Make new friends, but keep the old…  This is a ditty that many of us remember from our childhoods.  However, the idea is especially true for car dealerships when it comes to keeping existing customer happy … and coming back.

The challenge is maintaining a good relationship with existing customers until they need their next new vehicle.  This not only improves sales, but adds to a dealership’s income stream, even during times of economic downturns. However, extended maintenance intervals and higher customer expectations, along with stiff competition from aftermarket vendors make it difficult to maintain customer loyalty.  In fact it is estimated that 77% of routine maintenance is performed outside of car dealerships.

As automobiles age, customers become lost to the dealership when they need unplanned repairs and replacements, including tires, brakes and batteries.

Aftermarket vendors tend to compete aggressively on price, convenience and expanded services, including multi-point inspections.  Some also tout their certified technicians.

All of these factors combine to make it difficult to keep the loyalty of existing customers.

How Dealerships can Compete

Customers must be educated on the fact that technicians at dealerships specialize in the vehicles sold by the dealership. They are more intimately involved with the vehicles they service, and understand their products better than most aftermarket technicians, who must have a cursory understanding of a wide range of makes and models.  An important first step is to acquaint all new vehicle owners with the service department, including all of the products and services it offers customers to protect one of their most significant investments.

Drive-Sure Helps Dealerships Compete

The Drive-Sure plan engages customers, encouraging them to think of their new car dealership FIRST for routine maintenance. It also delivers customers for unplanned repairs like tires, brakes, batteries and check engine lights. Some of the outlined benefits of Drive-Sure include:

  • Ensure first service visit retention
  • Increase routine maintenance visits
  • Recapture unplanned repair revenue
  • Maintain customer loyalty

The Goal: More New Car Sales

When customers maintain an active and satisfying relationship with the dealership, they are more likely to return to the dealership when they need another vehicle.

It really is a win-win for both customer and dealership.