Fuel Customer Lifetime Value with the First Vehicle Service

A great customer experience is everything.

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Every customer who visits your dealership offers a great customer lifetime value, even if they’re only stopping in to browse new models or pick up parts. A significant part of it depends on the experience they receive while interacting with your store.

For those customers who have made a purchase from your dealership, continuing the journey from the sales department to the service lane is crucial—not only for the customer’s seamless experience with your dealership but also for the growing customer lifetime value. Here’s why that customer’s first vehicle service appointment is so important to the customer lifetime value.

How the First Vehicle Service Grows the Customer Lifetime Value

What Is Customer Lifetime Value?

Customer lifetime value is the total revenue a customer is expected to generate for a dealership over the course of their relationship. It’s calculated by taking the average revenue per customer and multiplying it by the average customer lifetime. For example, if the average service customer revenue is $300 and the average customer lifetime is 10 years, the service customer lifetime value would be $3,000.

The customer lifetime value is an important metric for automotive dealerships because it helps you to:

  • Identify your most valuable customers. This metric can be used to segment customers into different groups based on their expected profitability, so you can focus your marketing and sales efforts on the customers who are likely to generate the most revenue.
  • Improve customer retention. The lifetime value of a customer can be used to identify the factors that are driving customer retention. By understanding what is causing customers to leave, you can develop strategies to keep them coming back.
  • Make smarter marketing and sales decisions. This metric can be used to make informed decisions about investing in targeted marketing campaigns and advanced technology that will improve the customer experience.

Why Does the First Vehicle Service Matter for Retention?

You might be surprised to discover that many of your sales customers intend to return for their first vehicle maintenance—over 70%, in fact. Capturing these customers for their first vehicle services is an incredible win for your dealership, so be sure to avoid losing them with inefficient service processes or other pitfalls.

For customers who do not intend to return to their dealership, many choose quick lube service shops. As a result, these quick lube competitors pose the biggest service retention threat to dealerships. Use this detail to your advantage when you send marketing campaigns to these defecting customers as you emphasize your extensive knowledge of their vehicles and the many benefits you offer that those shops don’t, such as delivery/pickup services, rewards programs, and OEM parts.

What Are Ways to Increase the Customer Lifetime Value?

Before purchasing customers ever step foot in the service lane for vehicle maintenance, their experience begins with their purchase. Make sure it’s an exceptional one that leaves a positive impression and draws them back. And before they take their new vehicle home, give them a quick overview on the routine care needed for their new vehicle and explain why it’s important. Then, introduce them to your service team and let them know when to expect their first service (either by months passed or miles driven).

Be sure you have their current contact info so you can send them service reminders, offers, and other details. These maintenance-related email and print campaigns help you target customers at crucial points in their journey, keeping your dealership top-of-mind and reminding them that you’re there to help make their service experience seamless and simple.

Don’t forget to offer them the option to easily book service online, when it’s convenient for them. Having an efficient service scheduling tool at hand will help improve the customer experience and increase the customer lifetime value.

Build Lifelong Customer Relationships, Starting with Service

After your sales customers drive off your lot in their new vehicle, ensure they don’t forget your dealership and the many benefits you offer by providing a memorable experience that helps ensure they come back for service. From eye-catching marketing to easy-to-use service scheduling, we have solutions that can help your dealership retain more customers. Contact us today for your live demo.


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