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Value of Complimentary Maintenance

How to Show Your Customers the Benefits of Complimentary Maintenance

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Build Lasting Relationships That Keep Customers Coming Back

By now you know that Complimentary Maintenance isn't about selling the first car, it's about building long-term relationships via service retention — and then selling the second, and third cars.

It's also about driving dealership profitability, creating a service pipeline that's consistently filled, and delivering amazing customer experiences that keep people coming back, time and time again.

You know Complimentary Maintenance is a good idea (we do too) — your customers, however, are often a different story.

Whether they think it will be too expensive or take too long, customers are sometimes hesitant to return to the dealership for service. They think mass merchandisers are cheaper and easier ... not realizing that they're sacrificing quality and that "cheaper" can have a far worse meaning than "inexpensive."

Want to show customers the true value of Complimentary Maintenance and build real and lasting relationships with them? Here's how to keep them coming back.

 

Make Them Part of the Family

First and foremost, you have to show customers that they're not buying a Ford or a Chevy — they're not buying a brand, they're buying into your family. And when your customers are your family, you do everything you can to deliver high levels of service. Complimentary Maintenance is your way of saying, "Thank you for purchasing this car from us. When you need service, we'll be here for you. Welcome to the family."

You're showing your customers that they don't have to go anywhere else, and they can keep their money in their pockets when it comes time to service their vehicles. You're giving them peace of mind. You're not ignoring them the minute they drive off the lot — you're making sure they stay on the road and get where they need to go. You're making them believers that you stand behind your product and your services. A vehicle is an expensive purchase. Why should a customer have to shell out their hard-earned dollars to have entry-level technicians working on their vehicles, when they can return to their dealership — their family — and have master technicians perform the work for free? Not only that, what if there's a safety issue, recall, or any other sort of campaign around a vehicle? Do you really want to trust an inexperienced mass merchandiser to properly handle that?

 

It's a Win-Win

Complimentary Maintenance makes customers feel safe and completely satisfied — when it's done right. You can set up the best Complimentary Maintenance plan in the world, but if you're the home of the two hour oil change, your customers aren't going to come back — even if it is free.

This is where the mass merchandisers often win. They lure people in with low prices and make the service quick and easy — sometimes customers don't even have to get out of their cars. But, a lot of times it's just perceived value. A $20 oil change at a mass merchandiser can often turn in to a $50+ oil change when customers realize they have to pay extra for the oil or filter that's right for their car. At that point it's too late, and the customer is paying far more than they bargained for.

This is where we, as franchised auto dealers, can win — by providing fast, efficient, high-quality, and free oil changes and services. Customers get in and out and on with their day without having to open their pocketbooks. You get happy and loyal family members who trust you and feel comfortable at your location and with your staff.

Once you've used maintenance as a means to drive them in, it'll also give them a reason to drive back for service for the next 12-24 months so you can build loyal relationships that lead to the next vehicle purchase. Watch this short video to learn how Complimentary Maintenance leads to customer retention. 

Watch the Video

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Administration Book Review Customer Reviews CX Dealership Loyalty Efficiency F&I Lost Opportunities Marketing Pay Plans Profitability Relationship Building Retention Strategy Rewards Programs Sales Process Service Revenue Service Traffic Social Media Staff Training Technology Vehicle Repurchase
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About the Author

Richard Knight

Rick Knight is an Automotive Customer Retention Executive who founded Certified Maintenance® Programs in 1996. Rick has been successful in building custom retention strategies for thousands of auto dealers to better than double CP/RO counts in the first 12 months of ownership, drive back 34+% of lost opportunity customers and help auto dealers Sell The Next Vehicle™. 

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