Why go to the dealership for service?

Denim Simkins
I received a general mail piece over the weekend from one of the neighborhood repair shops. It appears that this chain of aftermarket shops are offering "free loaners" now as a part of their services offered. Here are some of their other reasons to choose them. - Independent, locally owned auto and tire experts - Dealer alternative with highly trained technicians - FREE loaner car and courtesy shuttle service - 24 mo / 24,000 mile guarantee on parts and labor - Always the right tire, always the right price - No hassle tire warranty - FREE road hazard, flat repair, rotations and balancing with tire purchase - 10% off on purchase of $150 or more - FREE alignment with tire purchase How many of these offers do we meet or exceed and what are the other benefits we can offer to differ ourselves from the competition?
mark rask
WOW....this is strong! We do have factory certified techs.....recall info etc
Marc Bellacosa
My best response to a customer for that is, "not only will we meet or exceed what they offer, we will be able to repair every aspect of their car, not just general items" As a dealer, we cannot turn away anything that comes in the door. We have every special tool, the correct diagnostic equipment and we paid good money to certify or technicians. It sounds like a tire store ad, and I know how most service mamngers feel about tires, I hate them also. But the bottom line is, we can't turn down anything, or not honor anyone elses offers.
Roger Conant
Customers don't, for the most part, after free maintenance. I follow David Carlisle, who has shortened my learning curve by years about this industry. http://myguy.org/2014/07/24/waiting-service-retention/ http://i2.wp.com/myguy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/WaitingService.png
Patrick Halleen

I can tell you that most independent shops offer superior customer service, that is after all what we are here for isnt it? If you want to retain YOUR customer base think about what is most convinient for your customer, and not the employee. 


are your service department hours convinient for your customers? or are you closing at 2pm on saturday? Do you have loaner vehicles available? do you have free wifi? do you have shuttle service? Does the customer know about these benefits? 

9 times out of 10 its about convinience, NOT price!

Joe Tareen



I am going to take a contrarian view on this and speak from heart. I don't think you can compete with that on face value period. Dealer expenses and pay structure does not allow you to compete at low margins. My ultimate recommended solution would be for dealers/OEMs to open up multiple remote Express Lubes with tire sales not near their dealrships but spread throughout their PMAs. Perform a multi-point inspection on every vehicle but don't sell the work at Express Lube, instead punch that MPI(repair leads) into a database and have your Service BDC vociferiously follow up to get the customer in for repair work to the main shop. Pay the remote Express Lube technician a commission on sold work to keep them incentivized. What dealers need today is creativity and conviction to make it happen!

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