Is there any loyalty left in service centers?

Kristen Tepper

According to XTIME -  Customer retention is top concern for 64% of dealers and Only 36% of car owners go to a dealership for regular maintenance and just 22% go for oil changes.

What are you doing in your stores to try to outshine your competition and keep your customers loyal? 



Bart Wilson

There is also a major divide between sales and service.  They often have different goals and objectives, which doesn't help. 

I think this goes way beyond the sales to service handoff.  Has anyone done a rev share between the two departments?  I know it seems like the answer to every problem is compensation, but maybe if sales directly benefitted from fixed ops they would try a little harder.

Scott Hembrough

It's pretty basic - starting with a dealer acknowledging it is an issue and willing to tackle it. Next, educate your entire store on the importance retention will be for the success of the store in the future. Then as others have said - start with the sales to service handoff. But train them, not blame them. Have salespeople SHOW customers HOW TO use your online scheduling. Have salespeople OPT people in so when you do set the 1st service appt. they see instantly it is working. Then the service advisors, they have more impact on retention and gross profits than any other employee in the store and are the most under trained, plus, the repeat sales percentages sky rockets if a customer is having the vehicle serviced at your store versus at an independent, yet we do very little to train the service advisor HOW TO retain customers. 

It's a bunch or little things but is starts at the TOP.

Bart Wilson


Totally agree on the impact of service advisors.  I think they are the hardest working employees in the dealership.

Scott Hembrough

Bart, your idea of "rev share" between the two departments I think is going to be part of the overall challenge dealerships have. Compare our sales compensation to the insurance industry, they get part of the commission at time of sale and then more as time goes on. That I think is where our industry will eventually end up. I have thought and thought on this question but still come up blank with any ideas. Would love to hear ideas or opinions from other on your "rev-sharing" concept.

R. J. James

As a consultant, over the past 15 years I have worked with dealerships that had GREAT and POOR Customer Retention.  Generally, the difference is not the Sales /Service Hand-off, but the ACTUAL Level of Customer Service provided by the Service Team.

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