to plan accordingly.

Best Practices for Dealership Customer Retention

Making car dealership customer satisfaction a top priority can boost your customer retention rate. Here are five dealership service department best practices to help you get started.

1. Offer a High-Quality Service Wash

A dealer car wash service lets you prep your cars inside and out before returning them to customers. When a customer gets a freshly washed and cleaned vehicle after a service appointment, it will impress. And this customer is likely to bring their car back to you for more service in the future.

2. Remind Customers About Service Appointments

Track vehicle maintenance for your customers. For instance, you can automatically remind customers via text or email about periodic service appointments. This encourages customers to stop by your dealership for the repairs and maintenance needed to keep their vehicles running at peak levels.

3. Celebrate Your Customers’ Special Occasions

Along with sending service appointment reminders, you can reach out to customers via text or email to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. These messages help nurture the relationships between your dealership and your customers, especially if you extend a discount or offer in celebration. If a customer needs car repair or maintenance services, this individual is likely to keep your dealership top of mind.

4. Provide Flexible Services

Flexibility can make a world of difference relative to customer retention. For example, you can offer flexible scheduling for auto detailing services. By allowing customers to drop off their vehicles early in the morning or late in the afternoon or evening, you can provide them with services that align with their schedules.

5. Follow Up with Your Customers

After a customer visits your dealership, follow up with them. You can then learn about the customer’s experience and if this individual is satisfied with your work. Also, you can get insights that you can use to improve your customer satisfaction and retention levels.

Start Increasing Customer Retention in Your Service Department Today

By applying these best practices for customer retention in your service department, your dealership can boost customer satisfaction levels, drive brand loyalty, and increase revenue.

In addition to using these best practices, partner with a detailing service provider that puts the retention of customers front and center.

Diamond Dealer Services offers detailing, service wash, and other car dealership services for new and used vehicles. With our services, you can simultaneously improve the customer experience and become more profitable and efficient than ever before.Contact Diamond Dealer Services today for high-quality detailing services.

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