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Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development Manager

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Top Reasons to Avoid Conquesting in Service

Contrary to the title conquesting in service can, in fact, increase revenue. However, merely increasing revenue can not only be short-lived, but it can also have other hidden ramifications. OEM’s have tight policies regarding customer service in a time where your transactions are under a microscope. Where OEM’s send a survey within 24hrs in addition to the pre-survey survey you might be sending out. And let’s not forget the phone call you might be sending too! 

That said, before conquesting in service you should consider the following points. Working with your dealer to comprise a plan that makes the most sense: 

Why do you need to increase service? What is Your Current Absorption Rate? 

If your service absorption rate is above 73 percent than there is nothing to bark at. That is a solid number. If you are at or below that target number, there could be a correlation to a decrease in cars sales and an increase in the number of vehicles that are out of warranty where the customer pay is obviously lower on those RO’s. Take some time and review the absorption rate for the last 12 months rolling. Looking to see if there is a trend or just spikes. 

Assigned Customer Base 

OEM’s tend to push customers into to list whether they have serviced with you or not. Usually not outlining their marketing efforts to those customers unless you pay to play with the list. However, you do not always have to spend thousands of wasted dollars to acquire these customers as the ROI is very minimal. Instead, there less expensive alternative ways to acquire new service customers within your ACB using social media campaigns is one of them.  

That said, instead of sending a blanket campaign to all of the customers on the ACB OEM list - target specific customers within the list focusing on certain years and models.  This will not only help yield better results, but it is a more targeted cohesive plan giving you not just a service customer, but also a new purchase! 

OEM Mailers vs. Third Party 

We already know that mailers have a very minimal return. And in other cases (for current customers) sending a mailer can be beneficial as it will help you update your database using the “return to sender” as a means of weeding out old customers. At the same time, sending a mailer to a noncustomer who might not even be aware of your brand is not only not as effective, but the ROI is not there. As mentioned above, stick to a more targeted cohesive marketing strategy embracing social. Not only will you spend much less the ROI will be stronger.

Marketing Plan - Following Up! 

Having a marketing plan is great! What is not so great is spending money on a marketing plan to then only not have a plan of action on following up with those customers who are engaged. And by that, I mean coming up with a plan to call those that have opened and clicked-through on your marketing. 

Bottom Line: Conquest programs should have a thought out plan making sure all fronts are covered. More so, conquesting service customers usually have a low return on investment. Spending thousands of dollars on a mailer for conquest customers may not make the most sense. Instead, social is another avenue to take, which can offer a lower more cost-effective means of acquiring not just new service customers, BUT a new sales customer as well!  

Do you have great success in conquesting new customers? If so, what campaigns have you had great success with? 


Chris K Leslie

Conquesting is so much more expensive than retention. 

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