4 Roadblocks to Vehicle Service Customer Retention

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What is preventing more of your sales customers from returning for vehicle service? If your store is closing deals but struggling to convert those purchasers to service customers, there could be more behind your customers’ rationale than you may realize.

Sales customers that responded to our 2023 National Consumer Survey noted several reasons why they didn’t return to their dealership for service. Knowing what these hindrances are and how to overcome them will help your store identify marketing opportunities that can help increase customer retention.

How to Overcome Service Customer Retention Obstacles

1. Offer Exceptional Service That’s Worth the Drive

Your dealership’s number one obstacle to retaining more service customers is distance, so it’s important to let your customers know why your service department is worth the drive.

Help bring your store closer to your customers by informing them of your online services. Feature the online service tools you offer, such as service scheduling, repair order tracking, vehicle maintenance management, and service advisor chat capabilities. Make sure your service customers also know if you offer vehicle pickup and delivery services, too.

When your service customers arrive, help ensure their experience is memorable by providing a quick check-in, transparent service updates along the way, and easy electronic bill pay options. These benefits will help your service department outshine the competition while capturing customer loyalty.

2. Promote OEM Expertise That Adds Value

The independent auto repair shops in your area may offer services at a lower price, but they can’t compare to your expertise. Make sure your service customers know the value of an OEM-trained team that will help maintain the investment they made in their new vehicle.

As you craft a dealership marketing plan, be sure to promote your factory-trained technicians that know the specific needs of their model, the specialized tools that will help ensure all needed repairs are completed correctly the first time, and genuine OEM parts that will help ensure their vehicle’s continued performance. Include special offers that help entice customers to visit your service lane instead of an aftermarket repair shop.

3. Provide Transparency to Ease Upsell Concerns

No one enjoys feeling pushed into a service or product they don’t need. Often, customers may simply have past negative experiences that your staff can overcome by providing better transparency to help improve their perspective of your dealership.

One of the ways to accomplish this is with tech video and photo capabilities. Giving your technicians and service advisors the tools that enable them to capture video or photo service recommendations helps back up your suggestions while providing customers with more transparency and insight into the service process.

4. Build Trust by Addressing Negative Customer Feedback

Collecting customer feedback is crucial for your dealership, to help identify any issues, adjust your strategies, and create an authentic brand. Finding out what your sales customers experienced—and why they haven’t returned—can help your store build trust with these customers to help win them back.

If one of your customers had a negative experience while purchasing their vehicle, your store should make an effort to acknowledge the customer and their feedback, address their concerns, and help them overcome that experience by visiting for a better one with your service department. Boost your reputation by contacting the customer and inviting them personally or offering them exclusive specials to help establish a trustworthy customer relationship.

Guide Service Customers Back with Expert Tools

Overcome service customer hindrances to increase customer retention and revenue: Affinitiv Essentials can help keep your dealership’s expertise, benefits, and offers top-of-mind, while Affinitiv Tech Video can help make your service experience exceptional for every customer. Contact us today to explore our solutions.


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