9 Benefits That Make Complimentary Maintenance a Winning Formula

Automotive Marketing EffortsProven Effective

Many have tried, yet fewer have succeeded.

When it comes to attracting and retaining customers within the retail automotive industry, dealerships have experimented with nearly every tactic imaginable with varying degrees of success. Techniques ranging from funny commercials and catchy slogans to giant inflatables and celebrity meet-and-greets have been attempted ad nauseam over the years.

While some of these automotive marketing efforts have proven effective – at least temporarily – at enticing prospective car-buyers through showroom doors, few stand the test of time at any given dealership. They may deliver on sizzle but lack greatly with regards to substance.

Many dealerships ultimately gravitate back to a less flashy yet tried-and-true method for maximizing customer retention – that of dealer-owned Complimentary Maintenance. Your dealership remains top-of-mind with car-buyers when they return for service and, later, their next vehicle purchase.


Dealer-Branded Complimentary Maintenance Plans have demonstrated the ability to increase customer retention by more than 60 percent, according to a recent survey. Moreover, a J.D. Power Customer Service Index Study indicated that the growth of Complimentary Maintenance offerings has helped boost loyalty and repurchase rates, revealing that 72 percent of customers with a Complimentary Maintenance package repurchased the same vehicle make for their next auto transaction.

The Advantages of Complimentary Maintenance

The advantages associated with Complimentary Maintenance are indeed numerous. Here are nine benefits that make dealer-owned Complimentary Maintenance a winning formula for dealerships:

1. Customize Your Services

When your dealership owns its Complimentary Maintenance Plan, you have the flexibility to build a strategy that’s unique to your retention and profitability goals. Whether it’s oil changes, tire rotations, exterior washes or all of the above, you determine which services to include with vehicle purchases. You also control maintenance intervals and the number of complimentary service visits each car-buyer receives.

2. Determine Program Funding

In seeking to bolster your customer retention rate and designing your dealer-owned Complimentary Maintenance Plan, you call all the shots. You determine service pricing and how you wish to fund your plan, while also receiving 100 percent of forfeiture.

3. Keep Customers Active

Just because a customer’s Complimentary Maintenance coverage expires doesn’t mean your relationship with that customer must end. By establishing an automotive customer loyalty program, you can keep car-buying customers engaged with your service department until they’re ready for their next vehicle purchase.

4. Easy Up-Sells

Once your car-buying customers realize the benefits they receive with a Complimentary Maintenance package, upsell opportunities will emerge for your dealership. You can implement extended maintenance plans to offer customers more savings and further your retention efforts.

5. Automatic Service Reminders

Don’t let your dealership’s service offerings slip from your valued customers’ minds. With the right Complimentary Maintenance Program, you can send automatic updates to vehicle purchasers based on their driving habits. Customers can receive service reminders in advance of their scheduled maintenance appointments via email, text message or postcard.

6. Service Backup Plan

As you develop your customer retention objectives, a lost customer need not be lost any longer. The right Complimentary Maintenance Plan enables you to target car-buying customers who don’t return for service and send specialized incentives to invite them back to your dealership.

7. Stay on Track

Your dealership needs to know where it stands with customer retention, and that’s where the right Complimentary Maintenance Plan comes into play. When you pair your plan with service management software, you can record service and repurchase data each month in order to measure your retention progress.

8. Make It Personal

Get started on the right foot with your customer retention endeavors. An effective Complimentary Maintenance Plan includes the ability to send personalized welcome kits to customers, reinforcing your brand and your service offerings. It’s the perfect way to jumpstart a longterm relationship with vehicle purchasers.

9. Protect Your Program

The right Complimentary Maintenance Plan offers built-in protection. You enjoy peace of mind by knowing your program is protected against fraud with online claims. Plus with secure online payments and transparent accounting, you receive every benefit necessary to minimize risk and maximize your customer retention potential.

The Next Level of Profitability

If you’re ready to take your dealership to the next level of profitability, learn how Performance Administration Corp. administers Complimentary Maintenance for Franchise Auto Dealers, including:

  • Program customization and ownership rights
  • Hassle-free claims administration
  • Personalized customer retention strategies