New data demonstrates heightened awareness and increase of new customers in dealership fixed ops
IRVINE, Calif. – February 13, 2020 – By providing price transparency to consumers about dealership service departments, Kelley Blue Book continues to deliver positive results from its Featured Auto Repair Center pilot to-date, proving the power of connecting consumers to trustworthy recommendations related to servicing and maintaining automobiles throughout vehicle ownership. Kelley Blue Book’s Featured Auto Repair Center, which is part of Auto Repair Guide on KBB.com, advises vehicle owners on repair pricing and other service-related information in three main categories – recalls, maintenance and repairs – and has driven new and existing customers to schedule dealership service appointments directly online.
Since the pilot launched in September 2019, Featured Auto Repair Center has seen significant interest from its audience, showcasing the strongest success in the recall segment. In fact, the tool has received an impressive 1.7 million unique visitors per month on average and is generating continuous month-over-month growth. This includes more than 46,000 consumers clicking on the service request button and more than 50% of customers that booked appointments were new to the dealership. Additionally, the tool has seen consumers research more than 85,000 vehicles for recalls with nearly 25% completing the recall after confirming the open recall.
These figures further demonstrate consumers’ reliance and the value placed on trusted third-party resources for advice when it comes to the servicing of vehicles. By increasing the flow of information and minimizing dealership skepticism through increased price transparency, Featured Auto Repair Center provides consumers with increased confidence that prices paid for vehicle service work are fair.
“As fixed operations accounts for a larger share of dealership revenue, it is more important than ever to engage with consumers in a transparent, easy-to-understand way to drive more customers to the service department,” said Jim Roche, vice president at Cox Automotive. “Without a trusted source, consumers lack necessary information like needed services and pricing, which they use to decide where they will service their vehicle. Through Featured Auto Repair Center, dealerships have the unique opportunity to show unconvinced customers the benefits of obtaining high quality and reasonably priced service from dealerships.”
Since its initial launch, Featured Auto Repair Center has introduced new features including trim selection to increase reliability of repair prices across repair and maintenance inquiries, regional repair pricing, capability to research recalls with a license plate number, and more.
“Dealers are in the repeat and referral business, and Kelley Blue Book’s Featured Auto Repair Center is going to ensure that dealerships are viewed as more trustworthy by promoting price transparency,” said Tully Williams, fixed operations director at The Niello Company. “Response to the program so far has been massive – we’re very impressed.”
The need for a transparent third-party tool that eases the information gap between consumers and dealers inspired Cox Automotive’s Jim Roche to add a chapter to his recent book, “Fast Break: Creating a Customer-Centric Operating Philosophy for Automotive Service.” This book guides dealers on how to increase their service market share and achieve profitable growth by focusing on a customer-centric philosophy. In today’s digital age, this is synonymous with creating a trustworthy relationship by showcasing transparency in prices and online information.
Kelley Blue Book’s Featured Auto Repair Center, within Auto Repair Guide on KBB.com, will offer both basic and premium features. Premium features include top placements in “Pick a Dealer” listings, dealership ratings, graphic representation of dealership amenities, dealership photos, service offers and more.
This product will be on sold for the first time at NADA 2020, being held February 14-17, 2020 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. To learn more about Featured Auto Repair Center and a copy of “Fast Break: Creating a Customer-Centric Operating Philosophy for Automotive Service,” visit Kelley Blue Book at the 2020 NADA Convention and Expo, booth #2528C.
To learn more about Kelley Blue Book Auto Repair Guide, visit https://www.kbb.com/service-repair-guide/.
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About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides market-reflective values on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Kelley Blue Book® Price Advisor tool, which provides a range for what consumers can reasonably expect to pay for a vehicle in their area. Car owners looking to sell immediately can also get a redeemable, transaction-ready offer with Kelley Blue BookSM Instant Cash Offer. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book is a Cox Automotive brand.
About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive Inc. makes buying, selling, owning and using cars easier for everyone. The global company’s 34,000-plus team members and family of brands, including Autotrader®, Clutch Technologies, Dealer.com®, Dealertrack®, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, VinSolutions®, vAuto® and Xtime®, are passionate about helping millions of car shoppers, 40,000 auto dealer clients across five continents and many others throughout the automotive industry thrive for generations to come. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately-owned, Atlanta-based company with revenues exceeding $20 billion. www.coxautoinc.com