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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Jessica Russell

Jessica Russell Dealer Services Manager

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They are YOUR customers and you can have them or get them back!

When you drive by a Midas, Jiffy Lube, Wal-Mart Service Center, Grease Monkey, Pep Boys, or whatever in your market and see a vehicle that’s your brand, do you ever wonder?  Wonder if your dealership sold it… and why is that vehicle not in your service department since it is your make?  
 
Maybe you wonder how New Car Dealers could allow enough of their customers to leave them and flock to all that competition. It is true that 100% of the new vehicles sold in the US have to be sold by or through a Franchised Dealer, right? After five years, NADA states that less than 20% return to the selling dealer for service, especially if the customer is paying.
 
I know some of them moved, but 80%? No, typically 20 to 25% move away or are sold out of market, however many times there are more moving in than leaving. So again why are they not in your service department? If it is a bit puzzling just ask the sales staff or walk back to service and ask them. They have a list of reasons (trying to be nice) why they are at your competition. In fact many on the sales staff probably outright told them their vehicle and their wallet would be better off over at your competition.
 
Just think about it for minute and let it sink in. At the time of sale 100% of the new and even the used buyers are your customers. I know they just bought on price or you had the only one like it, right? No, most of them live near your dealership and they liked and trusted “their” salesperson enough to spend thousands of dollars with them. So what happened and why are my customers leaving and going to my competition (by the way you helped put them in business), unless it is warranty or free and sometimes not even when it is free. 
 
Those are your customers and you can have them or get them backWell maybe not all, but you can have and keep 70% or more of the ones (new and like brand used) you sold and you can keep them coming back longer than typical for a dealership. You can keep them when that vehicle starts getting more miles and requires more $$$ to keep it going and keep it safe.
 
You know they are keeping them much longer and driving them a lot more than before. The average age of vehicles in the US is now more than 10 years old and US drivers are putting 300 billion more miles on them than they did just ten years ago. That’s great news for you or your competition because the owners of those vehicles are spending more to keep them on the road.
 
Those are your customers and you can have them or get them back. One other thing, both your sales and service departments have high CSI, right? The sales and service staff probably “gets” the score and both departments are well over 95, right? Therefore your customers are satisfied and that means they will service their vehicles with you, spend more money with you, return to buy more vehicles from you, and refer their family, friends, and co-workers to do the same, right? Unfortunately wrong.   After 10 consecutive years of CSI studies showing that overall satisfaction with dealer services continues to increase, customer pay revenue paid to dealership parts and service departments dropped $2 Billion to less than $29 Billion.
 
So why do your customers continue to leave you and go to the competition when they are truly that satisfied? Has to be our pricing, our hours, new car sales are off, or whatever the staff can come up with as an excuse, not the reality.
 
Would you agree? Could you use more customers?
Colin Barrett
Because when I drive past a Midas, Jiffy Lube, etc. I can see if they are busy or not, drive up, stay in my car, and get work done. Going to a dealership has to make up that advantage somehow and I don't see it at the majority of car dealers.
Colin Barrett
Because when I drive past a Midas, Jiffy Lube, etc. I can see if they are busy or not, drive up, stay in my car, and get work done. Going to a dealership has to make up that advantage somehow and I don't see it at the majority of car dealers.
Jessica Russell
I can see your point Colin, however if a salesperson, at the time of sale explained the importance of maintaining their vehicle @ the dealers service department, and WHY this was sooo important, it may add some value to going to the dealership vs. going to the aftermarket guys! And I don't know when I have passed a jiffy lube/pep boys, etc. and they didn't look busy! At a dealership we may have cars lined up in the lane, but with the other guys they may have them parked around the back somehwere! Just sayin!!

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