Future Growth and Prosperity Relies on Positive Customer Experiences

Customer experience is the lifeline of your business. The worst thing a dealership can do is institute a customer retention program — such as a Certified Maintenance® Complimentary Maintenance Program — and then provide poor customer experiences (such asservice advisors taking too long to get their job done or being rude and unfriendly).

If the customer drives away feeling like a burden, chances are they won’t return for their second or third maintenance visit, even if it is already paid for.

Dealerships should strive to give each customer a good experience so if that customer is asked the CSI/Net Promoter Score question of, “Would you refer our dealership to family and friends?” They answer ‘yes’ each time and then follow through on advocacy for the dealership.

The problem we find is that if a service advisor pay plan isn’t designed around providing positive experiences, then the customer gets a poor experience. The bottom line is this: if dealerships keep using the old legacy service pay plans (the more I sell, the more I make approach) then it’s going to continue having its own inherent problems.

Traits of a Successful Retention Program

The problem with legacy service department pay plans is that upselling customerscould erode the theirtrust and implanta lot of negative connotations, and customers won’t want to return to that dealership for service bacause of it.

If service techs are trying to sell $500 worth of work each time a customer comes in, eventually, that customer is going to think of that dealership as the doctor they never want to see.

On the flip side, if that dealership is happy to see the customer whether they’re just getting the oil changed or have a valid need, like brakes — and they’re only trying to sell brakes when they’re really needed — then customers are more likely to stick around for a long time.

The focus of your service professionals should always be the customer and their unique needs. It should never be simply on todays’ vehicle problem, sale or repair. A successful retention program focuses its efforts on creating completely satisfied “promoters” that go out into the world and tell their friends and family how great your dealership is.

Three Signs ofa Happy Customer

Every customer that leaves your dealership service center should know these three things:

  1. They received quality service that they can trust, with parts that will hold up better than the ones that were replaced and that will keep their vehicle running smoothly.
  2. They were treated with respect no matter how large or small the repair.
  3. They would be happy to come back or recommend others to this service center.

Making a change to your service department pay plans doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to upset your service staff. There are alternative strategies that are effective in getting teams on board with a Complimentary Maintenance Program.

If you are serious about improving your customer retention then it needs to start in your service department. We can help you build a new pay plan strategy that is mutually beneficial to customers and staff.