Drawn to the Dealership: Seven Reasons Buyers Return for Maintenance

How to Create ABoomerang-like Mentality

In a best-case scenario, your loyal customer base adopts a boomerang-like mentality, returning to your dealership time and time again, whenever an automotive need arises. These customers purchase a vehicle from your dealership, then capitalize on your promotional maintenance plan to return for service requirements, often repeating the cycle later as a return buyer.

It’s the start of something big —a longterm dealer-customer relationship in the making that transcends vehicle makes and models and can even be passed along to subsequent generations. It’s a customer retention plan disguised as oil changes and tire rotations.

But just why are these customers repeatedly drawn to your dealership to fulfill vehicle maintenance needs? Here are seven numerous and varied reasons buyers return for maintenance:

1. Expertise

When car-buyers seek service from a dealership, they encounter a degree of automotive skill and knowledge that’s difficult to come by at a corner garage. Dealership service technicians typically have been trained by the manufacturer, have extensive experience working with the make of vehicle the customer purchased from that dealership and receive ongoing training to remain current on the latest repair procedures and vehicle enhancements. This type of expertise can extend the lifespan of a vehicle, saving the car-buyer hassle and money in the long run.

2. Convenience

There’s something to be said for taking the path of least resistance and doing something the easy way. Once customers purchase a vehicle from a dealership, they have the advantage of familiarity. They develop a rapport with the sales staff, have likely met the lead service technician, are aware of the hours of operation and know exactly where to bring their vehicle for maintenance. Furthermore, dealerships often extend courtesies to ease their customers’ burdens, offering to shuttle them home or grant them a “loaner” car until the repair is complete.

3. Promotional Maintenance Package

Dealerships that have aligned themselves with Performance Administration control their own promotional maintenance plan to include with every vehicle. The opportunity to offer complementary or discounted maintenance packages serves as a major selling point for dealerships seeking to build longterm customer retention. And as a car-buyer, it’s a tremendous feeling to know your maintenance needs are covered for the foreseeable future.

4. Timely Service Reminders

Personalization comes standard at many auto dealerships. Like your dentist calling to remind you it’s time to schedule a cleaning, dealerships typically alert their customers of upcoming service needs based upon the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. When a dealership owns responsibility for overseeing vehicle maintenance, customers don’t need to worry whether their brake pads are too worn or their struts need to be replaced because the dealership handles this on their behalf.

5. Auto Dealer Warranty

Nothing in life is truly guaranteed, but a dealership’s ability to perform repairs free-of-charge when a vehicle is still under warranty comes pretty close. Securing this type of peace of mind proves uncommon for customers at most independent garages. And dealerships that have partnered with Performance Administration can further distinguish themselves from the competition by pairing extended services like warranties with existing manufacturer maintenance programs. It’s a winning combination both for the dealership and its customer base.

6. Vehicle History Knowledge

Not only does a dealership know a vehicle make inside and out, it knows a particular customer’s specific vehicle equally well. A dealership’s automotive service software has the capability to track and store extensive data regarding a vehicle’s maintenance and repair history. Moreover, a dealership can automatically check for recalls and manufacturer-issued service bulletins whenever a customer comes in for service. If the same doctor can’t perform your checkup each time, you at least want the current MD to have detailed access to your medical history. Shouldn’t customers expect the same for their vehicle maintenance?

7. Customer Satisfaction

It behooves an auto dealership to go out of its way to ensure its customers’ utmost satisfaction. Simply put, there’s a lot at stake. When a dealership’s car-buyers suffer poor service experiences, that dealership risks losing not only those customers’ future service business but also the opportunity to sell them their next vehicles. Additionally, as a representative of the manufacturer, a service department must match or exceed the corporate standards for customer satisfaction. For these reasons and more, achieving customer delight tends to be a primary objective for many auto dealerships.