Your customers have a wealth of options when it comes time for vehicle maintenance—and many of those options don’t include visiting a dealership. Although aftermarket service centers may offer the perks customers want, such as lower prices and convenient locations, over 80% say they’re willing to spend more for a better customer experience.
With so many customers prioritizing the experience they receive, your service center has the perfect opportunity to gain a competitive edge—and one of the simplest ways is by adding transparency to your service communications and processes.
Adding Transparency Before the Service Appointment
Did you know that over 25% of customers are not confident in their knowledge of their vehicle’s recommended service schedule? Assure your customers that your team knows their vehicle best by sending informative service tips and maintenance reminders before their next interval. This way every communication serves a multifaceted purpose:
- Raise customer awareness and educate customers on needed maintenance intervals
- Drive in loyal customers with timely, targeted messages and offers
- Stay top-of-mind with less loyal customers who may be considering a competitor
Adding Transparency During the Service Appointment
From the moment customers pull into your service drive, it’s crucial to be open and up-front. So establish a more trusting—and profitable—relationship by adding transparency to every step of the service process.
- Display pricing during online scheduling
Our digital personalization study found the second most popular recommendation by customers to dealers was for the online appointment process to tell them the price. And it makes sense—how is a customer to align vehicle maintenance with their budget if they don’t know the cost that comes with it ahead of time? But if you display at least a general cost of the services or packages you offer when a customer is scheduling, you’ll increase trust and avoid uncomfortable conversations about pricing later on.
- Provide an easy-to-understand MPI report
Customers that understand their inspection report are 2x more likely to refer someone to their servicing dealership. So include your customers in the process: complete the walk-around with the customer and explain what you’re capturing, ensure they understand the details of their full MPI once completed, and show them photos or videos taken to further build trust and validate recommended repairs.
- Deliver real-time updates
Keeping your customers in the loop with real-time updates not only gives them a greater sense of control but also eases the anxiety of waiting. Give your customers a direct line to their service advisor so they can ask questions, receive updates, and approve repairs with a simple text message.
- Offer online invoice payment
When it comes time to pay, provide a more personalized service experience by allowing customers to interact with advisors during the billing process. Whether that means texting customers an invoice, or enabling them to pay their bill through a mobile app, an interactive payment process gives your customers the opportunity to ask quick questions and make payments before picking up their vehicle.
Transparency is key to boosting your service retention rate and taking your customer experience efforts to the next level. A timely and knowledgeable communication strategy and consistent, open contact between service advisors and customers are just a few ways to see higher profitability and happier customers.
Director of Professional Services
Insights | January 19, 2021