Mind the service experience gap: new insights to raise your bottom line.

Customer Only | June 6, 2018

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Fact: the majority of customers who use an auto dealer for service only visit that dealer two or three times per year, on average. And if you’re like most people, you might assume that what those customers do on the other 362 or so days is, frankly, none of your business.

In reality, however, what they do directly affects all of your business – and as a result, significantly impacts your bottom line.

In a recent Automotive Digital Experience study, AutoLoop made some surprising discoveries about what people expect from their vehicle service experience – and how that compares to non-auto retailers with which they regularly do business.

In other words, every time your customers buy used books online, for example, or shop for a new suit, their expectations of your business are also very likely being created or strongly reinforced. And being unaware of these expectations could be contributing to a growing service gap that’s driving your customers away from your shop and straight to your competition: the aftermarket service providers.

Going for the Gold

According to the study, consumers say Amazon sets the gold standard overall for the most desired modern retail experience, with Nordstrom and Apple® not far behind. With multiple factors influencing this coveted ranking, does that mean dealers and other retailers must now accommodate an impossible range of preferences, or risk losing even more business?

The Big Four

Surprisingly, the report results proved exactly the opposite, with auto dealers underperforming other industry retailers in just four areas. Even more surprising, one of those areas actually involves erroneous thinking on the part of dealers, rather than a specific consumer complaint. Most encouraging: while issues obviously exist, each can be significantly improved through actionable strategies.

The biggest frustration by far among participants was the after-service checkout process, followed by lack of transparency in pricing. Prohibitive distance to the nearest dealership was also a key deterrent, and dealer misconceptions about customer preferences made up the fourth area where a gap exists.

What To Do, What To Do

To close the service experience gap, dealers can address each of the four areas with key strategies aimed directly at retaining service customers and preventing defection to competitors. As revealed in the study, here’s where the initiatives implemented by Amazon, Nordstrom, Apple, and others are invaluable – and also where AutoLoop Essentials can help you turn the tide of defectors into a tidal wave of business and profitability.

Download the full report here – and start giving your customers the service they want to drive the business you want.  And to learn how AutoLoop Essentials can help, or for any other questions, please reach out to your Performance Manager.

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